CSUN 2013 Presentations

I will be giving two presentations at the CSUN 2013 International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference starting next week. Both take a real-world look at what web accessibility means, how it is measured, and some of the people who may get overlooked in the process.

Accessibility is more than WCAG Compliance

Presentation time:  Wednesday February 27 at 8.00 am.

Since the release of WCAG 2 there has been considerable debate about how to determine the accessibility of websites. Unfortunately, this is often presented as two simple choices: either using a checklist to determine the level of compliance/conformance with the specific Success Criteria; or, undertaking some form of user testing by people who have different disabilities and/or who rely on different assistive technologies.

During this presentation, I will look at the advantages and disadvantages of these two approaches.

I will also report on my use of the Access Barrier Scores Excel worksheet, which was developed in November 2011 to help communicate the relative importance of accessibility problems, and  development of the new Accessibility Priority Tool, which aims to help organisations prioritise efforts to improve the accessibility of their website

The Forgotten of Web Accessibility

Presentation time: Wednesday February 27 at 9.20 am.

The web is becoming more accessible for many people, particularly those who rely on different assistive technologies. However, older web users, as well as novice users and those with lower-level reading skills still face significant problems.

During this presentation, I will compare two projects (one in 2007 and the other in 2012) that involved testing web content that had been prepared for target audience groups with limited internet experience and lower-level reading skills. The presentation will discuss changes in web-user behaviour over the last five years and how this might be affecting the way people to find information on the web today.

In the desire for accessibility purity, WCAG 2 has effectively downgraded those issues that traverse the boundary between usability and accessibility.  Sadly this has meant that many of the Success Criteria that are particularly relevant to people with cognitive, learning or reading difficulties are now at triple A, and so largely ignored. During the presentation I will argue that we should give greater consideration (weight) to some WCAG 2.0 triple A criteria, for example those in Guidelines 2.4 and 3.1