Transcription: Web Axe Episode 74 (Awards, Events & Back to Basics)

[Introduction, woman's voice over music] Welcome to Web Axe, practical web accessibility tips. Web Axe dot blogspot dot com. Web Axe. Web site accessibility. Web standards. Web Axe dot blogspot dot com.

(Dennis) Hello, and welcome to Web Axe, podcast #74, Awards, Events, and Back to Basics. This is Dennis.

(Ross) And this is Ross.

(Dennis) And we’re joining you today, for the first time, from Santa Cruz, California.

(Ross) Yes. Yes, a very accessible Santa Cruz now, because we’re here.

(Dennis) (laughs) Is this the first time we are doing a podcast together like physically in the same room?

(Ross) Yeh, I think so, I think so, which is kind of why we couldn’t figure out how we were actually going to record this at first.

(Dennis) Yeh, it was like we are not using Skype, how the hell are we going to record the podcast.

(Ross) Right, right, So, hopefully this works out, hope it works out pretty well. We did some audio tests and it seems to sound pretty good.

(Dennis) We’re going to use your Mac, so we should be good.

(Ross) Right, right, everything’s better on a Mac.

(Dennis) So, you want to mention real fast what you’re doing in Santa Cruz or what kind of fun you’ve had?

(Ross) Yeah, I’m here in Santa Cruz California.

Dennis: NorCal, baby.

(Ross) NorCal, yes not too far from where Dennis is

(Dennis) Just over the hill, from Cupertino.

(Ross) Right. It’s like a half hour drive, right?

(Dennis) Yeh, something like that.

(Ross) Yeh it’s not too bad. I flew in for some small business stuff but Figured, you know, when you’re from Michigan and you have a chance to go to California, you take a couple of extra days to do things like try to surf, which I’ve now done twice. And deep sea fishing, which is also pretty cool. So I’ve enjoyed NorCal. I like where you live.

(Dennis) Awesome, awesome. I heard you did well surfing and you caught three fish too.

(Ross) Yeh, yeh.

(Dennis) awesome

(Ross) I was successful in fishing. Actually, the hotel here was pretty nice of them, they even cooked it for me in a variety of different ways. So rather than have the fish go to waste, I had some nice fresh fish complements of the, what’s it called, the Chaminade Resort and Spa.

(Dennis) Yeh, that’s an awesome place to stay. Real nice rooms. (laughs)

(Ross) They get my approval.

(Dennis) So any ways, so this is the first time, it’s kind of funny, this our four year anniversary for web axe, I guess we’ve been podcasting, you joined about three years ago.

(Ross) Right.

(Dennis) so yeh, so this is the first time we are actually doing it, like we said, not remotely (laughs) pretty cool. It’s different.

(Ross) A milestone on many levels.

(Dennis) So anyways, yeh, so congrats to Web Axe for their four years, and, yeah, and we’re increasing growth steadily, in readership and listeners, so thank you out there to everybody listening.

(Ross) Yeh, we are actually getting close to podcast 100. although, doing it month by month I suppose, that’s going to take a little longer than two years or so? (laughs)

(Dennis) Yeah.

(Dennis) Slowly, but definitely surely.

(Ross) Right. I have faith we’ll hit that 100th episode mark.

(Dennis) Yeh, me too. So on another note, yeh, we have a great audience out there, and a great niche and potential for advertisers. So if anyone is interested, it’s only 150 dollars and we’ll put an add in the podcast for you and a mention on the blog.

(Ross) Yup. Our listeners are anything from web developers to web professionals, and people using the web.

(Dennis) Web standards, of course web accessibility advocates and experts.

(Ross) yeh. So a real opportunity to reach your target market.

(Dennis) And assistive technology users.

(Ross) yup, yup, and then the next thing, hopefully, all of the users, or listeners, have seen this and voted, but we were nominated in the 2009 .NET Awards, actually in two places.

(Dennis) Yeah, which is better than last year because last year was the first year that we were nominated for best podcast of the year, as we are this year. So, you know, go and check that out, and vote, like Ross suggested, if you haven’t. And what was the second nomination Ross?

(Ross) Alright, so they have what’s called the infamy award, which is the biggest blunders on the web or something like that.

(Dennis) Yeh, it’s like the booby prize.

(Ross) Right. And luckily it’s nothing that we did. But Dennis found, If you look at our CAPTCHA episode, there’s an example of a horribly inaccessible, unreadable CAPTCHA. I think it’s like 20 characters long or something like that.

(Dennis) Yeah.

(Ross) And so basically the .NET people thought that was pretty good. And that was also nominated. So, vote for us in both categories, so that we can win, both of them.

(Dennis) Yeah (laughs) But I don’t know, we’ll see if Boagworld pulls through again.

(Ross) Right.

(Dennis) Probably, they’re probably a favorite I assume.

(Ross) yeah.

(Dennis) They won last year.

(Ross) Tough competition, although I did notice that Paul Boag, of Boagworld is one of the judges.

(Dennis) Is he really?

(Ross) Yeh, Yeh, how fair is that?

(Dennis) Well maybe he’s not, maybe he’s not judging the podcast category.

(Ross) Well I’d hope not. (laughs)

(Dennis) That would be a conflict of interest.

(Dennis) But anyways. Well I’ve already won an award for Accessible Twitter!

(both say yay)

(Ross) That just happened recently, right?

(Dennis) Yes, This past week, the AccessIT 2009 awards. There was four categories, so Accessible Twitter, my baby this year, has won the prize, first prize for the Web 2.0 category. So that was great. And there was like a two day, what do you call it, I don’t know if it is a mini conference and awards show and stuff in London. And so, I contacted my Twitter friend Meera Tank, and, she represented me and Accessible Twitter, and gave a presentation at the awards. So thanks Meera for doing that. And the presentation is on SlideShare, if you want to check that out. And there’s a fully web accessible HTML version, and I’ll post the link for that. Well it’s already posted on the blog, if you haven’t already seen it. So, check that out.

(Ross) And your presentation got pretty popular on SlideShare, right?

(Dennis) Yeah, yeah, SlideShare had put it on the, featured list on the homepage, featured presentations and documents list. So, it was the first one on there for a while, the other day, and, so for the first like, what, four five days now it has almost 700 views? So check out that presentation, it’s pretty good. I’m talking about the shortcomings of web accessibility on Twitter and how handles those issues. And, that’s pretty much it. But, it’s a good, it’s a good presentation I think, definitely to check out.

(Ross) Well congratulations. Looks like the award that they gave you is pretty cool.

(Dennis) Yeah. Yeh, Mira has it in London. It’s like a nice heavy crystal glass led thing. (laughs) I don’t know. She said she’d take a picture of it and send it to me (laughs) , so. (laughs) That was pretty nice.

