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Web Accessibility: Web Standards and Regulatory Compliance [Paperback]

Michael R. Burks , Patrick H. Lauke , Jim Thatcher , Richard Rutter , Cynthia Waddell
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

11 Aug 2006 1590596382 978-1590596388

The power of the Web lies in the fact that anyone and everyone can access it, and this should also extend to users with disabilities. Accessibility is about making websites accessible to those with aural, visual, or physical disabilities, or rather, constructing websites that don’t exclude these people from accessing the content or services provided.

This isn’t difficult to accomplish and doesn’t require anything more than your normal tool set—HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Flash, or whatever else. All you need to do is use these tools in the right way, and bear in mind the guidelines that exist to help you keep your websites accessible and the laws that enforce web accessibility around the world.

This book gives you all you need to know about web accessibility, whether you are a web designer or developer who wants your sites to be accessible, or a business manager who wants to learn the impact of web accessibility laws on your websites.

After an overview of the accessibility law and guidelines, and a discussion about accessibility and its implementation in the enterprise, the book goes on to show how to implement accessible websites using a combination of concise references and easy-to-follow examples, covering:

  • Understanding assistive technologies
  • Creating accessible content using XHTML, JavaScript, CSS, Flash, and PDFs
  • Testing against WCAG (including 2.0) and Section 508
  • Retrofitting inaccessible sites where necessary

The book concludes with an in-depth analysis of accessibility law around the world. If you’re concerned about the legal and moral implications of web accessibility, then this book is perfect for you. It is written by some of the world’s experts on accessibility, leaving you in good hands.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 696 pages
  • Publisher: FRIENDS OF ED (11 Aug 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590596382
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590596388
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 9.2 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 592,830 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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About the Author

Richard Rutter lives and works in Brighton, UK. He is Production Director for the web consultancy Clearleft (www.clearleft.com) Richard has been designing and developing websites for nigh on ten years. Early in 2003, he built his first blogging engine, which still powers his weblog Clagnut (www.clagnut.com) in which he harps on about accessibility, web standards, and mountain biking.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
A must for all web developers, designers, commissioners, and users

If ever there was a book that not only explained why accessibility is vital to web development, but also shared the tips and techniques to achieve it - this is it.

An easy to read common sense attitude, along with the legal facts, make this a must read for anyone in the industry today.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
This text book is of very high quality and an engaging read. Apart from the expected target audience of web developers, I will suggest that website owners and non-developers should consider getting hold of this vital textbook.

The fact that it leaves you wanting more is a compliment to its quality. Even though it is bulky, I wished it had covered certain areas in more detail.

One small criticism relates javascript examples, one or two of which refer to techniques that are questionable in terms of robustness and re-usability, issues that, to be fair, the author does point out. [Background; search for "addEvent considered harmful" in your favorite search engine.] Yet no definitive solution is given, and the reader is left hanging. But such small gripes should on no account not put you off buying this text.

Anyway the numerous authors are to be congratulated. Indeed, given the size of the field and the rapid pace of developments, a second "part II - advanced" volume would be a very good idea indeed.
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic accessibility guide, updated at last 18 Oct 2006
By L. Jeffrey Zeldman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Reading Web Accessibility: Web Standards and Regulatory Compliance is like attending a five-day conference on web accessibility, featuring almost every master of the subject now writing in English. The authors include a passionate user advocate who helps the W3C craft its internationally recognized accessibility standards; a web developer who guided Macromedia in its efforts to bring accessibility to Flash; and the accessibility expert who lent her name to the leading web service that tests for accessible site development.

The book is deep and vast. It covers aspects of accessibility you might not even have known were possible. There's big-picture stuff, and hands-on, dirty code. There are smart, insightful tips on working with users, and there is detailed information about complying with accessibility laws. It's a concept book and a code book, a book filled with detailed guidelines, and also one that encourages you to think for yourself as you interpret those guidelines.

I bought the first edition of this book and have given it to clients and colleagues. The new edition is even more useful. If you want your site to be accessible, you need this book.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thorough Covering of Web Accessibility 17 Oct 2006
By Nate Klaiber - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Web Accessibility: Web Standards and Regulatory Compliance was one of the more hefty books I have read in the past few months, weighing in at approximately 648 pages. The book spanned many different topics (accessible javascript, CSS, accessible PDF, accessible Flash, etc). This book was not a CSS Mastery, DOM Scripting, or The Flash Bible - but it covered each topic in relation to accessibility. Each chapter did a great job of covering all of the basics as well as giving extra resources if you wanted to find out more.

The book was split up into three parts:

* Part 1: The Impact of Web Accessibility was initially a tough section to get through. This is a very important section, and sets the foundation for the rest of the book, but I was initially overwhelmed by all of the terms presented (some of which I was unfamiliar with related to standards). This section was full of great information, as well as links to discover even more information.

