Constructing Accessible Websites
||Author: Jim Thatcher, Cynthia Waddell, Shawn Henry, Sarah Swierenga, Mark Urban|
List Price: $49.99
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Publisher: APress (14 July, 2003)
Sales Rank: 55,506
Average Customer Rating: 4.92 out of 5
Customer ReviewsRating: 5 out of 5
Guiding hand to accessibility
The GlassHaus "Constructing Accessible Web Sites" book has been a great find. I began working to build sites and applications for use in Web browsers that had to be used by individuals with disabilities in 1997. Over these years I picked up a lot of hard won knowledge and experience, but have never run across a resource that fully backed what I had gathered. The GlasHaus Accessibility book not only echoes what I have learned, but has provided new insights to improve upon what I already have. The best part of this book is that I can point others to it and I am assured they will be able to build an accessible site or Web applications that can meet high standards.
Many folks think accessibility is a great inconvenience, but it takes a little thinking and planning to do it right from the beginning. Having a great resource at hand makes the process a cake walk. Not only are the processes and guides helpful for creating sites that are accessible for those that are disabled these steps outlined also make the information in the site future ready. Sites that are accessible are much easier to use with a handheld PDA device or from even a cell phone browser. Accessibility for everybody in more situations improves with structuring the information properly, which is all making Web enabled information really requires to get it ready to be consumed. Is your information ready to be consumed by everybody?
Rating: 5 out of 5
No More Excuses.
Two new words have joined the vocabulary of web designers in recent years - usability and accessibility. You will often come across them used in tandem.
Usability really became an issue when Jacob Nielsen infamously denounced Flash as 99% bad. Accessibility became a priority for web developers working on government projects after Section 508 was brought into law in the United States.
Accessibility became an issue in Australia during Maguire vs SOCOG in 1999, when a blind man filed a complaint with the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) that neither Olympic Games tickets purchasing information nor the souvenir programme were available in Braille. Most importantly he alleged that the SOCOG website was not accessible, and to make it so would have been well within budget. SOCOG was found to have discriminated against the complainant and damages were awarded against the organization.
Accessibility is now a civil rights issue. It is also not that difficult to implement on a website, once you learn how it can be done. This excellent book, Constructing Accessible Web Sites, teaches you all that and more. It is the first on its subject, and will not be the last, but it is damned a good beginning.
All eight co-authors have been pioneers in the field of accessibility, and Glasshaus deserves praise for having assembled such a team. They cover more than website accessibility - their expertise extends to the accessibility of web design tools themselves. An apt reminder that the web is as much about reading as writing, for writers as much as readers, a real medium of two-way communication.
All websites can now be made accessible to varying degrees, even Flash websites since Flash MX, as Macromedia Senior Product Manager for Accessibility Bob Regan demonstrates in Chapter 10. So there are no excuses for failing to add increased accessibility, and usability for that matter, to that new project you are just about to commence.
Ensure you have a copy of Constructing Accessible Web Sites at hand when you begin. And also take a look at another equally essential reference on the subject due out any day now, Joe Clark's Building Accessible Websites. Accessibility is the newest and most necessary website building skill. There are no excuses now.
Rating: 5 out of 5
A fantastic book
Of the books and resources that I've read on accessible web sites, this is by far the best - especially from a UK perspective.
The main UK legislation that specifically mentions web sites and accessibility comes into force in October 2004 which, at the time of writing this, is still over two years away. This means that there isn't a great deal of information and certainly no legal cases that we can draw on from our country, so we have to look elsewhere to see what is happening.
This book benefits in that, although it does cover Section 508 and other already in place legislation, it also gives a great all round understanding of the topic, and is very easy to read. Having chapters written by different authors means that you get a far greater depth of experience and information, which can only benefit the reader.
If you're going to buy one book on accessible web sites, this should be at the top of your shopping list.
· Maximum Accessibility: Making Your Web Site More Usable for Everyone
· Eric Meyer on CSS: Mastering the Language of Web Design
· Building Accessible Websites (With CD-ROM)
· Designing With Web Standards
· Web Accessibility for People With Disabilities