Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
News Your Rights Online

Analyzing Olympic-Size Accessibility Flaws 10

Ant submitted this link to an analysis of accessibility during the Olympic games. "Abstract: The issue of disabled access to the web is examined using the case of the 2000 Olympic web site. Wider use of accessibility guidelines for small screen and wireless web devices is discussed. In August 2000 the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games was found to have engaged in unlawful conduct by providing a web site which was to a significant extent inaccessible to the blind. The Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission ordered the web site be made accessible by the start of the Sydney Olympics. The details of the case and its global implications for government policy and commercial practice on the Internet is examined by one of the expert witnesses who gave evidence to the commission. The possible benefits for wireless and TV based web access from use of accessibility guidelines is looked at."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Analyzing Olympic-Size Accessibility Flaws

Comments Filter:
  • I don't know what the process used to commission the Y2K Olympic website was, but it sounds like it was the usual deal where vendors bid for the work. That said, without specific, pre-existing requirements, written down on paper, I know of very few consulting style firms who would bother with accessibility requirements. To adhere to them, you actually need to do a reasonable job, and have people understand how the website is put together, without making any assumptions about what tools will be available to the end user (I can't tell you how many people I've worked with who've never even *heard* of a text mode browser).

    It's all a matter of education. There are too many developer/business people out there whose experience is far more limited than they might imagine. So many of them have just never thought outside the limited scope of their experience. I for one have never had the requirement for accessibility included in any of the projects I do, but I usually try and do it as a matter of course, because it's the correct thing to do. Why don't other people think that way?

  • Its about time that they paid a bit more attention to acessability issues. These software capabilities are not just for a small minority of people. I often find them useful myself, and I am not physically challenged. Having a large high-contrast display setting is actually quite useful to avoid eyestrain on the larger monitors. And the various other acessibility functions can often be useful to able bodied people.

    Hopefully this means that finally usability is being taken seriously by the big corporations who are usually too focussed on the bottom line to care about the 1% of the population who need that little extra feature to fully utilize their expensive PC hardware.

  • Another analysis (Score:2, Informative)

    by contenunu ( 532384 )
    I suppose I ought to point out my own analysis of the SOCOG accessibility decision, Reader's Guide to Sydney Olympics Accessibility Complaint [].
  • According to one of my colleagues, it is now illegal (in Australia) to develop web sites for public access that are not accessible by the blind. A Federal Law came about as a result of this little incident. Applying this law to how HTML is constructed means that to layout a page it is necessary to use DIV tags now instead of tables (probably for specific image breakdowns etc). This is because using the table method may look ok to people who have no real problem with their eyesight, but from the "blind browser" perspective it is near impossible to workout what is going on.

    Because it is a law by which people can actually be prosecuted (in Australia). Some web sites have now updated their content to use the DIV tags now. The side effect is that whilst these sites had some ability to work in the older browsers before, they absolutely no chance now. I don't think that you can really be prosecuted under the law if the questionable pages were in existence before it came into effect, resulting in some sites that use DIVs for the newer pages, and tables for the old ones (that are not updated).

    This law only applies to sites in Australia.

    • No. No law was passed in Australia mandating Web accessibility.

      Tables are perfectly OK for accessibility if their content makes sense when linearized [], as is usually the case in nice rectilinear content blocks. Also, every screen reader in common use save for OutSpoken for Macintosh handles tables (and frames) just fine.

The first rule of intelligent tinkering is to save all the parts. -- Paul Erlich