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FYI - outreach in Denmark by Daniel Dardallier

From: Helle Bjarnø <hbj@visinfo.dk>
Date: Tue, 17 Apr 2001 11:14:44 +0200
Message-ID: <51657A7817A7D3119023009027DE00510632EF@VIISNY>
To: "EOWG (E-mail)" <w3c-wai-eo@w3.org>
Saw this article/interview with Daniel Dardallier in a Danish IT-Company
online newsletter:
TilgÆngelighed betaler sig
Web Accessibility - a good business practice 
Hele den engelske artikel


Daniel Dardailler, Technical Manager of the Web Accessibility Initiative,
WAI, gives some rationales for making Web content accessible

By Karin Bendixen

The inventor of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, once said: "The power
of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of
disability is an essential aspect." He is now the overall Director of the
W3C, World Wide Web Consortium, which develops interoperable technologies to
lead the Web to its full potential as a forum for information, commerce,
communication, and collective understanding. WC3 hosts the Web Accessibility
Initiative, WAI. 

INSIDER has interwieved Dr. Daniel Dardailler, Technical Manager of WAI at
W3C. Dr. Dardailler, who operates from France, has been particularly
responsible for developments in the Web Accessibility Initiative, WAI. He is
also attached to the EU Commission´s ambitious EU action plan 'eEurope - an
Information Society for All' promoting WAI guidelines in Europe. 

What should be the motivation for a company to change their website into a
more accessible Website?

- Web accessibility is good business practice, mainly because it opens
Websites to a broader marketplace. Furthermore it benefits non-disabled Web
users as well as those with disabilities. Just think about mobile users with
a tiny screen, no bandwidth for images or a little keyboard support. Think
about Web TV users with no mouse or Web phone users with just a phone keypad
and their voice. All these scenario are what we call "curb-cut effect":
Cases where technologies that have been designed for people with
disabilities like the cuts you see in sidewalks to let wheelchair users
cross the street are used daily by everybody - businessmen rolling their
luggage, mothers pushing their baby kart, bicycles, etc.

Dr. Daniel Dardailler continues:

- Accessibility is a required practice on more and more government and
commercial Websites in different countries; it shows a commitment on the
part of organisations to meeting the needs of a diverse user base. At last,
but not least, it saves time on Website maintenance - simple, good design
using shared style sheet for instance.

Do you consider the accessibility is worsening, due to increasing of
multimedia and advanced web technologies?

- Increased multimedia is not by itself a barrier to accessibility, but when
not done properly, it becomes a barrier. Text is accessible. If you add an
image without describing it, it then becomes unaccessible to an entire
category of users: those who cannot see the image.

Dr. Daniel Dardailler underlines that Web accessibility barriers exist for
many kinds of disabilities: 

People who are deaf do not have access to multimedia or audio events that do
not contain captioning. 

People who are blind or who have low vision encounter barriers due to the
Web's predominantly graphical interface, its graphic-based content, and any
Web protocol or application that cannot easily be rendered or accessed using
audio, Braille, large text or synthetic voice. 

People with physical disabilities have difficulty using browsers and
authoring tools without full keyboard support, and may have difficulty using
forms or frames that are not marked-up properly. 

People with cognitive or neurological disabilities may have difficulty
interpreting Web pages that lack a consistent navigation structure or that
lack visual signposts. 

Does e.g. flash and other multimedia functions in fact not ease the
understanding for people with cognitive problems?

- Yes and no. If these facilities are done well, that is, complemented with
the appropriate description and used consistently, it can ease the
comprehension of a site. But most often, flash animations to mention those
are used instead of accessible content, without alternative, and in a wild
way that usually defeats the purpose of better usability. Diversity is good,
but too much diversity renders Web pages completely useless.

What are the most common problems that you observe concerning the web
accessibility? 

- The main problems are the lack of image description and the lack of
structure in Web pages while the languages - HTML in particular - used to
author the pages support both.

Does it require a change in the legislation to make companies make their
websites more accessible?

- Some think it does, other are more on the 'promotion/awareness is enough'
side. I'm personally in favour of legislation requiring accessibility for
Websites paid with public money and Websites that are part of the workplace
or educational trail.

What is your opinion or reaction when a bank says that blind people do not
form a big part of their clientele and therefore they do not intend to
improve the accessibility?

- That's a completely bogus approach. First, the percentage of the
population with disabilities is a big part of their clientele - it's
estimated that 15 to 20 % of the population is affected of one form of
disabilities - but they just don't know it yet. Second, as I said, it's just
good business practice.

Can you mention one or two private companies, which fulfil the demands to an
accessible website?

- I know a bunch but since they evolve rapidly, it's hard to say at any
point in time. E.g. Microsoft, IBM, are quite accessible. We're about to
start a gallery of accessible sites, but it's not there yet. 

Finally, Dr. Daniel Dardailler refers to:

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 
http://w3.org/tr/wcag

The Quick Tips:
http://w3.org/WAI/quicktips

 

FACTS:

W3C MISSION 

The World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) commitment to lead the Web to its full
potential includes promoting a high degree of usability for people with
disabilities. 

WAI, in coordination with organizations around the world, pursues
accessibility of the Web through five primary areas of work: technology,
guidelines, tools, education and outreach, and research and development. 



ACCESSIBILITY TIPS:


Images & animations: Use the alt attribute to describe the function of each
visual. 
Image maps: Use client-side MAP and text for hotspots. 
Multimedia: Provide captioning and transcripts of audio, and descriptions of
video. 
Hypertext links: Use text that makes sense when read out of context. For
example, avoid "click here." 
Page organization: Use headings, lists, and consistent structure. Use CSS
for layout and style where possible. 
Graphs & charts: Summarize or use the longdesc attribute. 
Scripts, applets, & plug-ins: Provide alternative content in case active
features are inaccessible or unsupported. 
Frames: Use NOFRAMES and meaningful titles. 
Tables: Make line by line reading sensible. Summarize. 
Check your work: Validate. Use tools, checklist, and guidelines at
www.w3.org/TR/WCAG.


LINKS:

Web Accessibility Initiative´s website:
http://www.w3.org/WAI/

Quick tips to make accessible websites:
http://www.w3.org/WAI/References/QuickTips/

Complete guidelines:
http://www.w3.org/WAI/Resources/#gl

Complete checklists:
http://www.w3.org/WAI/Resources/#ch

 e-Europe: an information society for everybody
http://europe.eu.int/comm/information_society/eeurope/index_da.htm

 

The newsletter INSIDER March 2001

 


Alle artikler er til fri afbenyttelse under hensyntagen til, at der bliver
henvist til IT-nyhedsbrevet INSIDER (www.insider.mondo.dk), som udgives af
Mondo A/S. 

 <All articles can be used with correct reference to the  article and
publisher: IT-Nyhedsbrevet INSIDER (www.insider.mondo.dk)  Mondo A/S>

interview 
<here was a picture of Daniel>

Daniel Dardailler 


Kind regards
Helle Bjarno
Visual Impairment Knowledge Centre
e-mail: hbj@visinfo.dk
www.visinfo.dk 
phone: +45 39 46 01 04, fax: +45 30 61 94 14
mail: Rymarksvej 1, 2900 Hellerup, Denmark.
Received on Tuesday, 17 April 2001 05:17:03 UTC

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