(Ross) Some day I imagine you’ll actually have it in your hands?

(Dennis) Yeh, hopefully.

(Ross) Good excuse to go to London, if nothing else.

(Dennis) Yeh, yeh, love to take a trip out there.

(very brief musical pause with male voice saying Web Axe)

(Dennis) Any good articles lately Ross going on?

(Ross) Yeh there’s a few of them. You know there’s so much kind of going on lately with you know, different levels of browser support, and CSS3 is getting more popular, and HTML5.

(Dennis) Yeh there’s lots of stuff going around accessibility, and HTML5.

(Ross) What are the implications.

(Dennis) Aria and everything else, there’s a lot of stuff happening right now. It’s an exciting time.

(Ross) So I did come across one article that talks about HTML5 and then the canvas element And how that relates to accessibility. This is a huge, kind of potential open hole in accessibility in HTML5 because the canvas element, now you can do so much with it. With that you’ll be able to draw entire interfaces and that sort of thing through HTML. But there isn’t, you know, good ways to designate what things actually are, from accessibility standpoint. So, if you drew your menu with the canvas element, you might not be able to identify that as a menu, which, if you have a screen reader of course, what are you going to do? Or if you have motor disabilities and you’re using an assistive device, what are you going to do?

(Dennis) Yeah. I was never too keen on that canvas idea, I’m still not so sure about it. I mean.

(Ross) Yeah, I mean it seems like there is a lot of potential there. You know you can do a lot of cool stuff with it, but they just haven’t figured how to do it in a way that is accessible, and that’s a huge problem.

(Dennis) I mean what is the advantage over like SVG?

(Ross) I think it is supposed to be a better SVG? I’m not, I’m not exactly sure how it’s better. But a lot of those like font replacement techniques end up using the canvas element on some level.

(Dennis) Huh, well I guess we’ll find out more about it soon.

I came across an article, it’s an interview with Jamie Knight, Autism and Accessible Web design.

(Ross) Yeh, I read through this one, I thought it was pretty interesting. It kind of strays from the traditional, sort of viewpoint, as far as accessibility, screen readers or assistive devices.

(Dennis) Yeh. A lot of people talk about, especially the visually impaired.

(Ross) Right.

(Dennis) Or you know being hearing impaired. And sometimes, you know, mobility impairments. But hardly ever, you know, talk about the cognitive impairments and things like that. It’s most least popular and most difficult area of web accessibility.

(Ross) right.

(Dennis)So, this is a nice personal article from someone who has autism and discussing and just, she does web design as well. So, she answers questions about, you know, which sites she finds most difficult, and just different issues around that.

(Ross) Yeh, it’s pretty interesting some of the things that you might not necessarily think about that could be an accessibility problem . She talked about how, there’s a potential to be overwhelmed if there’s a lot going on. It’s interesting, it’s good to know that potentially could cause an overwhelming in somebody who has a cognitive disability, you don’t want to make it hard for them to think about what they should be doing on a page. Of course there’s always going to an extreme with flashing and seizures like that. So yeh, it’s a good article. It really makes you think and definitely an area of accessibility you shouldn’t forget about.

(Dennis) Definitely.

Ok next article, Are PDFs More Important Than Web Accessibility. And did you read that whole article?

(Ross) I didn’t.


(Dennis) I didn’t either. (laughs)

(Ross) but it sounds important.

(Dennis) I think that one of the arguments was that PDFs are maybe more popular but less accessible than the web, like in general.

(Ross) That could be.

(Dennis) You know, you know that people aren’t paying attention to PDFs nearly as much as they should. You know like web accessibility is starting to become more popular, and so, maybe now PDF accessibility needs more attention.

(Ross) Yeah there’s some real, kind of side-benefits to making your PDFs accessible because it does a lot with search engines to actually read through them and to figure out what sort of information’ is there. And I’m noticing more and more that PDFs will actually show up in search results for more kinds of specific things. So, yeah, it’s good just to make sure that people who download them can use them.


(Ross) But also yeh, it can also get you more traffic, and more downloads of those PDFs. I assume you’re putting them online so people can red them? I’d assume?

(Dennis) Yeh. The article starts off stating: “we recently did an audit of a website where probably close to 99% of all the information it contained were in downloadable documents, mostly PDFs.” So, I mean it’s a good preface for the article saying that if you’re downloading a lot of information, and a lot of people do this from the internet, like PDF documents and everything, that obviously the PDFs should be accessible. But at the same time, hard core critics will tell you, and I kind of agree, that, you know, all your information on the web should be in some kind of HTML format. The PDFs should just be like, you know like an added bonus, for more like pretty stuff, or more maybe more detailed stuff.

(Ross) I could see it like if you had a nice printable version that you want to be, a nice flyer kind of thing where just a print style sheet maybe wouldn’t do the trick. But yeh, I agree,

(Dennis) I mean if you have charts and pretty stuff in your PDF, that’s fine, you could probably make that accessible. But I mean you could just put a data table on your web page. That’s not that difficult.

(Ross) Or use some graphics if it’s a chart with the right alt text or long description. So there are definitely ways of doing it. I struggle to think of too many examples of a PDF that you couldn’t just put into an HTML document. And, in that case, I mean, the side benefits again, it’s going to be much more searchable and rank a lot higher, and you’ll get more traffic.

(Dennis) It’s funny how all this stuff gets back to just and we’ll talk about this in a little bit, but just the basic things, kind of like the theme for this podcast, is like. Where do you start when you make an accessible PDF. Well you start with the same thing to make an accessible Word file, or HTML file: proper headings, alternative text for images, you know lists for lists, and data tables. And I mean, why can’t anybody do that. (laughs)

So anyways ok, I’ll rant about that more in a few minutes.


(Dennis) Ok, I wanted to mention one last article. And I haven’t read through this one entirely either but it’s about the Paciello Group has an article out about Google’s chrome Frame for IE.

(Ross) Oh right, oh right.

(Dennis) They put out an article saying how that there’s like a big accessibility black hole. Did you see that article?

(Ross) No, no, I’ve definitely heard criticism for the Chrome frame for IE. So essentially the idea is that Google released a plug in, is it JavaScript based? Or something built into the browser?

(Dennis) I’m not sure how (a computer beeps in the background) technically it works, but actually at the Open Web group yesterday I met and spoke to a couple of times, one of the main guys who programmed that thing.

(Ross) Oh really.

(Dennis) Yeh and there was some talk about like one there was one session about trying to get developers trying to get people to upgrade their browsers and the problems with that. And this particular guy like attended that session and. Ooo. Couple of people got into it a little bit. And there was, you know, representation from opera. Then there was one guy who said all developers use Firefox, It was getting kind of heated, and the room was already hot, because there was no air conditioning. (laughs) Any ways.

