Web Accessibility: Web Standards and Regulatory Compliance Paperback – Sep 4 2010
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About the Author
Jim received his PhD from the University of Michigan in 1963, one of the first PhD's in Computer Science. Together with his thesis advisor, Dr. Jesse Wright, Jim then joined the Mathematical Sciences Department, IBM Research, in New York.
His research was in the area of mathematical computer science, automata theory, and data abstraction. Jim began moving away from the abstract and toward the practical when he and Dr. Wright, who is blind, began working on access to the Personal Computer for people who are blind. He developed one of the first screen readers for DOS which, in 1986, became IBM Screen Reader (and the phrase later became generic). After that he led the development of IBM Screen Reader/2 for OS/2 which was the first screen reader for the graphical user interface on the PC (1991).
In 1996 Jim left his Research post to join the IBM Accessibility Center (formerly IBM Special Needs Systems which produced Screen Reader, Home page Reader and other assistive technology) in Austin. He served as Vice-chair of the Electronic and Information Technology Access Advisory Committee (EITAAC) which was impaneled by the Access Board to propose standards for Section 508; he chaired the sub-committee on Software Standards.
Jim led the effort to establish the IBM accessibility guidelines specifically for use by IBM's development community. He wrote the course on Web Accessibility for Section 508 for ITTATC, the Information Technology Technical Assistance and Training Center, which was funded to support Section 508.
The Honorable Mark Urban is Chairman of the North Carolina Governor's Advocacy Council for Persons with Disabilities. He is a member and past Chair of the Board of Directors for the International Center for Disability Resources on the Internet (www.icdri.org), and a member and past Vice Chairman of the International Committee for Information Technology Standards, V2 (IT Access Interfaces). He was chief executive of a municipality during the implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and a reservist in the United States Navy. He is an experienced technical architect and IT policy developer. Mark currently does project management and consulting on accessibility and related IT and disability matters with federal, state, and local agencies and the businesses that supply them.
Bruce Lawson is a member of the Web Standards Project\'s Accessibility Task Force. He was brand manager for \"glasshaus,\" which published many books on usable and accessible client-side development, including the first edition of this book, something he had an instrumental role in. He has also been invited by the Disability Rights Commission and the British Standards Institute to be on the review panel for the proposed British Accessibility Standard.
He lives in the UK with his wife, Nongyow, and his kids, Marina and James, but wishes they all lived somewhere warm.
Michael currently serves as Section 508 Analyst working on the accessibility of electronic and information technology. He is also the Webmaster and Public Information Officer of the International Center for Disability Resources on the Internet (www.icdri.org), a nonprofit organization dedicated to presenting disability resources and information to those who are dealing with disability issues.
Michael works with the Internet Society (www.isoc.org) on disability issues, and has made presentations and taught tutorials on web accessibility and disability issues around the world.
Richard Rutter lives and works in Brighton, UK. He is Production Director for the web consultancy Clearleft (www.clearleft.com).
Richard has been designing and developing websites for nigh on ten years. Early in 2003, he built his first blogging engine, which still powers his weblog Clagnut (www.clagnut.com), in which he harps on about accessibility, web standards, and mountain biking.
Andrew serves as the cross-product Accessibility Engineer for Adobe Systems. Prior to joining Adobe, Andrew was Principal Accessibility Engineer at Macromedia, and Director of Technology at the National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM) at WGBH in Boston, with a focus on accessibility consulting for corporate clients including America Online, Yahoo!, BT, Apple, and Macromedia. In addition to activities with corporate clients at NCAM, Andrew managed projects focused on web and interactive media accessibility, and was the product manager for MAGpie (NCAM's software for creating captions and audio descriptions) and developer of STEP (NCAM's Simple Tool for [Accessibility] Error Prioritization).
Christian Heilmann grew up in Germany and, after a year working with people with disabilities for the red cross, he spent a year as a radio producer. From 1997 he worked for several agencies in Munich as a web developer. In 2000 he moved to the States to work for Etoys and, after the .com crash, he moved to the UK where he currently works as a lead developer for Agilisys. He publishes an almost daily blog at http://wait-till-i.com and runs an article repository at http://icant.co.uk. He is a member of the Web Standards Project's DOM Scripting Task Force.
