August 23rd, 2009
I remember a few years back this trend to have a holier than thou attitude in large government supported websites when implementing standards for accessibility. The intention was good, create a website that was able to be understood by the visually handicapped (blind, colour-blind, etc), but the execution was often lacking due to lack of understanding of what it took to make accessibility work.
The push has been primarily focussed in the more socially inclined European countries and continues today to be touted as the marker of a serious website for the general public.
Note: I don’t claim to be any kind of expert here, just an interested observer.
Today while checking out the International Association of Athletics Federations website, I noticed a little link to an “Accessible Version”. For a start I think it is hilarious that the main website is not considered accessible and they need a separate version to do that. Having a look at all the bad layouts in Firefox, I figured that was a good move on their part.
How about we stop the charade and stop claiming that we are supporting accessibility for web when we just have these half hearted efforts.
Accessibility should be able to be achieved with plain good website design. Let’s keep it simpler and forget about the accessibility if you don’t know what you are doing.