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The topics discussed here grow out of the bread-and-butter issues that confront my consulting and software clients on a daily basis. We'll talk about prosaic stuff like Membership Management, Meetings and Events Management and Fundraising, broader ideas like security and software project management, and the social, cultural, and organizational issues that impact IT decision-making.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

More on Accessibility

Just a quick note - TechSoup has posted another resource relating to website accessibility. Four Web Accessibility Myths adds a layer of relfection to some of the more common recommendations and guidelines.

For example, most checklists begin with the admonishment to provide alt text for every image. This document points out that if the site is full of decorative images that add little semantic content, alt text on each one can actually make the site less accessible to a user working with screen reader. Three other common recommendations - avoiding javascript, avoiding tables, amd providing titles for all links also go under the microscope.

In each case we arrive at the same conclusion - that the guideliness must be applied with common sense or they can actually impede site access. Counting tags or relying on software generated accessibility scores is not going to do the trick -- you need to test your design. Nate Koechley, Senior Engineer and Design Liaison at Yahoo, is quoted as saying: "There's no real substitute for testing and putting it in front of users."
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