The Accessibility Summit, an online conference on accessibility, took place earlier this week. The event is presented by the good folks at Environments for Humans (@e4h). The event was one day in the past few years but was extended to two days this year! If you attended or not, take a look at the great information in the Twitter stream using the hash tag #a11ySummit.
Dennis speaks with George Zamfir on his background, his activity in Toronto, and how Responsive Web Design (RWD) can benefit web accessibility. The conversation stems from George’s talk Responsive Web Design & Accessibility from the Accessibility Camp Toronto last fall. A notable quote from the 50-minute conversation:
As techniques for usability and accessibility have some cross-over, so do RWD and accessibility. Case in point, this recent article on Mashable, 6 Easy Ways to Make Your Website Tablet-Friendly. The main points of George’s presentation are that responsive web design:
is like a user’s custom stylesheet
adheres to web standards
thinks mobile first & uses progressive enhancement (PE)
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So I attended the first day of Google I/O 2011, my first time at a Google event. I was glad to hear a fair amount of talk about accessibility. There were at least 3 sessions focusing on the topic (see below) and a breakout area where you can talk with developers.
There was even an accessibility “Developer Sandbox” area which was great. I tried out the ChromeVox screen reader on a Chromebook with help from Google’s Rachel Shearer. I got a quick demo of the built-in TalkBack screen reader on an Android mobile device. Mika Pyyhkala and I were shown the LevelStar braille device running Android. The University of Washington showed off their mobile ASL Android project which used video chat technology.
Some tips for Android development from the sessions are:
In Android code, ensure images, especially ImageButtons, are labeled with contentDescription.
Use standard controls.
Stick with standard or modified views; custom very complex to make accessible.
Ensure all controls reachable with D-pad and Trackball.
Test with screen reader using D-Pad. To turn on, enable accessibility under Settings/Accessibility, then enable Talkback.
Take advantage of device’s “many eyes and ears” for alternative input/output (microphone, speaker, touch screen, camera, GPS)
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