Jaws and Accessible websites

Now that I’ve told you a little bit about Jaws What about the internet? Are websites accessible to us as blind people? The answer is both “yes” and “no” that’s because some websites are very accessible and some of them aren’t that accessible, or their not accessible at all. In fact when a friend or a family member says “you should sign up for this website it is cool.” My first question is “is it accessible with jaws?” to which most of them not knowing what I’m talking about answer with “huh?” then I have to explain that not all websites are “screen reader friendly” such as jaws friendly. My friends and family usually respond with “oh! Well… I don’t know.” The truth is all websites should be screen reader friendly it shouldn’t take much and it may keep you from being sued later. Don’t think that “being sued” would happen? Neither did Target’s website *most likely* when the got sued by The National Federation Of the Blind.
Information provided by:
http://www.webguild.org/2008/09/target-sued-over-website-developed-by-amazon.php
And also google. lol.
So how do you make a website accessible? Well first I wanna talk about the most annoying feachure on a website for both sighted and blind people alike. No it’s not loging in with the correct user name and password. lol. it’s solving those annoying sometimes frusturating captchas. Yes some websites such as twitter and myspace now have have audeo captchas. These are hard to understand for a sighted person and even a blind person. I know your supposed to type what you hear in the captcha but often what I hear isn’t in the captcha at all. Luckily I have come across somethings that help blind users solve capchas these are:
Solona (I think it can be used for internet explorer) these ar sighted people filling out these captchas
Note:
I do not use this site so I do not remember what browsers it works with. I knew once but don’t now I think it works with internet explorer.
http://solona.net
Webvisum
Note: I do use this one. It requires an invitation to join and does not work on all websites. It is use with Firefox.
http://www.webvisum.com
Now how about designing an accessible website?
The following information is taken from:
99.07.06: “Designing Accessible Websites for Blind and Visually Impaire”
http://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/1999/7/99.07.06.x.html
Note:
I did not know any of this existed so there for did not know anything about designing an accessible website. The only thing I knew at that time is that going on to websites that didn’t work with jaws really frusturated me. So there for all of the following information that follows Is Not my own and is the property of the website’s.

being accessible means that it is accessible to all individualls whether they have a print disability, lack motor skills or are blind. Problems for us include
1. we are enable to see graphics due to visual impairments.
2. We have difficulty navigating sites that have poorly unorganized directions. Don’t Do That!
3. Difficulty in the the use or availability of tecnology to access the web.
Web designers this is for you! We have special needs ranging from being blind to visually impaired and yes there is a difference. Visually impaired means that there is something wrong with your vision but u can still see. They can also have physical disabilities or can’t process information well. Yes your website can be colorful They do need to however be fully accessable by everyone. You may also have designs that provide content. Practice universal design because inappropriate use of html coding Can make a website unusable. Graphics can make it harder for us as blind individuals to move around a website but can help someone who has trouble understanding your site.
We as blind individuals can also do our part by doing the following:
Adjust your browser settings so that no graphics will show. You can also adjust other settings as well such as how large the font is. You can also download text only browsers such as Lyx (dos) though I don’t know of anyone who still uses dos. This was just an example. Please! PLEASE! look at the guidelines set up by different organizations, they’re there for a reason.
Here are 9 guidelines to help you get started. P. S. If you google “accessability guidelines” you’ll most likely find the organizations. I haven’t the time or the energy to do so. And the website I was looking at didn’t specify.
1. Make documents clear and simple. (that should be easy)
2. Keep a simple and consistant layout throughout the site.
3. Provide context and orientation information.
4. Provide clear navigation Mechanisms
5. Keep a simple background with good contrast. (if you have more than one background same thing applies no matter how many backgrounds you have.)
6. Use Standard Html.
7. Design large buttons.
8. Provide equal alturnatives to visual and alturnitive content.
9. Don’t! Rely on color alone. Oh yes and most important include notes about accesibility.
for more information on how to design an accessible website see:
http://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/1999/7/99.07.06.x.html
Even though this webpage was made for classroom use it’s still got some good information. It’s up to you to design a good and accessable website I’ve done my part. At least that’s all I’m going to do. The mission is now yours. read the page learn from it and appriciat it. There’s a lot more information on there that I didn’t include on here. Enjoy.
Happy developing.

What is jaws?

People in my videos have been asking “What is jaws?” it’s a screen reading program which uses synthesized speech so that blind, (me) visually impaired, and people who are print impaired will know what’s on there screen. Jaws stands for “job access with speech” (deffinition also answers their first question which is “how do you know what’s on the computer screen?”) with jaws I can do all most anything on the computer even access the internet. I can type in Microsoft word and I’m even typing this blog. However there is certain things Jaws can’t do like tell me for example whose picture I’m looking at (unless it’s named). that’s because Jaws is a “technology to speech” program. Meaning that it can only read text like a word document for example. I felt like before I could post the next blog you had to know at least a little bit about jaws.

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