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Designing for Disabled Visitors


I am about to create a web site for business people who have disabilities. This site will be viewed by people with all sorts of disabilities-which is the challenge. I have gathered a huge list of resources already, but thought that it couldn't hurt to ask for more. I am looking for:

- sites that give resources for web designers building these kind of sites

- sites that are geared towards disabled viewers that you think are well done

- sites that can replicate certain disabilities-ie: I found a site that replicates colour blindness.

Any info is appreciated.

Color blindness... I am something of an advocate for websites that are visible to people with colorblindness, as my SO has one of the rarest forms of colorblindness, called Tritanopia. Tritanopia is a deficiency in the yellow/blue spectrum. SO can't see yellows at all and most greens look odd because they are a mixture of blue and yellow. Here are some links to colorblindness:

Here's the link for the Lynx viewer to go w/ Bobby. http://www.delorie.com/web/lynxview.html No, you don't need to have a text-only site, just watch how you do the graphics - w/ alt tags and such and fast downloading. I have a aural browser on here. It's awareness-raising and interesting. http://www.econointl.com/ it's called Simply Web.

For web accessibity advice, you might want to have a peek at: http://www.cnib.ca

I am hearing impaired and my biggest *#@($ is that videos are not captioned or accompanied with text scripts. I have not seen a Web site (other than those that talk about captioning) using the feature. Here are resources I've collected:

My accessibility resources are pretty much these (plus stuff about browser issues):

I have been designing ADA sites for about a year now and from what I have learned the main thing you need to have with your sites is to make sure you use Alt tags. A text only version is always nice to have but I would ask the client if they would like one. I would also design for a 640x480 since most people with disabilities usually use that resolution screen size on the monitor but I would check with your client first about that issue. http://www.lanecc.edu/ - here's the link to the college so you have an example. The sites that I did some have heavy graphics and some don't. The sites I did were Lane Family Connections, Computer Information Technology, and Media Arts and Technology. They are under College Depts. I also tested my site with Bobby - http://www.cast.org/bobby. You need to have all the pages pass the priority one section to be ADA. If you know CSS, you can use that because I believe that is much easier for being compliant. I use Dreamweaver. Rollovers are ok as long as you have the Alt tags. Do not use frames because Bobby doesn't like frames.

Do you know if any of the viewers might have physical disabilities, like Parkinson's, or missing hands or arms, or arthritis? I went to a usability class last year and the instructor suggested trying to use a site wearing large gloves, oven mitts, or something similar to help you simulate the experience of people with Parkinson's, MS, etc. One way to compensate for this would be to provide rather large graphic links, so these visitors won't have to try to place the cursor precisely over a link. Also, make sure that any information provided by color is also available if the color can't be seen. It might be a good idea to interview a few people who would be expected to have interest in the site and find out what their preferences are and what kinds of difficulties they have had previously.

Webreview released an article on accessibility today. http://www.webreview.com/2001/07_27/webauthors/index01.shtml

You are not at all limited to text only when developing for people with disabilities. Here are a few things I think about when developing for people with disabilities, with links to appropriate material following <http://www.w3.org/WAI/EO/Drafts/PWD-Use-Web/Overview.html>:

  1. how will the page look on a text only browser? (use lynx or <http://www.delorie.com/web/lynxview.html>)
  2. how will the page sound when read left to right?(including sidebars if sidebars are text http://www.w3.org/WAI/Resources/Tablin/) - download a screen reader or a speaking browser like JAWS or IBM Home Page Reader <http://www.w3.org/WAI/References/Browsing>
  3. Can you tab through the links or otherwise navigate the site without a mouse?
  4. Is there significant contrast? <http://vischeck.com/index.php3>
  5. If you are using color as an indicator, is there another way for folks who can't see color to see the indicator?
  6. How will data tables sound read aloud? <http://www.webaim.org/howto/tables.php>
  7. Have you checked accessibility with WAVE <http://www.temple.edu/inst_disabilities/piat/wave/> or Bobby <http://www.cast.org/bobby/>?
  8. If developing for the US Government or a quasi-governmental body, have you gone through the Section 508 checklist? <http://webaim.org/standards/508/checklist>
  9. If designing for a specific audience, have you found out the concerns associated, and had your target audience test your work?

http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-CSS2/aural.html is the W3C spec for aural stylesheets - useful if you need to set how a page is read by the speaking browser.

I saw the post about designing websites for visually impaired, so I wanted to offer up my web listings for the article I wrote on bringing Web sites into compliance with the ADA. Sorry I can't include or point you to the article, I don't own it.

But here are the links that I used...

Yes, Visibone's section is good. I have a fairly new section on color blindness at Websitetips.com, too -- it's in the Color section: http://www.websitetips.com/color/

'Speech Support for HTML?' article. New tags being proposed that we'll be able to toss in to our HTML for speech support. http://www.brainstormsandraves.com/2001_10_14_archive.shtml#6391755

Information Technology and Disabilities Journal (ITD) http://www.rit.edu/~easi/itd.htm Information Technology and Disabilities (ITD) is an electronic journal devoted to the practical and theoretical issues surrounding the development and effective use of new and emerging technologies by computer users with disabilities. Founded by EASI (Equal Access to Software and Information), ITD features articles on issues affecting educators, librarians, adaptive technology trainers, rehabilitation counsellors, human resources professionals, and developers of adaptive computer hardware and software products. All issues are archived online (1994 - onwards).

http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-CSS2/aural.html is the W3C spec for aural stylesheets - useful if you need to set how a page is read by the speaking browser.




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