Constructing Accessible Web Sites

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Apress, Jul 10, 2003 - Computers - 415 pages
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Accessibility is about making websites that don't exclude people with visual, aural, or physical disabilities. Through real-world examples, this practical book will teach you how to create or retrofit accessible websites quickly and easily.

This book is aimed toward web professionals creating accessible websites or updating existing sites to make them accessible. It's also useful for corporate, university, and government policy-makers involved in the development and maintenance of websites for their institutions.

The thorough and practical accessibility techniques outlined in this book come from some of the best accessibility professionals in the business. The techniques are illustrated and accompanied by real-world examples from live sites, demonstrating that accessibility is not the enemy of great visual design.

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Understanding Web Accessibility
Overview of Law and Guidelines

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About the author (2003)

As executive director of the International Center for Disability Resources on the Internet (ICDRI), Cynthia Waddell provides leadership and project oversight for carrying out ICDRI's overarching vision for the equalization of opportunities for people with disabilities. Internationally recognized as a public policy center organized by and for people with disabilities, ICDRI's mission is to collect a global knowledge base of quality disability resources and best practices and to provide education, outreach, and training based on these core resources. In the world of accessibility, Cynthia is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in the field of electronic and information technology as well as employment and construction. Namedone ofthe "Top 25 Women on the Web" by Webgrrls International in 1998, she received the first U.S. Government Technology Magazine award in 2003 for leadership in accessibility technology and for pioneering advocacy and education.

Bob Reganis a solutions architect for vertical markets at Adobe Systems, Inc. In that role, he serves as the technical lead for the education, government, financial services, manufacturing, telecommunications, and life science markets. It is his responsibility to connect with the specific needs, challenges, and successes of customers working to create digital content and applications. He works with each team to help them collect customer experiences and communicate them into the product organization, and assemble solutions based on these requirements. Bob's first role in the software world as an accessibility advocate continues to play an important part of his day-to-day life. Now with Adobe, he is part of a much larger team looking at accessibility issues from product design to engineering, from content authoring through to the end user. Ensuring that the Web is a great experience to us all remains a great passion of his.

Shawn LawtonHenryleads the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)'s worldwide education and outreach activities, promoting web accessibility for people with disabilities. She develops online resources to help web developers understand and implement web accessibility guidelines, and provides presentations and training on accessible web design and development with the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI). Shawn has presented and published papers on accessibility and usability for Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES), Computer-Human Interaction (CHI), Usability Professionals Association (UPA), Web Design World, and many other conferences around the world ( Her publications also include the "Everyone Interfaces" chapter in User Interfaces for All (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2000), Accessibility in the User-Centered Design Process (Georgia Tech Research Corporation, 2004), and other online resources ( Prior to joining W3C WAI, Shawn consulted with international standards bodies, research centers, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, education providers, and Fortune 500 companies to develop and implement strategies to optimize design for usability and accessibility ( She developed to share information on universal user interface design and "usable accessibility." Shawn holds a research appointment at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Michael Burksserves as Section 508 analyst, working on the accessibility of electronic and information technology. He is also the webmaster and public information officer of the International Center for Disability Resources on the Internet (, a nonprofit organization dedicated to presenting disability resources and information to those who are dealing with disability issues. Michael works with the Internet Society ( on disability issues, and has made presentations and taught tutorials on web accessibility and disability issues around the world.

Jim Thatcherreceived his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1963, one of the first Ph.D.s in computer science. Together with his thesis advisor, Dr. Jesse Wright, Jim then joined the Mathematical Sciences Department ofIBM Research in New York. His research was in the area of mathematical computer science, automata theory, and data abstraction. Jim began moving away from the abstract and toward the practical when he and Dr. Wright, who is blind, began working on access to the personal computer for people who are blind. He developed one of the first screen readers for DOS which, in 1986, became IBM Screen Reader (and the phrase later became generic). After that, he led the development of IBM Screen Reader/2 for OS/2, which was the first screen reader for the graphical user interface on the PC (1991). In 1996, Jim left his research post to join the IBM Accessibility Center (formerly IBM Special Needs Systems which produced Screen Reader, Home page Reader and other assistive technology) in Austin, Texas. He served as vice-chair of the Electronic and Information Technology Access Advisory Committee (EITAAC) which was impaneled by the Access Board to propose standards for Section 508; he chaired the sub-committee on software standards. Jim led the effort to establish the IBM accessibility guidelines specifically for use by IBM's development community. He wrote the course on web accessibility for Section 508 for ITTATC, the Information Technology Technical Assistance and Training Center, which was funded to support Section 508.

Mark D. Urban is chairman of the North Carolina Governor's Advocacy Council for Persons with Disabilities. He is chairman of the board of directorsof the International Center for Disability Resources on the Internet (, and vice chairman of the InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards, V2 (IT Access Interfaces). Mark does private consulting on accessibility matters with federal, state, and local agencies and the businesses that supply them.

Paul Bohman, M.S., is the technology coordinator for WebAIM (Web Accessibility in Mind), a project at the Center for Persons with Disabilities at Utah State University. He specializes in training web developers and IT professionals in accessible web design skills. He has also written a broad range of documents, tutorials, articles, checklists, guides, and other materials, many of which are featured on the WebAIM site (

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