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The wider picture of accessibility

Over Christmas I’ve been reflecting on this quote from Yacoob Woozeer in this month’s podcast: “Even where people are being taught accessibility, it’s at a component level. They need to see the wider picture. So you need to be more aware of that user journey throughout the system, not just looking at individual aspects of it.” This ‘wider picture’ of accessibility is key to individuals’ growing maturity in accessibility, as it is for organisations’ maturity. So my Christmas blog shares how my book on BS 8878, and the forthcoming ISO 30071-1, can help provide it. Enjoy…

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Get our book on Kindle now

I’m delighted to announce that our 5 star-reviewed book on embedding accessibility into your business-as-usual processes is now available on Kindle. Those who have read it, love it. So if you want more Hassell Inclusion insights, and case-studies from 20 more top accessibility experts from all over the planet, it’s a must have. Find out more…

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Does web accessibility really “place ruinous obligations on websites”? – analysis of Internet Association brief

Last week a brief filed by the Internet Association, which represents Google, Amazon, Facebook, AOL and eBay, stated “Applying the ADA to all Web sites may place uncertain, conflicting, burdensome, and possibly ruinous obligations on (our) members.” As many of those member websites include accessibility statements that tell a very different story, Jonathan Hassell asks why such overblown statements are made, what scares website owners about the link between WCAG 2.0 and disability discrimination laws, and whether standards like BS 8878 that advocate an approach based on ‘reasonable accommodations’ may help lower anxiety and restore sense in the debate around accessibility cost-benefits…

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A clear EU accessibility law proposed? At what cost?

Early this month the European Commission issued a proposal for a directive on “Accessibility of Public Sector Bodies’ Websites”. This will require twelve categories of EU public-sector websites to comply with W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 at the AA level. The directive could establish a law centred around a clearer definition of ‘the objective set of criteria for determining what an accessible website looks like’ that many accessibility advocates have been wanting for years. So what does this proposed directive mean for developers, disabled & older people, and website owners in the UK? Is it going to get disabled and older people the benefits they want, without burdening website owners with unreasonable costs that prevent them implementing it? Find out more…

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How to write an effective Accessibility Statement

To mark the first Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), here’s a blog on how to write effective accessibility statements based on the guidance in BS 8878. Find out who the audience for statements are, the main reasons most accessibility statements don’t work, and tips for how to get it right…

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Building accessibility strategy into the culture of an organization: find out more about BS 8878 at CSUN 2012

At CSUN 2012 this week, I’ll be presenting case studies of organisations which are implementing BS 8878 – the British web accessibility standard which gives organisations a framework to embed accessibility and inclusive design strategically into their business-as-usual processes. The Standard is already helping organisations across the UK embed accessibility within their culture. And calls have been made for it to become an International Standard. So, can a Standard from Britain really be key part of the solution to greater accessibility worldwide?

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RNIB and BMI-baby accessibility lawsuit: how BS 8878 can help prevent you getting sued

RNIB have just brought legal action against BMI-baby for its slowness to improve the accessibility of its website. In this article, Jonathan Hassell gives his views on whether a new ‘naming and shaming’ culture is emerging, what’s likely to happen next in the RNIB-BMI-baby case, what BMI-baby should do right now, and how fixing website accessibility without having a longer-term strategy may store up problems for the future…

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Web Accessibility Myths 2011 part 2

Part Two of my popular accessibility myths blog clears out more false assumptions for the start of 2012.
Being demolished this time: Accessibility and inclusive design are anti-creative; Accessibility and inclusive design help everyone; Disabled people use assistive technologies; Accessibility’s just about blind people – now for platforms; Text is more accessible than other media; The most important accessibility requirement for images is alt-text; The most important people in accessibility are developers; It doesn’t matter if your mobile site/app isn’t accessible, just as long as the desktop version is; Websites have to be accessible from the start; and BS8878 is just for huge companies…

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BS8878’s one year anniversary – the UK web community assess its achievements

To really know if a website is accessible you need to user-test it with its disabled and elderly audiences. That’s one of the key recommendations of British Standard BS8878 which aims to increase understanding of the importance of accessibility and best practice ways of how to ensure it across digital web production for an audience of non-technical website and app creators. To really know if BS8878 is being effective in communicating those messages you need to user-test it with website creators and others in the web production community. So, to mark BS8878’s one year anniversary, its lead-author, Jonathan Hassell of Hassell Inclusion, has done just that, as well as asking major voices from the UK accessibility scene to give their thoughts. And the results are in…

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