[Accessibleweb] Minutes - AccessibleWeb@U meeting - Jan. 18, 2007, Bill Corrigan

Rick Ells rells at cac.washington.edu
Tue Jan 23 11:24:16 PST 2007

AccessibleWeb - Jan. 18, 2007
- Guest Speaker: Bill Corrigan - Accessibility of Emerging Techologies
- Emerging technologies project manager, working with Oren
Sreebny, C&C Emerging Technologies Director
- As a user of both acccessibility and technology, Bill will be
shepherding both in his new job with C&C
- How are these technologies different from current ones?
- What ways do they break accessibility frameworks?
- Moving forward, what do we need to do to ensure they will serve
differently abled people?
- The UW used to be a leader in technology, but has fallen behind
- Emerging Technology Group is looking at where we are going
- Emerging Technology Group is working from three ideas
- Research community
- A researcher's colleagues are other people in their
field, not just people next door
- Lazowska - "All science is cyberscience." Modern
science uses computer technology
- Outsourcing is always an option
- The best solutions for some of our needs may be to
partner with services outside
- Collaboration is key.
- The Emerging Technologies Group is starting out on two
- iTunes U
- University can establish a podcasting site on Apple
- Hosts content that is accessible through iTunes
- Complimentary to other podcasting initiatives
around campus
- Focus will be on public content for now
- Outsourcing Alumni Services
- MyUW.net currently provides email services for
alumni, built on UW systems
- Exploring Google, Windows Live as alternatives
for providing similar service
- Looking at emerging technologies
- Mobile Devices
- More and more students come to campus with mobile phones
- Fastest growing trend among students is mobile
- Social Networking
- Spacebook, MySpace
- 65% of teens have MySpace site
- Students use of social networks to communicate
- Students use email to talk to older people
- But students use voice and text messaging to communicate
with each other
- Software that pulls information to you and aggregates
information for you
- Search alerts
- In what ways do these things break accessibility frameworks
- Problems in how they are used
- Size is an issue
- Push more content to smaller screens
- Language - how we use it
- In text messaging...
- Spelling not critical
- speed
- abbreviations
- Technology could be used to bring more people with
different langauages together
- Discussion - What do we need to do going forward with accessibility
- Blind student acquired phone that talks - announces who is
calling, tells what letter is pushed. However...
- Buttons are small
- Buttons, whether physical or graphical, change functionality
depending on context
- Cerebral palsy student does not have dexterity to use small
- Apple is not addressing accessibility well
- iPod
- interface gives no vocalization
- New iPhone interface is graphical - no tactile interface
at all
- Shuffle
- very small, no display, very simple controls
- Disabled students do not seem too concerned
- If you move forward on using podcast medium as part of your
education process, you can exclude people
- Without a transcript you are excluding the deaf
- The university should harness its computing power to make
content available in a readable form
- It is not the recipients job to make it usable
- The university should make conversion to alternative forms
(audio to text transcription) part of basic support
services for faculty and students
- Designing services
- You can design to common denominators
- You can design for special needs
- Managers and developers do not want to do multiple versions
of a site or service.
- Would be good to have approaches, tools, and frameworks that
address both needs
- By using standards, we can produce content that is
understandable by assistive technologies
- People do not know how to use the tools.
- Big transitional education problem within the University
- Everyone is stuck in a transitional mode in the last years
- We do not train our professionals in developing accessible
- In worrying about getting the product out, developers often
forget about accessibility
- Not thinking about whether applications can work with mobile
- Because a method is easier to do does not mean it addresses
the goals of the university
- May have to forego some methods
- Could be more cohesiveness in Web developer population
- Hard to contact with other peer developers
- Media Relations is interested in getting developers in
contact with each other
- One .com company does have a very centralized way of
building software, including its Web services
- The company had a big project to make everything
- Seen as a project, did not have an ongoing character
- Is it just one's expert's job, or is it everyone's
- Accessibility basics
- Summarized at
- Alt tags
- Assistive Technology (AT) uses the standards
- If your content fits the standards, AT can work with
- Can you use the page without using the mouse?
- Label tag for form fields
- Tables, use th for column and row headings
- Train people that these methods are good to do ,period.
without even thinking about accessibility
- Work with software manufacturers to build features in to
create accessible content
- Would it be helpful to revisit the idea of campus-wide
- Some pages are required by law to be accessible, if
built with Federal money
- Who is going to be the cop
- Texas has requirements, but is a lot more top down
in managment style
- Here at the UW, the rule is "If you want it, do it
- Fosters continuing exploration of methods and
- Hard to coordinate
- Shocking to not see central standards or required use of
CMS at the UW
- UW is diverse, decentralized
- The Internet is becoming how we are doing business
- A CMS is one way to achieve consistency and
standards-based design.
- There is a fine line between what should be standardized and
what should be flexible
- No one wants us to set up our own telephone systems
- We are better off using standard technology and
externally provided service
- How can good use of technology, such as XHTML and CSS,
be supported and fostered
- Could centralize Web management, or Web design
- Finances is a big part of this. Much cheaper to
hire a grad student than hire Publication
- Centralization can free up time and resources
- Nebula is a service that can free up people for
other tasks who otherwise would be doing
computer management
- CMS have a variety of benefits
- Users see more consistent interface, structure, and
- Using a CMS can help focus roles
- Content developers do not have to think about
- As we try rich media, the only way to achieve consistent
accessibility across is by consistent use of specific
toolsets and development frameworks.
- Technological methods vary in how flexible they are
- XML/XSLT based methods can transform content for use
in a variety of delivery methods (graphical browser,
PDA, mobile)
- Support staff wants to use chat in supporting users.
Users see it as an appropriate method to get information.
- Services
- Software Maintenance Inc, which makes DragonDictate and
Naturally Speaking, has a server product that can read
MP3 files
- For voice to text to work, we need to learn how to
make good MP3 files
- Small media devices have not put media producers out
of work, but without care and skill, they produce
poor quality video and sound.
- Tape might catch the lecturer, but may not capture
questions from audience
- Integrating PowerPoint into audio is a problem
- What are the legal ramifications of publishing
presentation in a whole different form
- We have professors who would not be happy to have
their lectures in transcript form.
- Want to encourage faculty to adopt these technologies
- Need services that can deal with the special
vocabularies used here. Voice to text converters may not
know about specialized language.
- Some forms of content work very well in podcasting
- Guest lecturer giving prepared presentation works well
- We provide service through classroom support for filming
- How can we support mini social networks in each class
- Catalyst tools (catalyst.washington.edu) provide much of
- Class mail list is currently outside of Catalyst tools
- Podcasting is still in test mode, no one knows how to
deal with it well enough
- Should course content be online?
- Students want it, faculty do not
- Studies show podcasting of lectures does not affect who
attends the class
- Faculty concerned that once the content is out there,
the administration could hire much less skilled lecturer
to give it.
- Dan now has licenses for using JAWS
- Has five shared licenses
- Talk to Dan (danc at u.washington.edu) about how to get set up to
use AJAX.
- Do not hog a license. Use JAWS long enough to test your pages,
then exit it.

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