(Ross) Almost a brawl at the open Web Camp huh.

(Dennis) Well I wouldn’t say that, but yeah, it got a little steamy.

(Ross) So the plug-in, what it does basically it makes IE take advantage of a lot of the things that Chrome does, is that correct?

(Dennis) Yeh, it’s basically, it uses the chrome rendering engine basically, to, but it’s opt in, which is the good part of it. There’s two opt ins. The first opt-in is that the user has to, you know, put it in the browser, install the plug-in. But the second opt-in, which is, you have to mention of course is that, the website or web page has to have a certain like metatag or something.

(Ross) Oh, ok.

(Dennis) So you know, so a site, even if you have the plug in and you go to say if they don’t have the metatag, then it won’t use it.

(Ross) Got it.

(Dennis) So if the webmaster or developer or decides to put this metatag to use Chrome, only then will it use the Chrome frame. SO the user has to have it installed, and the developer has to put the tag in the site to use Chrome instead of IE.

(Ross) Yeh, interesting. I’m assuming their goal was to give users who are stuck on IE for some reason, they are not allowed to install another browser.

(Dennis) Exactly.

(Ross) A way to to have a better rendering engine I guess?

(Dennis) Yeah, cuz some people either can’t afford you know upgrading their windows system, or they’re stuck in some huge company where they can’t upgrade because it takes a long time. What have you, you know.

(Ross) Don’t have access to the technology for one reason or another, and they’re stuck on.

(Dennis) But the point of the whole thing is I mean there’s good issues and bad issues with that. But, apparently one of the bad issues is this black hole in accessibility. So, we’ll post a link obviously to this podcast, blog entry, so check it out. Leave a comment.

(Ross) Yeah. Let us know what you think of Google Chrome Frame for IE.

(Dennis) Yeh, and if you have any experience with the accessibility of it, we’d love to hear it.

(Ross) Absolutely.

(very brief musical pause with male voice saying Web Axe)

(Ross) So there’s a lot of events and conferences going on, which is great. Some of them are accessibility focused, and some have accessibility as a part of them, but not specifically focused. But the first one happened yesterday, right?

(Dennis) Yes. What’s the date. (laughs).

(Ross) Today is, we’re recording this on the 27th.

(Dennis) So that was yesterday, Saturday September 26 at Stanford University in Palo Alto California. And, I’ve lived here two years, and this was the first time I was actually on campus. It’s a beautiful campus.

(Ross) Imagine, a lot of money going in there. They can certainly afford it.

(Dennis) And Yes so John Foliot, who works at Stanford, helped put this together, and Opera was one of the main sponsors. And, yeh it was a fun event. You know, it was an unconference. So, Molly spoke, at the beginning.

(Ross) Which Yep, which is Molly Holzschlag from I think that’s how you say it right?

(Dennis) Yeh I think so.

(Ross) From so she is a standards advocate.

(Dennis) Who now works for Opera.

(Ross) Now works for opera, used to work for Microsoft.

(Dennis) And then Guy Kawasaki wrapped up the day.

(Ross) Right, who is a well-known web entrepreneur.

(Dennis) And Twitterer.

(Ross) Yep. You said he Twittered 50 times a day.

(Dennis) 20 to 50 times a day.

(Ross) That’s a lot of tweeting.

(Dennis) Oh the part I didn’t tell you though is that he has, he does all his tweeting, his tweets, except, a lot of his tweets are he recommends are links. He recommends articles, or whatever to read, and he says those particular links like a lot of them, he has a team of three people who search for like good articles and links, and they tweet for him.

(Ross) Interesting.

(Dennis) Yeh, but all his personal like tweets, like you know, are directly from him.

(Ross) He’s like got like a twitter team who runs the Guy Kawasaki account. I could use that. (laughs)

(Ross) Always wondered how that would work.  Is there going to be someone standing over your shoulder watching what you do at lunch? (laughs) I’m now recording a podcast.

(Dennis) Yeh the event was pretty good. After Molly, I spoke on Twitter and web accessibility of twitter and and that went over well. And you could view that presentation also on SlideShare.

(Ross) Yeh, I’ve only been to one unconference before. I thought it was pretty cool. The idea is that there’s no preset speakers or topics.

(Dennis) Right. There was no agenda. I mean they had the two keynote speakers but that was about it.

(Ross) Ah right, make sense.

(Dennis) Then in between during the day you just signup and put like a posted note on the time and room that you want to speak and the subject. It was pretty cool.

(Ross) What ever anyone wants to talk about anyone can do so. You only have to listen to what sounds good to you and if not, you can start your own topic.

(Dennis) Yeh, and then they had a couple of openings they call them lightening sessions, only if you just want to get up for five minutes and rant about something. (laughs)

(Ross) Sounds like fun. Did anyone do it?

(Dennis) A few people, not as many as I’d hope. Yeh it was pretty cool, obviously was a lot of talk about standards and HTML5 and you know a lot of talk about web accessibility and stuff. So, it was a good session. It was a good camp.

(Ross) I could imagine those lightning sessions especially with a web standards groups, people saying I hate IE.

(Dennis) Yeah, I mean there was definitely a lot of kind of open source support.


But yeh, it was cool, Opera had like sticker giveaways, there was Mozilla like pins. I might have one for you.


(Ross) Cool. That would be awesome.

(Dennis) Yeh, and there was lunch provided and stuff so it was a good time. But anyways, we have lots of other events going on this fall. So, a few already happened in September. But there’s actually a couple of free events in October in Washington d.C. So, thanks Jennison, for FYI-ing me on these events for letting me know. The first one is October 5 and 6. What is it? Interagency Disability Educational Awareness Showcase.

(Ross) IDEAS

(Dennis) IDEAS for short. that’s better, IDEAS 2009 at the Marvin center, George Washington University. Says for anyone who wants to learn more about and network with folks who need to meet Section 508 requirements.

(Ross) Right on. And the next one is Accessibility Camp DC, see that’s a nice short, easy to remember and say name. They could teach the IDEAS people a thing or two about accessible names. Nah, just kidding. And that’s October 10 at the Martin Luther King Library. And this is a barcamp, which is another type of unconference. And it’s for people who work or who have an interest in IT Accessibility. So that’ll be pretty cool to go to, and see, if you’re near D.C. or feel like seeing D.C.

(Dennis) Yeh, totally.

(Ross) And then we have a few other ones that are coming up in October.

(Dennis) Let’s see. Yeah October 12 to 13, An Event Apart Chicago at the Sheraton Towers. So, An Event Apart is always a great one to attend.

