Brainstorms and Raves

Notes on Web Design, Development, Standards, Typography, Music, and More

Thu

17

JAN

2002

Speaking of Accessible Sites and Technology

A friend (who prefers anonymity) sent me a URL for an interesting article at CNN’s War on Terror section, How Prepared Is Your City? with the following comment:

"If I want to find out how well-prepared my city is to cope with a terrorist attack, I must have Flash installed (which my primary browser doesn’t, just to catch things like this). Why is Flash so important to this special report? So they can show me smallish charts of text and numbers, all drawn in Flash."

CNN’s report is interesting and informative. Too bad they didn’t take the helpful measures to provide access to the information whether or not their visitors have the Flash plug-in installed.

Macromedia Flash has an Accessibility Kit Extension that provides features for alternative viewing capabilities, but I haven’t seen many people implement them yet, unfortunately. Macromedia’s Flash Accessibility section provides design techniques and developer resources to learn how to design Macromedia Flash content with accessibility in mind. They even have information and a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template to help you create wonderful Flash work that also follows the U.S. Section 508 Guidelines.

From my side of the fence, I’ve seen that many designers and developers just don’t know that something like the Flash Accessibility Kit Extension even exists, and aren’t aware that Macromedia has an entire section on Accessibility. If you take a look, you’ll find that many of these sites have information on accessibility. Some sites tend to bury the information so it may not be as easy to find.

Education, education, education. Oh, and did I mention that we need to help educate?

Another nice advantage to creating accessibility friendly sites is that they’ll also be more search engine friendly. How? Glad you asked. Last spring I wrote an article for Digital Web on creating search engine friendly sites that explains that and includes links to resources like the Flash Accessibility Kit and others. Just think how much your boss or clients will love you when you not only create accessible sites but you also help improve their search engine rankings.

Resources:

WebsiteTips.com’s Accessibility section has lots of annotated links to great information.

07:35 am, pst17 January, 2002 Comments, Trackbacks ·

Categories: Accessibility

top


Visit iStockPhoto - Royalty-free stock images. Click Upload Earn, Click Download Create 

I Wrote a Book

Deliver First Class Web Sites: 101 Essential Checklists  Via amazon.com: Deliver First Class Web Sites: 101 Essential Checklists, by Shirley Kaiser. SitePoint Books (July 2006). 

Available now via: SitePoint Books, Amazon.com, Amazon.ca (Canada), Amazon.co.uk (UK), Amazon.fr (France), Amazon.de (Germany), Amazon.co.jp (Japan), Tower Books U.S. and elsewhere! You'll also help support this site and its owner if you purchase via any of these links.

Learn more at SKDesigns - Deliver First Class Web Sites and via SitePoint Books.

Recommended Books

Cover - The Zen of CSS Design, by Dave Shea, Molly E. Holzschlag. Published by Peachpit Press, December 2004.

Cover: Information Architecture, 2nd Edition - by Louis Rosenfeld, Peter Morville. OReilly Media, Inc.; 2nd edition (August 15, 2002).

Hand-picked best book recommendations for Web site design, CSS, graphics, Photoshop, color, accessibility, more

In association with
 In Association with Amazon.com 
http://brainstormsandraves.com/archives/2002/01/17/speaking_of_accessible_sites_and_technology/
Page last modified 14 July, 2007 - 10:22pm PDT Page load time: 0.010222 seconds.