Friday, November 2, 2007

Each One Teach One: Resources

One thing I made sure to note when evaluating these sites was whether or not they included an easy option to display their pages either with bigger fonts, in plain text or some other kind of view. Most did, but some of the federal sites' accessible pages were still under construction.

1. Americans with Disabilities. and specifically, this page relating to the Accessibility of State and Local Government Websites.
This web page provides some good links to resources for smart development of websites. The ADA also includes some basic guidelines for what websites should include and an overview of accessible technology.

2. NCD -National Council on Disabilities.
Specifically, this page, a 2003 position paper on the application of the ADA to cyberspace. While the paper is from 2003, it still contains several good interpretations of the act and several recommendations for further application.
Also, this page that is a link to 2007 testimony on web accessibility. The NCD is an independent federal agency whose members are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate.
Incidentally, the site is not currently up to standard: "NCD is committed to making its Web site accessible to all citizens. NCD's Web site is being upgraded to ensure that it meets or exceeds the requirements of Section 508 (of the Rehabilitation Act) of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998. As with all Web sites, we are continually working to make all pages more accessible."

A government clearinghouse for all kinds of information relating to disabilities. Specifically, this page devoted to Technological issues. This portal contained some good links to vendors and organizations that provide assistive technologies.

A handy site for finding assistive technology products.
"Our mission is to provide access to information on AT devices and services as well as other community resources for people with disabilities and the general public.
This site is created and maintained through the collaboration of our Partners: Georgia Tech Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access (CATEA), National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), and Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA)."

This site includes a link to information about accessibility on each page, in the navigation bar on the left and at the bottom. More information about steps the company has taken to make the site accessible can be found here.

5. Building Accessible Websites, by Joe Clark
A book written by Clark, the entire book is available online. It includes sections on why bother with accessibility; how to build and code pages that are accessible; navigation; working with images, color and typography.
And, yes, the site includes links to an Accessible version of the site.

This organization has a page full of resources for where to learn about building pages that are accessible to users, including one to a Java development tip page. Some of the links are out of date, so I'll knock a few points off for not keeping things current, but this site definitely has its target site in mind.

7. Microsoft and Apple Assistive Technology overviews
Details on products and accessories for two of the big giants.

I found this blog that had a Talklet toolbar at the bottom of the page. When the page started talking to me, I figured the technology might be worth a mention. Pretty nifty stuff, and doesn't sound like the annoying little narrator that's found on Windows machines.

9. Recent Advances in Assistive Technologies and Engineering
A UK conference on assistive technologies. Good links and resources to companies and researchers.

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