(Ross) It’s put on by the Happy Cog people, and they also do a List Apart website. So yeh usually a lot of really good big speakers and good information there. I’ve never actually been to one but I’ve heard good things.

(Dennis) Yeh I’ve been to the last two in San Francisco.

(Ross) Were they pretty good?

(Dennis) Yeh they were both good. You know, real good speakers and real good content and they always had nice lunches.


(Ross) That’s important.

(Dennis) And good networking. Yeh, those are good events. You know A lot about just web standards and the cutting-edge things. I highly recommend that one. But I also highly recommend the next one.

(Ross) Which is the 12th Annual Accessing Higher Ground: Accessible Media Web and Technology conference and that’s November 10 through the 14 in Westminster Colorado USA.

(Dennis) It’s right outside of Denver.

(Ross) Ok. And the keynote speaker is T.V. Raman, is that it?

(Dennis) I guess that’s how you pronounce the name. I don’t know.

(Ross) So he’s a research scientist at Google.

(Dennis) Yeh, and this is an event I’m speaking at this year, and spoke at last year also. It’s hosted by the university of Colorado. Last year it was pretty much almost all on campus in Boulder. But this year, it’s in Westminster, which is in between like Denver and Boulder at a real nice looks like a real nice hotel and resort place. So, yeh, I’m excited. I’ll be speaking of course about Accessible Twitter on I think I’m speaking on the 12. The 10 and 11 Tuesday and Wednesday is like the preconference workshops. And then Thursday is the 12 I believe is when I’m speaking Thursday morning, at like 9:15 or something. Then it goes Friday and a half day Saturday. So, and it’s not expensive at all. So if you can make it out to Denver I’d recommend it. The actual conference fee is only like 350 dollars or 400 dollars or something.

(Ross) Which is pretty low for a conference these days.

(Dennis) Yeah, and it’s two and a half days so definitely worth the money. And yeah, the focus of the conference is well obviously accessibility, but it’s more focused more on like assistive technologies and like, accessibility at like, at learning institutions, and e-learning and things like that. So that’s a little bit more on the focus of that one.

(Ross) Got you. Sounds like a good one. I’ll see if I can make it out there to see your speech.

(Dennis) Are you just saying that or?


(Ross) Well it would depend on the time. I’ve always wanted to see Colorado, I hear particularly Boulder is pretty nice.

(Dennis) Boulder is awesome, very nice. It’s a very cool, I call it the Ann Arbor of the west.


(Ross) I’ve heard that before. There are very few places like Ann Arbor, Boulder is one of them.

(Dennis) Yeh. Oh, we got one more just a mention. An Event Apart also the one in San Francisco is a little later this year it is December 7 and 8, which I think was at the Palace Hotel last year and also this year downtown San Francisco.

(Ross) So this is another one put on by the Event Apart Group, except this one is in San Francisco, so if you’re in California and nearby, that’s a good one to check out. And then, on the other coast, Future of Web design 2009 is going on in New York City and that’s being put on by the Carsonified people.

(Dennis) Oh.

(Ross) I hear those are pretty good too. I might try to make that one also.

(DENNIS) Cool man.

(Ross) I think that one is pretty reasonable, it’s a one day event I want to say 300 bucks.

(Dennis) Oh, it’s one day?

(Ross) Yeh I think it’s a one day I think they’ve got a workshop and sessions too. But there’s some.

(Dennis) Dan Cederholme, Jason Santa Maria, Molly Holzschlag.

 (Ross) Holzschlag. Elliot Jay Stocks recently wrote the book Sexy Web design. So they talk a lot about, you know, kind of new things that are going on. I see one of the presentations is Accessibility for a Web 2.0 World, so that might be a good one to check out also.

(Dennis) It says November 16 and 17.

(Ross) Yep.

(Dennis) So it’s two days.

(Ross) Yeh. Let’s see, I think the first day might be the workshop. Yeh I think the first day is the workshop, all day. The second day is the presentations.

(Dennis) Ooo, I like that, go up a little? (laugh) A little more. Progressive Enrichment with CSS3.

(Ross) ooo

(Dennis) Oh I like that Progressive Enrichment with CSS3. Ok.

(Ross) that’s by Dan Cederholme.

(Dennis) Go down, there was another eye-catching one.

(Ross) Accessibility in a Web 2.0 World which is Derek Featherstone.

(Dennis) Oh well that sounds good. And, there’s another relevant we talked about yesterday. Another relevant one HTML5 killed XHTML 2. You know the XHTML2

(Ross) Working Group

(Dennis) It expires at the end of this year, December 31 or what have you and it’s not being continued. It will be over so HTML5 is it. HTML5 is getting heated with all of the debates going into it, because its going to be the next huge thing, cuz as Molly was saying yesterday, like it doesn’t only update HTML4, but it’s the new update for XHTML and it’s the new update for the dom, also. You know and then it’s addressing or it’s going to try to address video, you know, and it’s going to try and address this canvas thing that we were talking about, and it’s just going to be huge.

(Ross) Yeah, its kind of a very complicated spec right now. Even so much as there is going to be form field validation within the HTML which is interesting.

(Dennis) Oh yeah, the idea is that you just put a validate attribute and then the browser’s supposed to validate.

(Dennis) Which makes it easier for us.


(Ross) Less work for us developers. I like it.

(Dennis) Does that mean you should still do server-side?


(Ross) I don’t know. I guess it would depend on

(Dennis) Because if it doesn’t require JavaScript well I suppose. Well l I guess you’d still need server-side if your browser doesn’t support, support HTML5.

(Ross) I think we will probably have to up to, up to a point.

(Dennis) Because HTML5 not like HTML4 XHTML2, HTML5 is backward compatible. SO if you’re browser is an HTML5 browser, it still should, still support HTML4.

(Ross) Right.

(Dennis) Which doesn’t have validate attributes so you, you would still need to do server-side. So you’d still need to do server-side if JavaScript isn’t enabled.


(Dennis) Getting off topic.

(Ross) SO that should be a good one.

(Dennis) Looks awesome.

(Ross) I’ll see if I can find the price real quick before we move on. It’s taking a while so, let’s just move on you can look it up. It’s not too expensive. Future of Web design 2009.

(brief musical pause with male voice saying Web Axe)

(Ross) Alright, so our main segment today.


(Ross) Which is back to basics.

(Dennis) Yeh, so consider this a refresher if you’re an experienced web accessibility developer or coder or, an introduction, if you’re a novice.

(Ross) And it’s always good to kind of go back and reacquaint yourself with the kind of the basics, you know the building blocks and then dig into the advanced.

(Dennis) And sometimes you can get too far ahead of yourself if you are studying HTML5 and stuff or sometimes you know, maybe, if this isn’t the main part of your job, you know, maybe you’re falling behind. So you want to catch up.

