Web Accessibility Project and WOW Executive Summary

Greetings WOW Members and Web Professionals everywhere! Bill Cullifer here with the World Organization of Webmasters (WOW) and the WOW Technology Minute.

If you?’ve been following along with the podcast coverage on the topic of Web accessibility, than you?’re already aware that we conducted a number of interviews from some of the most respected experts on the topic within the Web profession. The goal of our coverage on the topic was two-fold. The first goal was to provide the members and subscribers of this podcast with some practical resources on the topic of Web accessibility that you can easily implement today. Secondly, our goal was to improve the accessibility and quality of the WOW Technology Minute website.

For today?’s podcast, I?’d like to summarize what we?’ve learned through the process and to share my own perspective on the topic. For the complete 3 minute audio visit the WOW Technology Minute. website.

Thank you for listening and watching today?’s WOW Technology Minute.

Today?’s WOW Technology Minute is brought to you by WebProTraining.org check it out at: Web Pro Training.

Transcript:

Web Accessibility Project and WOW Executive Summary
Greetings WOW Members and Web Professionals everywhere! Bill Cullifer here with the World Organization of Webmasters (WOW) and the WOW Technology Minute.
If you?’ve been following along with the podcast coverage on the topic of Web accessibility, than you?’re already aware that we conducted a number of interviews from some of the most respected experts on the topic within the Web profession. The goal of our coverage on the topic was two-fold. The first goal was to provide the members and subscribers of this podcast with some practical resources on the topic of Web accessibility that you can easily implement today. Secondly, our goal was to improve the accessibility and quality of the WOW Technology Minute website.
For today?’s podcast, I?’d like to summarize what we?’ve learned through this process and to share my own perspective on the topic. For tomorrow?’s podcast, I?’ll be reaching out to Brent Norris, Web developer from the Aloha state of Hawaii who as you may recall, I asked to consult with me on the WOW Accessibility project.

First, I?’d like to acknowledge T.V. Raman Research Scientist at Google for the inspiration for the in depth analysis and the WOW Accessibility Project. I met and interviewed T.V. Raman at the Seventeen Annual WWW conference in Beijing last month on the topic of Web accessibility and was inspired by his “cup half full” perspective on the topic and his passion to educate others in a very logical and upbeat way about the need for and the benefits of designing with Web accessibility in mind.

Now for my thoughts:

In reviewing the past WOW Technology Minute interviews on the topic of Web accessibility, I?’ve learned the following:

•As an industry we are making progress in the areas of improving an understanding and appreciation of the needs for Web accessibility and as a profession we should be proud of that
•I also learned that the cup is half full but according to the experts its much bigger and that this is a positive thing for our profession in terms of oppotyinty and for the Web in general
•Thanks to wide variety of Web accessibility specialist and standards bodies we have more recommendations (national and international ) and tools to better understand and address the problem
•In addition to being the right thing to do for those that are blind, deaf and otherwise handicapped Web accessibility makes great business sense and resources exist to document that
•With just a little bit of time invested and some very easy to do processes even the busiest of the busiest in the Web profession can make a small and incremental change that can have a big impact

To put those statements into perspective, I?’d like to point out that I recognize that most Web professionals do not have the luxury of working for the enterprise. More than likely, the majority of you have clients and tight timelines and operate within the constraints of a small budget. As a result, Web accessibility although important is only a small part of your over all job responsibility. If you?’re like me, than you?’re most likely the developer, the designer, the content, the security and the marketing guru as well. I recognize and understand how difficult it must be to manage the complexity of your daily lives of managing a wide variety of demanding clients and to do?’s.

That said, I?’d like to ask that you consider incorporating some of the lessons learned into your daily Web professional lives. You?’ll feel better for having done so. I know that I have.

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