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Guest Post by David Berman: Resources from the Webinar “Solving Web Accessibility: Leaving No One Behind”

2 Responses to Guest Post by David Berman: Resources from the Webinar “Solving Web Accessibility: Leaving No One Behind”

  1. Heather Caprette says:

    Another resource for visual design that David mentioned and I found helpful was the Colour Contrast Analyser 2.2 for Web Pages by Vision Australia. It is found at http://www.visionaustralia.org/digital-access-cca. It will analyze the color contrast between foreground text and the background to see if it meets WCAG 2 level AA contrast.

  2. A little clarification about the Berman Accessibility Ribbon: These ribbons are actually individual tabs on Word’s ribbon. The original tool was an Accessibility toolbar I created in about 2005 for Word 2003. As the state agency I worked for progressed from Word 2003 to Word 2007 to Word 2010, we updated the toolbar to a tab. We then renamed the Accessibility tab to “Productivity” because it helps you be more productive as you use Word. (The very commands that make your Word documents accessible also make Word a powerful tool for formatting, revising, and updating your documents.) If you’re a member of the Society for Technical Communication, you might have seen the tab for Word 2007 featured in an article I wrote for their member journal, Intercom. To find the Word 2003 Accessibility Toolbar, the Word 2007 Accessibility tab, and the original Word 2010 Productivity tab plus instructions for adding them to your interface, go to my incredibly minimalist site, http://cliffknows.net/word. After speaking with David, I learned that this tool was created from a tool given him by a client working for the city of Ottawa, who, in turn, obtained the complete set of these files from me. Any intellectual property rights associated with these files belong to the state of Texas. In the interest of making electronic documents accessible to everyone, the state of Texas provided the Word 2007 Accessibility tab, the Word 2010 Productivity tab, and videos covering the basics of creating accessible documents at http://gov.texas.gov/disabilities/resources/accessible_communications (for Word 2007) and http://gov.texas.gov/disabilities/accessibledocs/ (for Word 2010). David, thank you for your help in extending these tools to yet another audience. But the long game is to get Microsoft to build two new tabs for Word’s ribbon. The first would be very much like these. We might have missed a helpful command or two. We no doubt have some commands here that we use but most people don’t. The second would be a tab that gathers in one location all of the tools that would help people with low vision customize documents to meet their needs. That would include themes, fonts, page color, styles, zoom controls, templates, stylesets, and perhaps even styles. I’d call that tab “Ease of Access,” I think. Maybe there’s a better name. Instead of our learning to work around Word’s standard interface, why doesn’t Microsoft adopt the interfaces we need and make them still more widely available?

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