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RE: examples of sites with good accessibility

From: Glenda L Sims <gsims@austin.utexas.edu>
Date: Thu, 19 Oct 2006 09:07:18 -0500
Message-ID: <5B59870CA143DD408BD6279374B74C8B01882783@MAIL02.austin.utexas.edu>
To: "Alastair Campbell" <ac@nomensa.com>, <Stuart.M.Smith@manchester.ac.uk>
Cc: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

For higher ed, I'd like to throw the front door of www.utexas.edu into
the ring as a good model.  We worked hard with John Slatin, Jim Thatcher
and Jim Allan to test and implement an accessible and standards
compliant solution.


glenda sims | university of texas at austin | glendathegood.com  
web for everyone. web on everything. - w3 goals 

-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org] On
Behalf Of Alastair Campbell
Sent: Thursday, October 19, 2006 4:12 AM
To: Stuart.M.Smith@manchester.ac.uk
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: RE: examples of sites with good accessibility

Stuart Smith wrote:
> The PBS site has some good features (like lots of alternate 
> text, for images) but I think it's big let down is it does 
> not linearize (without style sheets) which is not good.

There is little separation of style and content, and some of the
alternative texts are a little dubious (e.g. adding PBS to images which
don't contain that text).

Having said that, you'd be hard pressed to find a paragon of
accessibility outside of those that have something to loose from not
being perceived as completely accessible (e.g. WebAim is generally a
good example site, but of course it should be).

There is a site called "A-sites" that aims to be a portal for accessible

However, from a quick sample (of 2), these seem to be sites that are
accessible to a certain audience in practice, rather than generally

> Anna, my approach would be to start with good semantic 
> mark-up e.g. Headings appropriately marked-up as such H1 as 
> the main heading then H2 for sections etc. Once my mark-up is 
> correct then it can be styled using CSS and look almost any 
> way you want. This way if someone switches off style sheets 
> they should be able to make sense of your document.

Definitely the best way, although it takes some practice to put the
right hooks into the document for CSS from the start. (And not ending up
with class-itus!)

> On another note (and this is purely opinion) one reason I 
> think stores such as Amazon end up with "alternate sites" is 
> because they their main sites are loaded with a lot of 
> promotions etc. Making it very difficult to maintain a clean 
> interface. 

I suspect (again, purely opinion!) it is more to do with the perceived
effort of making changes to their highly customised, and probably very
monolithic applications. 

Also, an accessible version should have equivalent content, including
promotions. That was one of the main gripes people had with the Tesco
access version.

Kind regards,


Alastair Campbell         |  Director of User Experience

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