(Ross) Yep, especially you know it wasn’t too long ago that WCAG 2 came out, things changed slightly, as far as how we should go about assuring that our sites are accessible.

(Dennis) Yeah, there’s two main ideas I want to talk about, posh and the WCAG 2. SO, the WCAG 2, I was thinking we could cover all the different areas, but it’s more of a general guideline really than WCAG 1 so I’d figure we’d cover POUR p o u r, before we do the rest. And, it’s the basic concept behind WCAG 2 and that is you want to make your website perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust.

(Ross) Yup, so, I find that as I’m developing a site I kind of keep these things in mind. It keeps me a lot further ahead of the curve. When I go back and take a closer look

(Dennis) Yeh, it’s good to have these ideas and notions like in the back of your mind, every day when you’re coding.

(Ross) Right. And so those words by themselves don’t kind of make a whole lot of sense, so we can kind of talk about each one a little bit. So the first one is perceivable, and the idea here is that you know, none of the interface elements should be invisible to any of the users for any reason.

(Dennis) In other words one example would be, don’t use the display none.


(Ross) That would be an extreme example. Yeah, don’t turn the interface off.


(Ross) But it could be you know, JavaScript menus. If users didn’t have JavaScript enabled, that makes that whole menu invisible pretty quick.

(Dennis) Another good example.

(Ross) So that would be a problem. And then they can’t use the website or you know potentially Flash, could be invisible.

(Dennis) Another good example. So, yeh, like with Flash, you know, put a graphic there, and then use progressive enhancement. Replace your graphic with Flash.

(Ross) Right. Or you could potentially have a whole HTML, if it’s a navigation item, for example, you could have a whole net HTML nav there, and replace that with JavaScript and flash. So yeh, that would be progressive enhancement.

(Dennis) Ok. SO the next one, operable, users must be able to interact with the interface.

(Ross) Yep, so there’s a few things there. I think the one, the example that sticks to my mind is that I heard a presentation once, that was talking about this, where the ALT attribute of a button was different than the text and a user who had motor disability was speaking into a microphone that was supposed to recognize what he was saying and then click on that item. And because it was misspelled, he couldn’t actually operate with that piece of the interface. So that’s, you know, kind of one example where the user actually has to be able to interact and use the interface, and that could potentially be ensuring that it’s tab friendly.

(Dennis) Yeh, that’s what your example just reminded me of. The one big obvious one is the, you know, keyboard accessibility, in that if you don’t have a mouse, your website should still be operable i.e., the keyboard.

(Ross) Right. I’m sure there’s some kind of extreme cases where everything overlaps and you can’t tab on things, or certain low resolution or it shouldn’t be technology dependent in order to operate. Which could kind of go back to the whole Flash or JavaScript as well.

(Dennis) Yeh, especially if it’s proprietary, right?


(Dennis) Alright, so the next idea is understandable. Users must be able to understand the information and the interface.

(Ross) So this could be a cognitive sort of thing, just like we were talking about the article earlier with autism,

(Dennis) Or it could be just that say maybe the navigation, you know, is terribly inconsistent and is just you know, too difficult where it just changes around so much that you confuse the user.

(Ross) Right, right, that’s a good point, this is kind of a good place where accessibility and usability overlap because yeh, you can make some weird mystery navigation where you don’t know what button takes you where, sort of thing.

(Dennis) Or you don’t, like, it doesn’t say you know on the page anywhere your user name that you’re logged in under Or just you know all those easy usability things that get overlooked too often. Or, even just as simple as the language you’re using, you know, you want to make sure it’s appropriate for your audience.

(Ross) Right, right, yeh because there’s a lot of situations that yeh just using, over advanced language could hurt accessibility. Think about cognitive sort of situations, I mean even adult ADD could be a reason to try and simplify some of the words and the language you are using.

(Dennis) Or people like English or whatever language you are using is a second language for your user. Or you know, obviously too many technical terms or what have you.

(Ross) Mhm. I kind of feel I think that this one gets overlooked a little more than it should. I think most people who care about accessibility make sure that, you know, they can perceive and operate a website, but they may not go through the steps to make sure that it’s really understandable.

(Dennis) Yeh, we kind of eluded to that earlier, with that article about the cognitive disabilities it’s overlooked. It’s a little more difficult to address, but I mean, making the language more simple, is one of the more easier things to address, I think?

So the last one is robust. Your website should be usable by a wide range of user agents, like browsers, and assistive technologies.

(Ross) It seems like, you know, this gets more and more something we should pay attention to. Everyday we’re getting online with so many different things such as iPhones, to Nintendo Wii or

(Dennis) ie6

(Ross) ie6 (laughs)

(Dennis) Or lynx browsers or you know, you know on-screen keyboard users and all kinds of stuff. So I think the more the web grows, and the more devices that are being used to access the web, I mean, it’s just bigger and bigger reason to make your website accessible and use web standards and make it robust

(Ross) Exactly.

(Dennis) Plus it makes it easier for you, if you want to put that data somewhere else.

(Ross) right, right,

(Dennis) Share the data and all kinds of stuff.

(Ross) You can use that data in all kinds of ways, or if you want to start focusing on different market and target it’s already built to be robust. It’s much easier to make a mobile friendly version of the site if it’s already pretty mobile friendly.

(Dennis) Yeh, if you’ve got the content separated from your style and separate from your behavior, you’re good to go.

(Ross) Exactly. That’s kind of the main idea for the WCAG 2. Just remember pour.

(Dennis) That’s our WCAG 2 refresher.


(Dennis) Now, the second refresher before we go and do a few more specific things is a term I’ve always liked, posh.

(Ross) Yes, let’s be posh.

(Dennis) P o s h .

(Ross) It’s fun to say, which is why I like to say it.

(Dennis) Posh.

(Ross) Semantic HTML is very, very posh.

(Dennis) Plane old semantic HTML, p o s h.

(Ross) Yeah, so the idea is, you know it’s kind of the frame or the structure of your documents that your creating and just you know, put the time in needed to make sure that you build the document properly with semantics and correct use of HTML, and that sort of thing.

(Dennis) Yeh, so this is the content portion of your website. So the HTML or HTML5 or XHTML or what ever and you want to use just plane old semantic HTML. You want to code it semantically. So, use this is one of my pet peeves, so

(laughs) Hopefully a lot of peoples’ pet peeves. And what we mean by that is, code your content for what it is. So, if you have a heading, you know, mark it as a heading. Don’t mark it with a bold tag, or a paragraph and bold tag if it’s a heading. Please mark it as a heading. So, and all this stuff if you’re not in the know, is you know, is not only good for web standards and web accessibility, but it’s also good for like SEO, and you know, if you want to use this content for other sources or data and stuff, good reasons to do this. So anyways, yeh, so besides, do you want to say anything more about headings?

