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Interactive Accessibility's accessibility expert, Kathy Wahlbin, will be teaching a class at Colorado State University.  The course is listed as SPECIAL TOPICS IN TECHNOLOGY, ARTS, AND MEDIA: UNIVERSAL DESIGN FOR DIGITAL MEDIA, ATLS 3519-58

To register please go to CU Continuing Education (under ATLAS program).

Spring 2013 Schedule: Jan. 20 – May 3, 2013

Course Description

Many web and media designers believe that the design process begins and ends with information architecture and visual design. Although these elements are important, other factors are equally if not more crucial for the design of successful web sites and other digital media. This course will examine the standards and methods for designing digital material that is not only accessible for persons with disabilities – a particularly important requirement for the web sites of public entities – but also effective and usable for all users and across platforms.

Course Scope

This course will review standards for usability and accessibility, focusing on the concepts of universal design, web standards and accessibility best practices. Resources and texts from media design experts such as Donald A. Norman, Wendy Chisholm, Derek Featherstone and Jeffrey Zeldman will be complemented with online resources and materials. Topics to be covered include (x)html standards, structured coding procedures, semantic web design, user-centered design, and validation tools, among others. There may be occasional live lectures and guest speakers – delivered through web conferencing but taped for later and repeat viewing, as needed by students. Students will complete weekly assignments and follow the overall schedule of the course through the semester.

Instructors

Howard Kramer

Mr. Kramer has been an Access Specialist at CU-Boulder and coordinator for the Accessing Higher Ground Conference for the past 15 years.

Kathy Wahlbin

Ms. Wahlbin is a Web accessibility consultant, founder of Interactive Accessibility and an ADA,  Section 508 and W3C WCAG accessibility expert.

 

Adobe has unveiled in this New Year a series of documents to assist with evaluating and creating accessible PDFs using Acrobat XI. For the beginner, the PDF Accessibility Overview is a good introduction to the accessibility features of PDFs, Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader.  For professionals who evaluate the accessibility and repair  PDFs : Using the Acrobat XI Pro Accessibility Checker, Acrobat XI Pro PDF Accessibility Repair Workflow. Finally, for those creating new PDFs , these documents  are now available: Acrobat XI Pro Accessible Forms and Interactive Documents, Acrobat XI accessibility best practices document and training resources page.

View the full article, Acrobat XI Accessibility Documentation.

This is the first in a series of blog posts about mobile accessibility testing for mobile phones and tablets.

When testing for mobile accessibility use the devices and OS that will be supported by the website or application and that have decent accessibility support. Most of the time, this is includes iOS (iPhone, iPad) and Android (phones mostly, and some tablets) which are the most common mobile devices used today in the United States.

Many websites provide important information in PDF documents but they are often not accessible, which means that readers with disabilities miss the information. Most PDFs can be made accessible in a small number of steps that will seem familiar if you have created accessible HTML.

The web is a visual medium, which is a great way to convey information…unless you’re blind. An image, or other visual content, is only informative if users can see it. So making images perceivable is one of the most important ways to make websites accessible.

Website Accessibility Conformance Evaluation Methodology (WCAG-EM) describes an approach for evaluating how websites -- including web applications and websites for mobile devices -- conform to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. It covers different situations, including self-assessment and third-party evaluation. It is independent of particular evaluation tools, web browsers, and assistive technologies.

This methodology is currently published as a draft and is open for public comment.

Background:

WCAG-EM is developed by the WCAG 2.0 Evaluation Methodology Task Force (Eval TF), a joint task force of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (WCAG WG) and Evaluation and Repair Tools Working Group (ERT WG). Kathy Wahlbin of Interactive Accessibility is one of the participants on this task force. 

New accessible gaming development guide and companion website from the AbleGamers Foundation designed to explain the options and control mechanisms required to make video games playable by disabled gamers. The advice is broken down into three tiers for each disability (mobility, hearing, cognitive and visual).

Did you know that 15-20% of gamers are disabled (PopCap) and that are many others who also hit barriers. These include people with color dificiencies and those with situational impairments such as playing in a noisy room or in bright sunlight. All players have different levels of ability – there’s no ‘typical gamer’.

The accessibility gaming guidelines were developed in a collaborative effort between a group of studios, specialists and academics, to produce a straightforward developer friendly reference for ways to avoid unncessarily excluding players, and ensure that games are just as fun for as wide a range of people as possible.

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