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Re: Testing Accessibility Re: Accessibility is for everyone

From: Frank Palinkas <fmpalinkas@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 8 May 2007 07:30:10 +0200
Message-ID: <b51241950705072230m5f96a3das85632c6ef064e09b@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Charles McCathieNevile" <chaals@opera.com>
Cc: "Preston L. Bannister" <preston@bannister.us>, "Denis Boudreau (WebConforme)" <dboudreau@webconforme.com>, "Philip Taylor (Webmaster)" <P.Taylor@rhul.ac.uk>, "HTML WG" <public-html@w3.org>
Hi Preston,

Adding to Charles excellent tool references and experience, may I also
recommend another method?

As part of the minority of Technical Writers that hand-code their web-based
documentation (using the Visual Studio 2005 IDE Source Code editors), I ask
a colleague who has been blind from birth to review my tutorials through the
JAWS screen reader (produced by Freedom Scientific). I find that regardless
of my attempts at testing the accessibility of my markup, presentation and
behavior code, there is no substitute for the feedback/comments from a
visually/physically challenged user adept with assistive technologies. As
well as using various tools mentioned by Charles, may I suggest that you
develop a working relationship with someone experienced in this environment?
If there is a fee needed to accomplish this, IMHO it will be money well

Kind regards,

On 5/8/07, Charles McCathieNevile <chaals@opera.com> wrote:
> On Sun, 06 May 2007 18:45:08 +0200, Preston L. Bannister <
> preston@bannister.us> wrote:
> > ... For all I know there could be some aspect of my
> > application that is extremely bad for accessibility.  I had and have
> > no wayof knowing!
> >
> > Assume hiring an expert on accessibility is out of the question (as was
> the
> > case).  In the end, the degree of "accessibility" in an application I
> have
> > written is something to which I simply have no insight.
> >
> > What I as a developer need is not random features or guidelines, but
> rather
> > some means on "testing" accessibility ... some test consisting of more
> than
> > just checking from the presence of attributes.
> You should probably look at some standard resources.
> http://www.google.com/search?client=opera&rls=en&q=test+accessibility&sourceid=opera&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8gave me a page of links to testing tools, plus an article on why standard
> automated testing is not enough. Anyone who has argued that a DTD cannot
> support sufficient constraints to express the semantics of HTML (or followed
> such a discussion) should be ableto understand something of the arguments
> that would be adduced in such an article.
> There is a LOT of stuff on how to test - from the W3C site there is a list
> of tools of various types, ...
> If you want a recommendation, for learning how to do testing Hera [1] is a
> good tool - it does automated tests as much as it can, guides the user
> throug the various tests that cannot be completely automated, supports
> collaborative evaluation, is open source and multilingual (if you want to
> point out something badly translated I would be happy to work on it), and
> for entreprise level testing AccMonitor [2] which is efficient, cand can be
> customised to do all sorts of tests. There is a version of the engine
> running the free web-based service CynthiaSays [3]. I have been involved in
> the development of both these tools, and it is some time since I made an
> effort to really compare tools, so my advice is not impartial and perhaps
> not up to date, but there are plenty of people working in the field who will
> discuss their preferences (and the whys and wherefores).
> [1] http://sidar.org/hera
> [2] http://www.hisoftware.com/access/newmonitor.html
> [3] http://cynthiasays.com/
> cheers
> Chaals
> --
>   Charles McCathieNevile, Opera Software: Standards Group
>   hablo espa˝ol  -  je parle franšais  -  jeg lŠrer norsk
> chaals@opera.com  Catch up: Speed Dial  http://opera.com

Frank M. Palinkas
Microsoft MVP - Windows Help
Senior Technical Communicator, Web Standards & Accessibility Designer
Received on Tuesday, 8 May 2007 14:52:02 UTC

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