Updating accessibility standards for the blind

Webstock 2009 logo
The lineup of speakers for Webstock 2009 was announced last Tuesday night. Impressive and fun: check it out on Webstock's gorgeous new web site!

As part of this week's mini-Webstock, Jonathan Mosen updated us on the basics of web content that blind people can access easily. His demo of navigating content without the benefit of sight was riveting. Web Accessibility - Political Correctness, or Smart Design? was his theme.

W3C accessibility guidelines can be daunting, according to Jonathan. Some are out of date, and they're not all equally important. If you want to know whether a web site is accessible, nothing beats observing a real blind person as they test it. You cannot replicate that expertise just by using a screen reader. So pay them for their expertise, he says.

Jonathan's favourite web sites include these three, which are extremely easy to use without vision:

Other snippets from Jonathan:

  • Top 3 fixes are alt tags for images, proper coding of headings, and proper use of tables
  • PDFs can be accessible (turn on the accessibility flag) but processing a PDF is very slow with screen readers
  • Flash can be accessible

Jonathan Mosen's current activities


Rachel McAlpine
Rachel McAlpine

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