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Subject:

Re: Is Web Accessibility still a thing?

From:

Mia <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Museums Computer Group <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 30 Jan 2015 10:32:37 +0000

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text/plain

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That's interesting, because more often than not the 'techies' I hear from say apps have been foisted upon them by their marketing departments. Who *is* asking for apps then?

Cheers, Mia

Sent from my handheld computing device

> On 30 Jan 2015, at 09:42, Neil Rathbone <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> Good point Nick.
> 
> I think that we are actually getting worse due, to not thinking of
> accessible as integral with digital.
> 
> The popularity of native apps as a 'must have' for some museums
> actually goes against accessibility since you have to have the right
> manufacturers phone/OS to access it.
> 
> I know that some professional interpreters are worried by this, while
> 'techies' seem to be quite happy to promote native apps on the back of
> hype in the media.
> 
> We recently wrote an article about accessibility and digital interpretation
> 
> http://www.info-point.eu/content/accessibility-special-edition.html
> 
> in which we try to touch on some of the issues, including promoting
> web apps that are fundamentally more accessible and often do
> everything the museum actually wants.
> 
> Regards
> 
> Neil Rathbone
> 
>> 
>> ------------------------------
>> 
>> Date:    Thu, 29 Jan 2015 09:26:54 +0000
>> From:    Nick Poole <[log in to unmask]>
>> Subject: Is Web Accessibility still a thing?
>> 
>> Dear MCG'ers,
>> 
>> The discussion over the past few days has prompted me to return to the question of where 'web accessibility' fits into peoples' priorities these days.
>> 
>> Back in the day, when the Disability Discrimination Act was fresh and new and initiatives like Bobby and the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines were in the ascendant, we spent  lot of time beating ourselves up about 'AAA' or 'AA' compliance.
>> 
>> Then, slightly inevitably, there was a bit of a backlash as people came to realise that machine-processed accessibility was not the same as human accessibility. At roughly the same time, the dominant narrative came to be about Universal Design and the idea that rather than designing specific experiences for specific audiences, we ought to be using web standards (HTML4 and CSS - remember them!?) to create universally accessible, liquid interfaces that played nice on screens and mobiles. I sat in a *lot* of meetings with web development companies who would eye roll when web accessibility came up and then dismiss it with 'our world-class coders make code that's so silky smooth, it laughs at your puny guidelines'.
>> 
>> Now, with the power and flexibility of HTML5 and the rise of mobile-first, responsive design, we certainly have much nicer interfaces (generally speaking). Screen readers are smarter, their users more experienced and fiddly keys are gradually being replaced by the elegance of swipe and pinch.
>> 
>> I worry, though, that accessibility in general, and more specifically taking positive and proactive steps to meet users halfway if they have specific needs, has taken something of a back seat. I heard yesterday that the number of museums with 'provisional' as opposed to full Accreditation status has increased significantly, and that many are being asked to improve both their access provision and the quality of information they provide about accessibility - which increasingly means online.
>> 
>> I am hoping that people are going to tell me that web accessibility, both in a 'universal' and a specific sense, is still high on the list when you are specifying and developing web projects, but it has been a long time (until this thread) since I have seen anyone talk about it as a high-profile commitment - with the obvious exception of the excellent work of the Jodi Awards. Also, while I have seen people mention technical (ie. web standards) accessibility, I really haven't seen anything about intellectual accessibility since around 2004.
>> 
>> So - my question to the list: is web accessibility still a thing? If not, why not? If so, has it simply gone to ground as an embedded part of the development process?
>> 
>> All best,
>> 
>> Nick
>> 
>> Nick Poole
>> Chief Executive
>> Collections Trust
>> Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 6080
>> [log in to unmask]<[log in to unmask]>
> 
> ****************************************************************
>       website:  http://museumscomputergroup.org.uk/
>       Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/ukmcg
>      Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/museumscomputergroup
> [un]subscribe:  http://museumscomputergroup.org.uk/email-list/
> ****************************************************************

****************************************************************
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