Shawn leads the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) worldwide education and outreach activ- ities promoting web accessibility for people with disabilities. She develops online resources to help web developers understand and implement web accessibility guidelines, and provides presentations and training on accessible web design and development with the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI). Shawn has presented and published papers on accessibility and usability for Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES), Computer-Human Interaction (CHI), Usability Professionals' Association (UPA), Web Design World, and many other conferences around the world (www.uiaccess.com/pres.html). Her publications also include the "Everyone Interfaces" chapter in User Interfaces for All (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2000), Accessibility in the User-Centered Design Process(Georgia Tech Research Corporation, 2004), and other online resources (www.uiaccess.com/pubs.html).
Prior to joining W3C WAI, Shawn consulted with international standards bodies, research centers, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, education providers, and Fortune 500 companies to develop and implement strategies to optimize design for usability and accessibility (www.uiaccess.com/experience.html). She developed UIAccess.com to share information on universal user interface design and "usable accessibility." Although Shawn holds a research appointment at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Bob is a solutions architect for vertical markets at Adobe Systems, Inc. In that role, he serves as the technical lead for the education, government, financial services, manufacturing, telecommunications, and life science markets. It is his responsibility to connect with the specific needs, challenges, and successes of customers working to create digital content and applications. He works with each team to help them collect customer experiences and communicate them into the product organization, and assemble solutions based on these requirements.
Bob's first role in the software world as an accessibility advocate continues to play an important part of his day-to-day life. Now with Adobe, he is part of a much larger team looking at accessibility issues from product design to engineering, from content authoring through to the end user. Ensuring that the Web is a great experience to us all remains a great passion of his.
As the Executive Director of the International Center for Disability Resources on the Internet (ICDRI), Cynthia provides leadership and project oversight for carrying out ICDRI's overarching vision for the equalization of opportunities for people with disabilities. Internationally recognized as a public policy center organized by and for people with disabilities, ICDRI's mission is to collect a global knowledge base of quality disability resources and best practices and to provide education, outreach, and training based on these core resources.
In the world of accessibility, Cynthia is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in the field of electronic and information technology as well as employment and construction. Named in the "Top 25 Women on the Web" by Webgrrls International in 1998, she received the first US Government Technology Magazine award in 2003 for "Leadership in Accessibility Technology and For Pioneering Advocacy and Education."
Patrick currently works as Web Editor for the University of Salford, where he heads a small central web team which provides development, training and advice to departmental web authors across the institution. In 2003 he implemented one of the first web standards based XHTML/CSS driven UK university sites.
He has been engaged in the discourse on accessibility since early 2001, regularly contributing to a variety of web development and accessibility related mailing lists and forums, taking an active role in the running of Accessify.com and moderating the Accessify forum, and joining the Web Standards Project Accessibility Task Force (WaSP ATF) in June 2005. In his spare time, Patrick pursues his passion for photography and runs a small web/design consultancy, splintered.co.uk.
With two years of Computer Sciences at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, followed by a switch to a Bachelor\'s degree in Graphic Design and a Masters in Creative Technology at the University of Salford, Patrick\'s background spans both technical and creative disciplines which he feels are essential for a holistic approach to web design and development.
An outspoken accessibility and standards advocate (although he's been called an \"evangelist\", with only slight negative connotations, by some of his colleagues), Patrick favours a pragmatic hands-on approach to Web accessibility over purely theoretical, high-level discussions.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The book is deep and vast. It covers aspects of accessibility you might not even have known were possible. There's big-picture stuff, and hands-on, dirty code. There are smart, insightful tips on working with users, and there is detailed information about complying with accessibility laws. It's a concept book and a code book, a book filled with detailed guidelines, and also one that encourages you to think for yourself as you interpret those guidelines.
I bought the first edition of this book and have given it to clients and colleagues. The new edition is even more useful. If you want your site to be accessible, you need this book.
