There is a wall outside my window. I have an attractive firstfloor office in a newly constructed building around the campus of Dartmouth College. But my view is obscured with a pillared freestanding wall that runs parallel towards the north face of the building. The wall doesn't have structural purpose; its function is solely aesthetic.
Contemplating this wall daily has taken me face to face with the senseless barriers which are built in the name of design, specifically in my own design specialty: the net.
As a Web designer, I do not consciously build walls, but Supra Shoes Ebay
like the architect of my office building, I Michael Kors Online Outlet Store
do fall prey to vanity. I personally use design to draw attention to myself and also to my work. I want people to be delighted when they look at my Web pages. I want these to notice my designs. And the wall obstructs my view of the world outside my office window, my fancy graphics and page designs are often simple barriers between people and the information they seek.
Take something so simple as access to the daily news. Individuals who cannot see can nevertheless read the Web using texttospeech software. And because there are loads of news sources on the Web, blind people should theoretically have access to much more information online than in the print world, where they often must rely on the availability of alternative versions, like audio recordings or Braille.
However with the Web's current hyperactive state, texttospeech accessibility daily news is tedious at best, impossible at worst. Screenreader software works only when it has text to read. Graphics are not text. Flash animations and navigation are not text. Video is not text. PDF files often are not text. So unless the Ray Ban Stockists York
Web developer provides a "text equivalent" in the page's underlying code, material in these formats is inaccessible to individuals who rely on screenreader software. The website uses graphic text for its navigation links, which can't be read by screenreader software. Nor can the text be enlarged by people who are able to see only large type. There are no captions, text transcripts or descriptions Cheap Fred Perry Shirts
to accompany the recording and audio material. "We've addressed the broadest accessibility issues inside the constraints of our publishing oral appliance other necessary resources," Mr. Dorogoff said. The New York Times on the Web, for instance, presents its own barriers. Every page on the internet site has graphics and advertising at the very top and an extensive set of navigation links across Replica Ray Ban Clubmaster
the left side. Sighted people, if they choose to, can skip the advertisements, the final updated date, the search features and login information and also the more Mens Polo Ralph Lauren Shirts
than 50 navigation links and jump straight to the headlines.
But for individuals who rely on texttospeech software, skipping over those elements isn't an option. Screenreader software reads sequentially, starting at the top of the page. This means that blind people must listen to the advertisements and navigation before reaching the primary content, and they must do this on every page from the site.
Stephen P. "For each redesign," he said, "we gather feedback from our readers during comprehensive user testing and concentrate groups. So our designs currently reflect the needs of the majority of our users."
Accessible design does not necessarily mean doing away with navigation links, graphics and banner advertisements. Accessible design means designing in features that accommodate all users. When activated, this link directs the screen reader's focus towards the main content of the page.
The "skip navigation" convention is a fairly recent one, and sites that lack this feature were probably designed before people started referring to accessibility. Indeed, most Web barriers derive from errors of omission and unintended consequences.
But some Web sites do seem made with a deliberate lack of flexibility. Ugg Slippers
Otherwise, they won't make it past the intro page. The majority of the site is in the Flash format, that allows animations, sounds, fancy fonts along with other cool features that are not available using standard Html page. It also means the pages on this site cannot be enlarged or rendered to speech, and they are not easily accessible from the keyboard.
The website is fun for those who are able to utilize it, and I doubt that it is developers are mean spirited. But they did make a choice to favor the cool over the practical and most widely accessible. Macromedia recently released a brand new version of Flash, Flash MX, that allows developers to include more accessibility features within their Flash Cheap Isabel Marant Boots
Don Buckley, the senior vice president for interactive marketing at Warner Brothers Pictures, asserted the topic of access for people with disabilities was "of great interest" which the Web site's developers Tiffany Jewelry Australia
"would certainly be looking at the technology." Maybe the developers at Warner Brothers will revise the site to include some of these new features, or, even better, use plain old HTML to construct a new, flexible Diagon Alley that's accessible and fun for everybody. Now that would be cool.
It does not necessarily take more time or be more expensive to design accessible Web sites. The net was designed to be flexible. Why not work within the medium and make Web sites that are accessible to the largest possible audience? mp--- Zula rq---$ 100 yf---Behin hp---Aktio rk--- Aust bm--- sind qj---Word xq--- dass vg---7603 yz---Word