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Browser Accessibility (Section 508)

As Joel pointed out in the API Wars posting, more and more business apps are being written as webapps. This has pros and cons overall, but for people who need accessible UIs (think 508 compliance) it's not pretty.

Screen-readers can get trapped reading the boiler-plate top menu of every page, or confused about the relationship between a label and the fields (see comments about lack of normal high-level widgets). Try navigating a page full of links with a keyboard. Or see how many support larger fonts or good contrast colors. I'm sure the list goes on and on...

I know this is being worked on by some W3C committee and the improvements won't come too soon!

Mike
Thursday, June 17, 2004

Perhaps in distant the future people will have voice activated screen readers in their cars, so they can listen to the web while they drive.

Matthew Lock
Thursday, June 17, 2004

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act only applies to US Federal agencies. Personally, I think it's a good thing but I doubt it will be adopted by too many others if it isnt going to be enforced.

http://www.section508.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=Content&ID=3

Interaction Architect
Thursday, June 17, 2004

While Section 508 does only apply to federal agencies, lots of others use it a measuring stick for assessing whether an application is accessible.

Whether it is 508-complaint is less important than there being major strides in making the web accessible.

Mike
Thursday, June 17, 2004

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