(Ross) Yeah.

(Dennis) You could probably talk for a while. (laughs)

(Ross) Well, Dennis wrote down “use headings and use them properly” and I love the “use it properly” because I think we’ve all seen a website where every heading is a different H1 with a different class, and that’s what’s making them bigger or smaller.

(laughs) It kind of defeats the purpose. Not sure if people do it for SEO thinking that more H1s is better, or what, but yeh, you should really have

(Dennis) Hopefully, I’m hoping it’s ignorance.

(Ross) Me two. So you really should have like a, a hierarchy to your headings. There should be an H1 and then H2s and if there’s a subheading there, then you get to an H3, but it shouldn’t all be random or chosen based on style, like you should choose H5 for small.

(Dennis) You should mark it all up properly, mark your content properly first.

(Ross) right

(Dennis) And then after that, add in your CSS and JavaScript and stuff after. So if you’re marking up all the content first, then it’s pretty easy. You just mark it as like I don’t want to say outline format, but you know, you’re heading for your article or what have you is an H1 or maybe the name of your site, and then you know your subsections or subheadings of the article H2 and so on and so forth, and your paragraphs, what do you mark your paragraph.

(Ross) You mean the P tag? (laughs)

(Dennis) Yeah. I was just messing with you. (laughs)

(Ross) Oh, ok, (laughs)

(Dennis) Use P for paragraph.

(Ross) Yes. It’s an important one. (laughs)

(Dennis) I knew you knew the answer.

(Ross) Thought that was a trick question. (laughs)

(Dennis) No, it wasn’t a trick question.

(Ross) What are you setting me up for. (laughs) This is one that I don’t quite see much any more, but it used to be really big, block quotes for quotes and not indentation. There used to be a lot of web authoring software that if you wanted to indent you put it in a block quote tag, because one of the things it does is indent.

(Dennis) Yu know what’s really weird? It’s really disappointing, I’m a Dreamweaver advocate you know, and I like all of the features of it and stuff, but I do have one gripe, I tweeted about it the other day is, in the properties bar at the bottom if you’re marking up your content? If you want to do a block quote, you know what the tooltip is for that icon?

(Ross) What?

(Dennis) It says indent.

(Ross) ooooo

(Dennis) I’m like what? This is CSS4, Dreamweaver cs4 I’m like, no way.


(Dennis) Yeh, yeh, so that was apparently someone looked over that.

(Ross) Yeh, you’re hurting us Adobe, what are you doing, breaking my heart.


(Dennis) But anyways, so, what else. Use lists for lists. (laughs)

 (Ross) That’s a good one, and for menus.

(Dennis) So if you have a list of items, use a UL or OL tag with LIs.

(Ross) Versus doing 1. 2. I’ve even seen people do it the bold tag to do the character, the bullet to do bulleted lists, without actually doing.

(Dennis) To do what?

(Ross) So you know in html you can have your character codes? Yeh, I’ve seen people do the character code for a bullet to do a bulleted list rather than do an actual unordered list.


(Ross) So,

(Dennis) Or a lot of times, I’ve seen they put a hyphen or something, which I suppose is ok, but it’s definitely not optimal.

(Ross) Right, right, it doesn’t mark it up as an actual list.

(Dennis) Right. And, you know, if you wanted a special bullet or graphic or what ever, then don’t put it in as a graphic, just mark it up as a list like we just said, and use CSS because that is your style so use CSS to change those bullets.

(Ross) Exactly. Exactly. It’s much easier to do it that than having a whole bunch of images. And don’t forget about definition lists. Those aren’t used as much as they probably could be.

(Dennis) Yeh, I love the definition list. Your DT, DDs and DLs, especially because of DLs.


(Dennis) That’s my initials. (laughs)

(Ross) It does make it much better.

(Dennis) Yeah, we’ve talked about these before what are some examples of where you use a definition list. Well the obvious one is like a dictionary kind of thing, a glossary, where you have the terms DTs, is your definition term, then your DD is you’re the actual definition of that term, that’s where it comes from.

(Ross) And I’ve actually seen it used pretty well to define service offerings? So DT would be the name of the service, and DD would be like the elements of what that service offering is. So if you set web design, you’d say accessibility audits accessible coding, blablabla.

(Dennis) That’s a good one.

(Ross) I thought that was a clever use. There’s a lot of ways you can use definition lists, just keep your mind open to it.

(Dennis) That’s for sure.

(Ross) And then use strong and em instead of the b and I tags for bold and italic.

(Dennis) Right. And, the only exception I could think of to that is if its like the name of a magazine, or something like that, where that should be italicized?

(Ross) Right.

(Dennis) Am I right? Because you’re not emphasizing the name of a magazine but it should be italicized? I can’t really think of any other cases.

(Ross) The only other case, and it’s kind of a, a close call between if it would make sense to use a b tag or span tag, I think the idea is that b and I are presentation only, whereas strong and em actually have some sort of semantic meaning. But maybe if you’re doing like a drop-cap where you really don’t want to put more emphasis on the first letter, but it is kind of visual sort of thing, where you have HTML make that first letter really big or kind of that style, which is kind of a visual or presentation thing.

(Dennis) So you’re saying like a span or b maybe.

(Ross) Yeh, yeh, a span is probably a little less controversial but the b tag maybe could work in that situation.

(Dennis) I suppose, I might be able to play along with that.


(Dennis) But I would probably argue in that case I think we’re maybe at the time where you can say well I’m just going to use CSS pseudo element.

(Ross) Yeh, that’s true.

(Dennis) You know for like progressive enhancement kind of deal, and if your browser doesn’t support that, then forget it.

(Ross) Right. That’s a good point. And tables for tabular data.

(Dennis) Right. Don’t forget that tables are good for tabular data. (laughs)

(Ross) Right.

(Dennis) So if you actually have a data table, use a table. And you know of course mark it up correctly with your headings and scopes or your headers and scopes.

(Ross) Yeh I actually maybe you have too, come across a few websites where it’s like people have gone out of there way not to use tables when they probably should have for data, using unordered lists and spans and stuff like that.

(Dennis) Crazy divs and spans, what the oh, oh my God.

(Ross) More accessible if they did use tables. Yes in the right situation, tables aren’t bad, they are your friend.


(Ross) Just don’t use them for layout.

(Dennis) Exactly. Ok, so that covers the main points for using, being posh. For writing your plane old semantic HTML. And we just have a few other things to talk about cuz we don’t want to take up too much time. We still have to go to Santa Cruz and drink a couple of beers. (laughs)

(Ross) Absolutely, that’s a requirement. So sorry if everybody wants to hear us talk more, the beer calls.

