Category: wcag2

About Cognitive Accessibility & Related Articles

Cognitive accessibility is closely tied to WCAG 2.0 Principle 3: Understandable which states that “Information and the operation of user interface must be understandable”. (WebAIM does a great job in explaining what Cognitive Disabilities actually are.) The guidelines under this principle are:

  • Guideline 3.1 Readable: Make text content readable and understandable.
  • Guideline 3.2 Predictable: Make Web pages appear and operate in predictable ways.
  • Guideline 3.3 Input Assistance: Help users avoid and correct mistakes.

There’s been an increase in articles about cognitive accessibility which is great because it’s the most difficult and typically least discussed. Here’s a great list of them below. Feel free to comment with any that were missed.

Podcast #74: Awards, Events & Back to Basics

A super special podcast:

  • First time face-to-face recording between Dennis and Ross.
  • In Santa Cruz, California.
  • 4-Year Anniversary for Web Axe.

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

[transcript of podcast 74]

Chatter

Articles

If a page is viewed through Google Chrome Frame in Internet Explorer no content is available to the user of assistive technology (AT). This can be illustrated using the Microsofts accexplorer tool.

Events/Conferences

Main Segment

WCAG 2: Remember P.O.U.R.: Perceivable, Operable, Understandable, Robust

  • Perceivable – Interface elements can not be invisible to users.
  • Operable – Users must be able to interact with the interface.
  • Understandable – Users must be able to understand with information and the interface (cognitive).
  • Robust – Must be usable by a wide range of user agents and assisstive technologies.

Use P.O.S.H.: Plain Ol’ Semantic HTML

  • Use headings and properly.
  • P is for paragraph.
  • blockquotes for quotes (not indentation).
  • Use lists for lists, menus, etcetera.
  • Definition Lists.
  • Use strong and em tags versus b and i.

Other topics:

  • Alt text for non-textual elements.
  • Tables
  • Forms
  • JavaScript
  • Device-Independence
  • Visual impairments
  • Audio

Podcast #73: Bandwidth & Download Time

Dennis and Ross provide nearly an hour of news, knowledge, and fun!

Download Web Axe Episode 73 (Bandwidth & Download Time)

Michigan and Web Dudes, Lab, and Accessible Twitter

Web Accessibility News

Main Segment

The Issue & Statistics
  • Web accessibility is about providing content for everyone; even if the user is unable to have access to a broadband internet connection.
  • Economic issue; many people simply can’t afford broadband.
  • Mobile–light and fast web sites can be more easily viewed on you phone!
  • Average Web Page Size Triples Since 2003 (study from 2003-2008 data)
  • In the U.S. in March 2008, users connecting at 56Kbps or less now make up 11.18% of active Internet users.
  • CWA Communications reported that the “median real-time download speed in the U.S. is a mere 2.3 megabits per second (mbps). The best available estimates show average download speeds in Japan of 63 mbps, in South Korea of 49 mbps and in France of 17 mbps.

Growth of Average Web Page Size and Number of Objects

Chart shows that from January 1995 to January 2008, there was a tremendous growth of average page size and average number of objects. The average page file size went from 14.1k in 1995, to 93.7k in 2003, to over 312k in 2008. The average number of page objects went from 2.3k in 1995, to 25.7 in 2003, to nearly 50 in 2008.

Related WCAG Guidelines

WCAG 2.0 Principle 4: Robust

Content must be robust enough that it can be interpreted reliably by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies.

WCAG 1.0 Intro states:

user may have a text-only screen, a small screen, or a slow Internet connection and users may have turned off support for images (e.g. due to a slow Internet connection)

Greatly outdated web portion of Section 508 doesn’t mention internet connection speed.

What You Can Do
  • Use progressive enhancement.
  • Optimize images; use sprites.
  • Write clean code.
  • Use external CSS and JavaScript files. For CSS, use not @import.
  • Combine multiple CSS files into one. Same for JavaScript.
  • Use media domains.
  • Minify CSS and JS files.
  • Setup your server to send pages and files compressed.
  • Cache dynamic data and Ajax when appropriate.
More from the Big Boys

Article Headings, Please!

This has become an issue for me of late, and it needs more attention. And that is lack of sub-headings in articles. Not just the page heading and/or article heading, but headings  throughout an article to make it more accessible and usable. Especially so the longer an article is. (And of course, use proper markup! H1, H2, etc.)

Examples, Poor

Among many, I came across the following articles which could really use more headings. The articles are fairly long, and could no doubt be broken up into sections.

Why Headings?

Why are headings so important? First of all, it’s part of accessibility guidelines such as WCAG 2.0; see section 2.4.6 Headings and Labels. The W3C points out that headings create meaning when read out of context. And they help people with limited short-term memory. In addition, headings provide:

  • Better navigation for screenreaders.
  • Default formatting when CSS is not available.
  • More semantic.
  • Scanning more usable and readable document.
  • SEO.

Examples, Good

Here are examples of articles with good use of headings:

Please use headings and sub-headings as it creates more web accessible and usable articles.

Podcast #72: Twitter Accessibility, Events, and News

Download Web Axe Episode 72 (Twitter Accessibility, Events, and News)

Chatter

  • Feedback for new Web Axe theme song?
  • Opera 10 beta
  • Where are the headings?
  • AudioBoo “A Eulogy For IE6” by Paul Boag.
  • Web Axe-Refresh Detroit Tweetup! Ann Arbor, Michigan, Saturday, July 18.

Events/Conferences

Twitter and Web Accessibility

Accessible Twitter updates:

  • Ajax for deleting DM.
  • Popular Links page; added categories.
  • Add URL shortening to DM page.
  • Add (limited) functionality to update user profile.

Compiled List of links from #TwitterBook (look who’s first!)

Other Accessible Twitter applications:

  • Try a mobile web app.
  • TwInbox – plug-in for Microsoft Outlook
  • Tweet s60: totally accessible Twitter mobile app for Nokia Series 60 devices (via @AbilityNet @BlindTwit)

Other issues:

More News