The book was split up into three parts:
* Part 1: The Impact of Web Accessibility was initially a tough section to get through. This is a very important section, and sets the foundation for the rest of the book, but I was initially overwhelmed by all of the terms presented (some of which I was unfamiliar with related to standards). This section was full of great information, as well as links to discover even more information.
* Part 2: Implementing Accessible Websites covers a broad range of topics (listed above). This was the lengthiest part of the book, but well worth the read. Much of what was discussed in these chapters has been discussed in other books I have read lately. Each chapter goes in-depth on creating accessible websites and using the technology at hand. The chapter related to assistive devices confirmed what Nathan Smith said, "I mean, I always thought browser differences were bad, but compared to the many screen reader quirks, wow." Overall, it discusses best practices for web development.
* Part 3: Accessibility Law and Policy wraps up the entire book. This section covers the legal information in an array of different countries as they relate to websites. Again, I was worried that this section might be dry - but I found it easy to read and learned much.
Most of this book could be summed up by Cynthia Waddell at the end of Chapter 16 where she states:
"The economic, political, and ethical benefits far outweigh the cost of this effort. The cost of being inaccessible - missing the boat on the coming age of thin clients, failing to serve our most needful citizens and employees, and legal liability - can be incalculable.
This millennium offers unprecedented opportunities for efficient, effective governance. The Internet should be accessible to all. It is the right thing to do."
This book is a must have for any serious web developer. Don't be intimated by the size, it is well worth the read (and chock full of extra resources).
perfect reference for any site development team. Everything you've
wanted to know about Accessibility and the Web is here in a single text.
Each member of the team will find necessary information and practical
solutions in one or more of the thorough discussions here. For the
designer/developer who works alone, Web Accessibility: Web Standards and
Regulatory Compliance is the all-in-one reference with the most
up-to-date information and techniques. Thanks to the clear organization,
two tables of contents, and index, all information is easy to find as
For those of us who like background and theory, the book contains lively
discussions of accessibility standards, of the intent of the standards,
and suggestions for using the standards. For me, though, the heart of
the text is in the practical discussions and how-to guides in order to
improve accessibility of every common web technology -- from PDF to
descriptions of the law and web accessibility. Importantly, these
discussions are international in scope.
The collective experience of the authors of this text is impressive.
These are the experts to whom we've turned to assist us with accessible
design and development for years. In this text, we have a collection of
the most knowledgeable voices on the subject of accessibility, who speak from a real-world
perspective. They share freely their best techniques, so that we can
create the "best possible experience for the greatest number of
For me, Web Accessibility: Web Standards and Regularory Compliance is a
The book is an overview of accessible best practices in web technology, and the legal landscape it inhabits. It was compiled with several target audiences in mind.
Certainly, it is intended for developers - newcomers as well as veterans. This is the group that most needs to understand the technology, and unfortunately, seems to "get it" the least.
Another audience is the managers and administrators; that group that should be most adverse to risk and whose responsibility is to keep their government and corporate employers out of the courts and headlines (like those that have embarrassed [Target retailer]). Covered in some detail are the ADA section 504 and section 508 requirements, and in lesser detail international laws.
A book assembled as a compendium of contributions begs to be updated frequently. The next release, for example, could add much needed chapters on AJAX and Web 2.0, podcasting, and learning management technologies. Regardless, all practitioners of accessibility will find this book valuable.
That said, it is sorely in need of an update.
When Web Accessibility was published, Internet Explorer 7 had not yet been released, nor had Firefox 2. Netscape was still hanging around, and Gmail was still in beta. XHTML 2.0 was supposed to herald a golden age of Web standards.
All that seems like centuries ago in the timeline of the Internet, and portions of this book provide examples of the best practices and techniques from that time. Having come through that era of Web development and emerged on the other side, I can say that some of the techniques might still be useful; most are not. And that's where, today, with no new edition of this book available (and no clear successor), I have to dock it at least one star. The outdated code samples put an unnecessary burden on today's reader to know enough about past techniques to know when to reject them, and enough about today's best practices to know what has replaced them.
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