New Design!

Web Axe now has a new design with a custom Blogger template. Some updates include the following. Any comments?!

  • Adjustable width
  • New color scheme and header images
  • More accessible code (and skip to links)
  • Better SEO
  • Added Ross to host information

Accessibility Statements

There has been some blog discussion recently on whether or not a web site should provide an accessibility statement. You know, the small text link on the site that says “site accessibility” or “AAA compliant”. It seems that fear of being sued and trendiness have been the main reasons for accessibility statement pages on many web sites.

The consensus from the professional blogs, with which I mostly agree, is that a Help page should be implemented rather than an accessibility page. The Help page should handle any pertinent topics in addition to accessibility features that may be unique to the web site. I say “unique” because if a Help page exists at all, the content should be outside of general knowledge (such as tab order) and browser-specific instructions (such as pressing CTRL + to enlarge text).

The only exception I would point out is a web site that advertises the accessibility of the web site itself. Case in point, the CheckEngine USA web site, which sponsors Web Axe, contains a Site Accessibility page. The reason for the page is as much for marketing and educational purposes as it is for users with disabilities, etc. The company’s specialty is accessibility (as well as web standards and usability) so in this particular case, I believe it makes sense.



One Year Anniversary

So it’s been over 1 year since my first Web Axe podcast (Sept 18, 2005). My long-time friend Mike (see Most People Are DJs) got me into podcasting. He and I started the e-zine O.D. Mag a decade ago. Then last year, Mike got me into the Detroit Podcasters Network, a great group of computer nerds who do great podcasts, and meet every month and drink beer.

So I said to myself, what do I enjoy, that I know a lot about, that would be unique. Web accessibility of course! I have been programming web sites for accessibility (and standards and usability) for over five years now, and for some reason just find it very fun and interesting.

I’m making more and more connections, and learning more and more about the whole web development industry. It’s remarkable how much more there is to learn every year. Thanks to Ross Johnson of, who’s joined in the Web Axe podcast venture. It’s a lot of work, and a lot of fun, and I’m expecting bigger and better podcasts in the future!



Sponsor Company’s Web Site Wins Award

Web Axe’s sponsor company CheckEngine USA has won an award from for its excellent web site usability and accessibility.

Addendum: CheckEngine USA is now Web Overhauls.


Awareness/Ignorance of Web Accessibility

The toughest problem facing web accessibility is awareness. I’m surprised frankly, that there haven’t been more official complaints or court cases against an inaccessible web site, and they are the vast majority on the web. Fortunately, Target is currently being sued by the NFB!

I’ve recently started a new company, CheckEngine USA (now Web Overhauls), that focuses on web accessibility and web standards, but who cares? I’m having problems getting clients because no one is even aware of what this is and why it’s important. I hope the U.S. gets more serious about theses issues and follow the lead of the U.K. and Australia. Not only for my sake, but everyone else’s.

Furthermore, it seems that most web design companies themselves are quite ignorant of the subject and use web accessibility. So not only must I educate potentials customers, but also web designers (in order to have any chance of winning consultation services).

Are you facing the same issue?