* Part 2: Implementing Accessible Websites covers a broad range of topics (listed above). This was the lengthiest part of the book, but well worth the read. Much of what was discussed in these chapters has been discussed in other books I have read lately. Each chapter goes in-depth on creating accessible websites and using the technology at hand. The chapter related to assistive devices confirmed what Nathan Smith said, "I mean, I always thought browser differences were bad, but compared to the many screen reader quirks, wow." Overall, it discusses best practices for web development.

* Part 3: Accessibility Law and Policy wraps up the entire book. This section covers the legal information in an array of different countries as they relate to websites. Again, I was worried that this section might be dry - but I found it easy to read and learned much.

Most of this book could be summed up by Cynthia Waddell at the end of Chapter 16 where she states:

"The economic, political, and ethical benefits far outweigh the cost of this effort. The cost of being inaccessible - missing the boat on the coming age of thin clients, failing to serve our most needful citizens and employees, and legal liability - can be incalculable.

This millennium offers unprecedented opportunities for efficient, effective governance. The Internet should be accessible to all. It is the right thing to do."

This book is a must have for any serious web developer. Don't be intimated by the size, it is well worth the read (and chock full of extra resources).
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Web Accessibility - It's all in one place! 22 Dec 2006
By Dorothy Hesson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Web Accessibility: Web Standards and Regulatory Compliance is the

perfect reference for any site development team. Everything you've

wanted to know about Accessibility and the Web is here in a single text.

Each member of the team will find necessary information and practical

solutions in one or more of the thorough discussions here. For the

designer/developer who works alone, Web Accessibility: Web Standards and

Regulatory Compliance is the all-in-one reference with the most

up-to-date information and techniques. Thanks to the clear organization,

two tables of contents, and index, all information is easy to find as

well.

For those of us who like background and theory, the book contains lively

discussions of accessibility standards, of the intent of the standards,

and suggestions for using the standards. For me, though, the heart of

the text is in the practical discussions and how-to guides in order to

improve accessibility of every common web technology -- from PDF to

Flash, from javascript to data forms. In addition, we finds clear

descriptions of the law and web accessibility. Importantly, these

discussions are international in scope.

The collective experience of the authors of this text is impressive.

These are the experts to whom we've turned to assist us with accessible

design and development for years. In this text, we have a collection of

the most knowledgeable voices on the subject of accessibility, who speak from a real-world

perspective. They share freely their best techniques, so that we can

create the "best possible experience for the greatest number of

visitors."

For me, Web Accessibility: Web Standards and Regularory Compliance is a

must-have.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must-Have Book for Accessible Technology 5 Dec 2006
By Christian Johansen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Web Accessibility: Web Standards and Regulatory Compliance, written by eleven experts and released in July of 2006 by friends of Ed, is one of very few books about web accessibility. It is also the best. The writers include luminaries and pioneers in accessibility - Jim Thatcher, Cynthia Waddell; and technical experts - Christian Heilmann and Andrew Kirkpatrick, to name a few.

The book is an overview of accessible best practices in web technology, and the legal landscape it inhabits. It was compiled with several target audiences in mind.

Certainly, it is intended for developers - newcomers as well as veterans. This is the group that most needs to understand the technology, and unfortunately, seems to "get it" the least.

Another audience is the managers and administrators; that group that should be most adverse to risk and whose responsibility is to keep their government and corporate employers out of the courts and headlines (like those that have embarrassed [Target retailer]). Covered in some detail are the ADA section 504 and section 508 requirements, and in lesser detail international laws.

The technical information is very current. There is a chapter on accessible JavaScript (most would consider that term an oxymoron) even though it has only recently seen coverage in articles and blogs online. Likewise, there is good information on making Flash content accessible.

A book assembled as a compendium of contributions begs to be updated frequently. The next release, for example, could add much needed chapters on AJAX and Web 2.0, podcasting, and learning management technologies. Regardless, all practitioners of accessibility will find this book valuable.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-have for all Web professionals 19 Oct 2006
By Roger Johansson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
It's excellent to have one more book on the subject of accessibility to refer people to. And this is not just another book on the subject - Web Accessibility: Web Standards and Regulatory Compliance is, despite the awkward title, an excellent and very well-written book that explains the various aspects of Web accessibility.

The book is based on Constructing Accessible Websites, which was published in 2002. That is four years ago - a very long time in the fields of design, development, and accessibility for the Web, so a lot has happened since then. The book's authors explain modern and up-to-date accessibility tools, techniques, and technology, as well as other aspects such as laws and regulations in various parts of the world, and how content published in formats such as Flash and PDF can be made as accessible as possible.

There are 650 pages in this book, so when I started reading it I was a little worried that it would be too much to get through in a reasonable amount of time. It turned out that I had no reason to worry about that since the book is written in a clear and easy-to-understand language that makes it very hard to put down.

This is a must-have, even if you already have a good grasp on Web accessibility.
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