Greetings WOW Members and Web Professionals everywhere! Bill Cullifer here with the World Organization of Webmasters (WOW) and the WOW Technology Minute.
Today?’s podcast is a continuation of the coverage on the topic of Web accessibility. If you?’ve been following a long with the series of podcast that you?’re aware that I?’ve enlisted the support of several industry professionals including that of Brent Norris, Web developer from the great state of Hawaii to assist me with better understanding today?’s Web accessibility best practices and to align this podcast to those standards.
If you?’re listening to this series for the first time, I?’d like to suggest that you visit previous coverage of this series of podcast to better understand the rational, the business case and the Web accessibility tools that are available today.
For today?’s podcast, Brent recaps some of his findings and some of the recommended items for the WOW Technology Minute website. For the complete four minute audio interview check out today’s podcast at the WOW Technology Minute..
Stay tuned for future interviews with additional interviews with Brent and others from the international community.
BILL CULLIFER: Greetings WOW Members and Web Professionals everywhere! Bill Cullifer here with the World Organization of Webmasters (WOW) and the WOW Technology Minute. Today?’s podcast is a continuation of the coverage on the topic of Web accessibility. If you?’ve been following along with this series of podcasts than you?’re already aware that I?’ve enlisted the support from several industry professionals including Brent Norris, Web developer from the great state of Hawaii, to assist me with better understanding today?’s best practices and to align this podcast to those standards. If you?’re listening to this series for the first time, I?’d like to suggest that you visit previous coverage of this series of podcasts to better understand the rationale, the business case, and the Web accessibility tools and resources and links that are available today. For today?’s podcast I?’m on the phone with Brent Norris to ask him for an update of his analysis and his recommendations for the WOW Technology Minute website. Good evening Brent and thanks for agreeing to this call. And of course, for your continued support.
BRENT NORRIS: For sure. So we ran the tests and we found some errors. There were two major errors, form label errors. We also found doctype wasn?’t declared and we found a language attribute that wasn?’t declared and the XML RPC file, which isn?’t necessarily a viewable file or a file that folks are going to look at on the site, so that was pretty good. So we had a couple of goals to remove errors and reduce the number of warnings. So we did that. And the down and dirty method was to remove the search box and to change the pull-down menu for the categories, and this is within the context of WordPress, to a list instead of a pull-down menu.
BILL: Excellent, that?’s a great summary. So sounds like that?’s relatively straightforward. So does that mean we?’re complete with the process?
BRENT: Well, we don?’t have any more errors. You know, it?’s an interesting point. There?’s errors, there?’s warnings, there?’s exclamation points, there?’s lots of different levels of accessibility. Then we?’ve got Section 508 compliance. One of the things that we can still do, of course, to meet that Section 508 compliance is to provide what?’s called a synchronized caption or synchronized transcript that runs along with the video or audio that we provide.
BILL: That certainly seems to make a lot of sense. The Adobe visual communicator product that we?’re currently using has the functionality of adding the transcription service to its functionality in flash that incorporates audio, video, images and the transcription all in one neat product. So certainly that?’s something we could do pretty straightforwardly. And then I suppose if I?’m understanding this correctly, it certainly seems to make a lot of sense, to have a separate, independent, downloadable audio component as well.
BRENT: Good question. Yes, there?’s actually, like you said, with visual communicator there?’s an opportunity to provide transcript, in context, synchronized with the audio. That?’s great. Adobe partnered up with HiSoftware, which is one of the resources that our listeners can find on the site for Section 508 voluntary, it?’s not the voluntary product accessibility template, it?’s an extension for flash that lets you include synchronized captioning. So it?’s like a five-hundred dollar piece of add-on software that folks creating video and flash can use to become Section 508 compliant.
BILL: Well that?’s great Brent. Sounds like another terrific resource. Thank you for that and of course thank you for all of your support. I think we?’re starting to get to the heart of this issue and that is that we?’ve determined the rationale, we?’ve determined the business reasons for this. We did an analysis of the WOW Technology Minute site. We?’ve looked at the tools available. We found the reports. All of these resources are readily available for the average working Web professional. It?’s not to say that it?’s not complex and it doesn?’t need a little bit of investment and time, but it seems to me that we?’ve gone down the path of better understanding this topic. We?’ve gone down the process of incorporating it into our daily life. And it seems like we?’ve actually found some solutions for some big issues that need to be addressed. So Brent I?’m very grateful for that. In future minutes I?’d like to explore other in-depth interviews about how you felt about this process and how you feel about incorporating this kind of activity into your daily Web professional life. In addition, I?’d also to like to point out that for the listeners of this podcast that are outside of the United States, 508 is a particular section that applies to the United States. We will be interviewing other Web professionals from a more international perspective, so we can find out what issues exist internationally and we can also find out what solutions exist. And I know there are many. So with that, thank you for listening and thank you for watching. And of course Brent, thank you again for your time today.
BRENT: Much aloha Bill, and aloha to everyone out there.