January 2008

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January 24, 2008

Germanic Languages and Literatures: LSA Development, Marketing, and Communications strikes again

LSA Development, Marketing, and Communications strikes again with a redesign of the Germanic Languages and Literatures departmental website.

Witness this inspired use of the alt attribute:
SPACER example 1
and this one:
spacer
Of course, the big, important images have alt blank alt attributes.

Important hint: use a blank alt attribute (alt="") for structural images, and a descriptive alt attribute if the image describes anything.

I would write more, but unfortunately, none of the top-level links work at the time of publication.

Manged to figure out one of them: http://www.lsa.umich.edu/german/german, which uses a non-degrading Javascript hide-show trick. Dubious implementation; the link to expand the information looks just the same as the title, which does not function as a link that expands the content.

Text is light tan on white, set close and small in Arial:
tan text on white

Posted by hampelm at 12:00 AM | Comments (0)

January 23, 2008

WAWG Meeting Minutes, January 15, 2008

Via Patty Bradley and the WAWG

The purpose of the January 15th meeting was to brainstorm on our upcoming brown bag series.

First Brown Bag Session

We decided to hold the brown bag series on the first Tuesday of each month, beginning on February 5th from 1:00-2:30 PM in 100 North Hatcher. You can register at our SiteMaker site

The first session is intended for our group and other interested participants -- e.g., UM web folks who are already concerned about web accessibility. We can use it as kind of a dress rehearsal for more highly-publicized campus-wide sessions. Topics (whatever we can get through in the time allotted) are as follows:

  • Top 10 best practices (Patty)
  • Top 10 worst offenses
  • Overview and comparison of the various standards
  • The art of interpreting accessibility checker reports (this could allow us a chance to critique each other's sites) (Patty)
  • Automating the process of changing from table-based to CSS-based layouts
  • Tools and strategies
  • CTools/SiteMaker

(As you can see, I [Patty] put my name next to two items. Any takers on the others?)

At the Feb 5th meeting we will also identify working groups, sub groups, central funding or volunteer funding and share tools.

As for the first Tuesday in March, I have a conflict at 1 PM that cannot be changed. We can discuss alternatives.

Subsequent Brown Bag Sessions

We talked about possible locations for future brown bag sessions, which we will want to video-tape:

  • Duderstadt Center
  • LSA Media Services
  • Dentistry
  • School of Public Health
  • Undergraduate Science Building

Mike Creech (U Library) has around 500 copies of a U of Wisconsin web accessibility guide that he can hand out at our sessions. Services for Students with Disabilities will be able to provide some sandwiches. We are still talking about recruiting some students with disabilities to demonstrate how they use the web.

Possible topics for future sessions:

  • Standards
  • How to tech presentations
  • Demos from users
  • reading a Bobby report
  • Validation
  • retrofitting
  • automate table conversion to content (separate content from style)
  • "why" topics (eg. Why is CSS important, Why do ALT tags help)
  • 10 best practices
  • What's the well-intentioned blunder
  • swapmeets
  • tools, problems
  • UM institutional standards
  • Panel discussions
  • Intros to different validators & tools
  • Guidelines
  • 10 worst problems
  • Overview / comparison of standards
  • pick a site, work on it

Non-Brown Bag Issues

We talked about the need for a stronger identity for our group, including a catchy name for our brownbag series ("Accessibility First") and a logo. Edie Andrews proposed a logo that encompasses the Braille rendering of our block M. She also had the idea that we could allow people to place the logo on their sites, and have it link back to a page that explains web accessibility, how to get more info, and the opportunity to provide feedback on the accessibility of the site.

Edie showed me an e-mail call for applications for the 2009 Alumnae Council Birthday Greeting award. I checked on it, and our group does not meet the guidelines ("The proposed project should have a direct relationship to the advancement of women at U-M. Preference is given to projects that intend to involve and/or impact a large number of women.")

We discussed the newly formed Provost's Committee to look into the accessibility of UM websites. Members are reported to be:

-David Campy [?]
-Jack Bernard
-Anthony Walesby
-John King
-Sam Goodin

WAWG Info

Joinable UMOD group: webaccess
joinable CTools site: UM Web Accessibilty
MBlog
Wiki
SiteMaker

Posted by hampelm at 10:26 PM | Comments (0)

January 10, 2008

Web Accessibility Brainstorming Meeting 1/15/08

Updated 13 Jan. with new location information.

Cross-posted from the Web Accesbility Working Group's blog:

All interested parties should feel free to attend our UM Web Accessibility Working Group brainstorming meeting to plan an upcoming brownbag series. The meeting will be held on Jan. 15th from 1:00-2:30 PM.

You are free to drop in, and can also register on the SiteMaker site: http://sitemaker.umich.edu/webaccess/home

The location for the Jan 15th meeting has been changed to:
Hatcher Graduate Library
Hatcher North, 1st floor, room 100

Contact Patty Bradley (pattyb@umich.edu) for more information.

See also: web accessibility on the ITCS wiki; the Web Accessibility Working Group blog.

Posted by hampelm at 06:28 PM | Comments (0)