(Dennis) I think we’ve covered a lot of it already, but lets just cover a few more things definitely worth mentioning for our recap here of your basic accessibility development. (laughs)

(Ross) So one of them is use alternate text for non-textual elements. And this is actually a pretty huge debate about HTML5 right? The ALT attribute may not be required?

(Dennis) Yeh, I think it’s still going back and forth, so but I mean I’m not worried about it. I’m just sticking to my guns and saying, well you know, HTML5 isn’t going to be, well, it’s starting to come out on the web, but it won’t be dominating the web for years and years to come I think, so for a while, I’m still going to be saying don’t forget your ALT attribute (Dennis slightly yells).

(Ross) (laughs) Please it’s soo easy to do. (laughs)

(Dennis) A lot of people remember and don’t do it correctly.

(Ross) Right, I think that’s the trickier part, it’s to really make sure it’s done right.

(Dennis) And I know we’ve done a podcast one or two talking a lot about this, so maybe we could link to it, or go find it, if I forget to.

(Ross) Do a search if it’s not there. You may have had too many beers by then.

(Dennis) (Laughs) So basically mostly what we’re talking about is images. So if you have an image, you know, that’s not there for purely decoration, then you want to put an ALT attribute on that image tag and describe you know briefly, hopefully you know between about 5 and 15 words, what that image is. 5 and 20 words or so?

(Ross) Yeah, Yeah.

(Dennis) And then if you can’t do that, then, you should still describe it, but also provide the alternative text in a different format. So either just with a hyperlink or just on the page itself, or through a long description attribute.

(Ross) Yeah. And then kind of a big one lately has been the whole CAPTCHA, which we talked about before. But obviously, this potentially could be a huge accessibility barrier if somebody’s trying to register with something on your site, fill out a form, and have images turned off, or for what ever reason can’t see that CAPTCHA.

(Dennis) Like if the user is blind.

(Ross) Right. You’re choosing a pretty common one. You have to have some sort of alternative there. That is typically audio.

(Dennis) Yeh, a lot of people are using audio now. And the reCAPTCHA service is getting really popular. It’s a pretty solid service. I think one thing I had against it was that it requires JavaScript?

(Ross) Yeh, does it?

(Dennis) I believe so. I believe so, so if you don’t have JavaScript, then it’s not going to work. So I mean, yeh, that’s a whole other debate right there. I mean there are alternatives around it though, you know, but then there’s arguments against those too.


(Dennis) Like, well I guess you could ask the users what color, you know, what color is the water, or what’s 3 times 7, or something. But then some people will say but you have cognitive issues, people with cognitive impairments, so yeh. This is a debate ongoing.

(Ross) The one I’ve been using lately that I think works pretty well is that you actually have a form element that is hidden most of the time, but the label says something like, don’t fill this in. And so it’s kind of a trick, the bots are going to try and fill everything they can, and if it does get filled in, then that’s when you flag it. But at least you know some body has a screen reader it’s going to say don’t fill in this form element. A little confusing, still I’m sure, but it’s clever.

(Dennis) Yeh, that’s a good one. So ok, what else. We’ve talked about tables.

(Ross) Yup. So make sure you build your tables correctly, which means using summary, a caption, using table headings, defining scope.

(Dennis) Scope equals row or scope equals column for your headings, headers. Headers

(Ross) Actually the newer versions of Dreamweaver has this built in. I found that pretty nice.

(Dennis) That’s pretty good. And then forms.

(Ross) Oh forms.

(Dennis) Yes forms.

(Ross) I hate working with forms, but you know they’re so important to our business.

(Dennis) I like working with forms.

(Ross) Really? Can’t stand it.

(Dennis) I think it’s fun.

(Ross) I try to have other people do my forms for me. That’s work I try to off-load.


(Dennis) Forms, let’s start with the first thing, well you know you’ve got your form tag, that’s pretty straight forward, then you have your fieldset tag. Some people say you should always have a fieldset and legend, some people say that if it’s a short form, it’s not required. What do you say.

(Ross) If it’s pretty short, I will leave it out. But I kind of think it’s good practice regardless just to do it, unless there’s some kind of compelling reason. And this is probably one of the things I could be better myself about you know always using them. But when I think about it, I think it’s a good idea. It’s not hurting anything to put it there.

(Dennis) I think I’d say the same thing. I used to say that if your form was short then you don’t need a fieldset or legend, but it is nice just like you said, It’s not hurting anything and to be consistent, you know. And so if you’re unfamiliar what that is, the fieldset is usually on most browsers will render it like as the box around your form and the legend is the label for that box or the label of that section of the form. So if you have a longer form, you could segment the form into two three for five sections, so it’s easier to navigate, through for any body.

(Ross) Yeh and even if it’s a short form you know just to have the box contact us, groups it altogether , from a cognitive standpoint makes it a bit more comprehensive. So, it’s a good idea.

(Dennis) And then the label tag, you know, you want to wrap around the label for your form elements. So properly so if it says name, you want to put the label tag using IDs and for attributes to tie that together with your name input field.

(Ross)Right. So I think that’s a good point just because you have something wrapped in a label tag, doesn’t mean it’s accessible, you do need to use the for attribute so that you can associate that label with the proper text or proper input.

(Dennis) Now I’ve heard that if you have name, and you have the field , last name, and then the field, people will say, that’s accessible. (battery alarm starts sounding) I’d say yeh, that’s my battery running out, I’d say, on my computer, we’re recording on Ross’ computer (laughs)

(Ross) The podcast won’t end suddenly.

(Dennis) Some people say that’s accessible, that’s fine, I agree that’s accessible, but that’s not optimal like make it more accessible, use those label tags but it’s also more usable, because the user can click on those labels to highlight you know to activate or deactivate the element.

(Ross) Yeh so, it doesn’t take much to add in label tags. SO, you might as well. It’s one of those things even if you don’t necessarily have to have it be accessible, but you probably should.

(Dennis) Yeah. And like we were saying with the fieldsets and legends be consistent. Be thorough and consistent and nice.

(Ross) And kind of a side bonus, it gives you more markup to work with on your styling too. So you can kind of work with the style a little better if you’re trying to have the label and the field parallel.

(Dennis) Definitely gives you hooks for styling.

(Ross) Exactly, exactly so

(Dennis) And it give yeh, yeh because you can wrap that label text with something with the tag and you don’t leave it so open ended. There’s not much we can talk about with just the label tag.

(Ross) The wonderful label tag.

(Dennis) So quickly, more about forms, it’s always a good idea to use a submit button. Don’t leave that out and leave it up to JavaScript on a return something goofy because you never know.

(Ross) Yeah, submitting onchange with JavaScript or submit with action. That kind of thing I’ve seen it happen a lot of websites, so, it’s pretty big problem if your form doesn’t work without JavaScript. So, you definitely don’t want to do that .

