Museums and the Web

An annual conference exploring the social, cultural, design, technological, economic, and organizational issues of culture, science and heritage on-line.

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Accessibility


Although I am currently at a different conference (Educause West), my mind keeps coming back to MOW, especially after the session on accessibility that I just sat in. Terry Thomposon of the University of Washington gave an excellent presentation that reminding me of the discussion (and admonition) of Jim Angus on the importance of accessibility, especially the proper use of alt and img tags. Terry is part of a grass roots initiative at U of W that is promoting and working hard to make all web pages accessible. One it the problems that I have had in the past is assessment of pages to determine of they are accessible (remember BOBBY?) as well as identifying tools that can be use to automate the creation of accessible pages, including pages that use rich media (video, Flash, etc).

 This has been an ongoing concern in the museum community- that is, how to make dynamic, engaging, cool sites that are also designed to meet accessible web standards. Terry addressed some of these issues as well as provided a list of tools that can help. He posted his presentation, with links to some of these tools on the Educause West web site here: http://www.educause.edu/Resources/AdvancingtheStateofITAccessibi/170062.

 Terry also showed an really cool example of an accessible site that perhaps could be used as a model or at least inspiration for a content driven site- J.K. Rowling's site. Here, we see that she takes her commitment to literacy seriously and provides an interactive experience for everybody. http://www.jkrowling.com/accessible/en/