Category Archives: Accessibility

For a number of years the resolution and dimensions of our monitors have been increasing. This has been a godsend to many, especially the development community, affording us the space for our ever bloating development tools. But as the resolutions increased, we’ve found that many of our users, (a uni) struggle to take advantage of these resolutions due to their failing eyesight. They understandably continue to use resolutions that displays text at a comfortable size. So we still see resolutions of 800 x 600 on a 17″ monitor, or 1024 x 768 on larger monitors. Instead of crisp native text they get text ‘blurry’ anti-aliased text on their lovely new LCD monitors With the arrival of the iPhone 4, with it’s hyped ‘retina display’ I think we may finally have seen the end to the resolution race and the start of the pixel density race. I’ve been waiting for many…

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A survey by WebAIM on how users of screen readers interact with web pages is worth a read. It gives a small insight into how screen reader users navigate around pages and some of the problems they face. The survey failed to clarify the term Web 2.0 so the survey hasn’t helped to understand if AJAX based sites disenfranchise partially sighted users but it does confirm some of the advice accessibility experts make. It also reinforces some of the point I tried to make to the Domino developers at Lotusphere about where the new XPage technology fails to meet basic accessibility criteria, namely that screen reader users use the page’s semantics to navigate around the page. A good practice that XPage authoring using the visual interface fails to support. When html was originally specified it was intended to be a docuument markup language and the tags selected define the page’s…

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Stevie Wonder talks to the BBC about accessible technology.   Image by Thomas Hawk from flickr