(Dennis) Yeh. And, if you’re validating on the front end you know use unobtrusive JavaScript and also you always remember to validate on the server-side too. In case the user has it off or the device what ever. Always want to be careful about that stuff.

(Ross) That’s something I’ve been doing more and more just because there is jquery plug-ins that make front side validation so easy, kind of help users as they are going through a form, but I never forget about server-side either. Yu kind of do both.

(Dennis) Yeah, and that’s I was thinking of having a hold podcast about this JavaScript debate and just got me thinking that, you know, I could I don’t agree but I could see the argument where browsers today all have JavaScript and you know, and everyone uses JavaScript blbla that’s not totally true , but even if that was true, I mean you still have to think about mobile devices, you still have to think about firewalls, and all those kinds of stuff. So, I’m still strongly behind the non-JavaScript support. And Accessible Twitter works completely without JavaScript too, just so you know.


(Ross) Leading by example.

(Dennis) That’s right.

(Ross) Speaking of JavaScript, what about JavaScript.

(Dennis) What else can we say about JavaScript. Besides forms we have things to do or not to do with JavaScript.

(Ross) SO opt for server-side over JavaScript where you can. That’s a good practice.

(Dennis) Yeh, like not only for validation but for any other kind of you know core functionality of your website, you know, you want to always use server-side over JavaScript, because you never know what’s going to happen if the JavaScript’s going to work or not. And implement progressive enhancement. We’ve kind of mentioned that before, which I like that term rather than graceful degradation.

(Ross) Y yeh

(Dennis) You know why?

(Ross) I know why I like it better.

(Dennis) Why do you like it better?

(Ross) I like the idea of starting with something that doesn’t that works perfectly without all the bells and whistles, and then adding bells and whistles versus starting with the coolest thing and taking things away.

(Dennis) That’s exactly what I was thinking. You should start with the lowest baseline, then work up, don’t start from the top and work backwards. Cuz that’s not going to work. (laughs)

(Ross) You can run into problems pretty quickly versus thinking about that in the first place.

(Dennis) And if you figure it out, I’d like to know how you did it, let us know.

(Ross) So the idea is simply start with something that is completely accessible and then you know add layers as technology becomes available.

(Dennis) You add CSS2 then CSS3.

(Ross) Yeah.

(Dennis) And it has behavior, make it work with AJAX or what ever, which brings up, which brings us to the next point which I have listed as hijax, which is basically what I just said, it’s unobtrusive AJAX. It’s an idea, term coined from Jeremy Keith who we will have on the show very soon.

(Ross) Yes. So stay tuned for that.

(Dennis) He’s one of my heroes with his hijax book it’s been around a few years now.

(Ross) It’s amazing that ajax has been around for that long.

(Dennis) I know.

(Ross) I guess even longer than that, but popular for that long.

(Dennis) Although I can’t believe it’s been misused for that long. (laptop battery warning alarm rings in the background)

(Ross) We’ve got a fire drill going on up here. Battery dies in Dennis’ computer. So yes, while we’re shutting down that computer definitely use hijacks, which is unobtrusive Ajax, meaning the web application or the website will work without JavaScript even if you’re planning to use ajax and when JavaScript is present, that’s when you start working in the ajax. And I think the last element is, use unobtrusive JavaScript. This is definitely not as bad as it used to be before, but I do see it from time to time.

(Dennis) Yeh , and we’ve mentioned it a few times already. So basically it means just, remove your JavaScript from your code, from your inline HTML, put it either in the header of your document or more preferably in a external JavaScript file.

(Ross) Yep. And then device independence. This is kind of the robust sort of thing from WCAG.

(Dennis) The robustness. So you know we’ve mentioned these points already don’t require the use of the mouse mouseovers in other words. If you’re using for example in CSS if you’re using the hover pseudo element, you always remember to use the focus pseudo element. And I’ve recently learned that you should also use the active pseudo element along with that too.

(Ross) Oh really. Yeah, I don’t use active as much as I should. I wrote a blog about how people should use active more often.

(Dennis) Right on. If you think about it, it makes sense.

(Dennis) Right on.

(Ross) So yeh, that means that make sure any device can use the site.

(Dennis) And you’re able to keyboard through, tab through your site.

(Ross) Right, right. Various different input devices.

(Dennis) Let’s talk about visual impairments briefly. Just a few items about that. You know you want to be able to nicely resize your website in that it handles that well.

(Ross) Even with modern browsers it’s getting easier and easier it does more of a zoom and text resizing. Not that you want to ignore it, but it used to be a lot harder when there was just the text resizing where you’d have to worry about things overlapping and that sort of thing.

(Dennis) That is true. And let’s see, heading size, I can’t remember what that is. The color contrast is a good one. Always remember of course not only blindness but people that are color blind which is almost 10% of the population they say has some sort of color blindness.

(Ross) SO that’s very significant so make sure you have enough color contrast and there’s a lot of good tools out there to test how your site looks with different types of color blindness.

(Dennis) Now I haven’t done as much as I probably should, although I did recently install Firefox, there’s a really good Color contrast Analyzer, it’s called. So I ran that on Twitter and Accessible Twitter the other day, and I was please with the results.

(Ross) Good, good.

(Dennis) But anyways, yeh, so that definitely a good one to use.

(Ross) Another easy one to overlook and then flashing can be a problem. So be careful about having anything that’s flashing for neurological reasons.

(Dennis) Right. And I don’t remember what the rate is or anything, but I think it’s like more than three times a second roughly what it comes down to, you don’t want to flash make things flash more often than that. SO, be careful.

(Dennis) Alright we’ll just recap. Well, one other issue is the audio, just a reminder on that, if you have audio going on your website make sure you have some kind of text only version of that. If it’s pertinent content on your site. And we’ve talked about PDFs and we’ve talked about CAPTCHAs. I think we’ve covered all the bases.

(Ross) Yeh, so if you pay attention to these things and you keep it in mind while you’re building your site, you’ll end up with some pretty accessible sites out there.

(Dennis) Yeh, and if you think we’ve forgotten anything, please, you know send us a note, or a comment on the blog, and we’ll definitely respond.

(Ross) Yeh, maybe include it in the next episode or two .

(Dennis) For sure.

(Ross) So everyone can hear and see and hear the answer as well.

(Dennis) Ok, so that’s it for Podcast #74. What was it? Awards, Events, and back to basic’s.

(Ross) Yup.

(Dennis) Ok.

(Ross) Live from Santa Cruz, well I guess not live from Santa Cruz California.

(Dennis)  Signing off from Santa Cruz. We’re off to get beer.

(Dennis) until next time.