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l’azile » 2006 » August

August 28, 2006

accessibility and zealots and cads, oh my !

catherine @ 12:20 am

Like just about anyone in the field who has a pulse, I followed with much interest the recent fracas surrounding Web accessibility. Who started what and where is of little concern to me. Suffice it to say that a lot of things were said and a few seemingly irreconcilable differences were reiterated. Personally, I came away from the whole thing feeling like I had just witnessed a rather nasty boxing match. In one corner, you had the supposed raving fanatics and in the other, you had the alleged heartless bastards. Both sides made a few points but sadly, what stood out the most was all the hitting below the belt and in the end, they basically knocked each other out.

Of course, as is usually the case when it comes to issues concerning the “haves” vs. the “have-nots”, a rematch is inevitable, like being caught in a never-ending time loop in a very bad Star Trek episode. (Yes, I know I am mixing my metaphors but there was a lot of sparring in Star Trek so whatever.) I refer to the “haves” and “have-nots” because beyond aesthetics and personal preferences (and I am frankly not interested in debating something so abstract and impossible to pin down), what really got my attention was the “where do we draw the accessibility line” issue that reared its head through all of this. But before I get to that, I would like to address a few other things I noted along the way.

Continue reading accessibility and zealots and cads, oh my !

Filed under: accessibility, society
August 12, 2006

access to civic data on persons with disabilities

catherine @ 11:35 am

Time permitting, I have been loosely collaborating with the gang at to ensure that civic data, including data concerning persons with disabilities, be available as well as accessible. This is a great group of people, founded by my favourite dynamic duo Tracey P. Lauriault and Michael Lenczner, among others. They have recently launched a new project, CitySondage, to get an idea of the level of availability of municipal data across Canada.

Continue reading access to civic data on persons with disabilities

August 11, 2006

your blog is showing

catherine @ 12:38 pm

This morning, I was quietly sipping my coffee while reading my e-mails and making my usual RSS rounds. Just an ordinary Friday morning. When I got to this week’s issue of the Web Design Update newsletter, I almost spit out my coffee. My first blog post on accessibility was among the items included.

While I am pleased that someone thought it worth people’s time to include my ramblings, needless to say I was shocked as :

  1. I have only started this blog last week and am still not sure what I want to do with this space.
  2. I have told no one about this blog and am surprised that someone already found it.
  3. I might have euh, held off a bit on personal stuff had I imagined that someone might already be reading me. (edit: and after thinking about it for a couple of days, I decided I was somewhat mortified and removed said personal stuff, for all the good it will do but whatever)
  4. I am still getting used to this WordPress thing so things are far from perfect (ditto for my English writing skills).

So anyway, to all those people who suggested that I should start my own blog, well guess what ? I did. But then perhaps you already knew that…

Filed under: vie webienne, web life
August 5, 2006

on accessibility

catherine @ 9:14 am

Ok, so I have perhaps decided to start a blog though I am not completely sure yet. And I had started writing a long post explaining why I may or may not have started a blog. But then, I read something on Anne van Kesteren’s blog yesterday and got fairly irritated about it. So I decided that I would leave the existential ramblings for a later date and write about what got me so very much annoyed instead.

Anne posted an item a few days ago on the new accessible search service Google has recently unleashed onto the world. This has generated a certain amount of chit-chat in the technology field and in particular, the standards and accessibility fields, whether on blogs or various mailing lists. Unfortunately, nothing really interesting or useful has as yet been said about this new development. That is besides T.V. Raman’s post to the WAI Interest Group mailing list to explain, with the usual googlian aplomb, that Google would not disclose their criteria for ranking sites according to accessibility performance so we should just keep it simple and use our “favourite guidelines”.

Continue reading on accessibility

Filed under: accessibility, words
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