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Archive for the ‘Accessibility’ Category

FOTB Tomorrow!

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

I arrived in Brighton, UK today!! The Flash on the Beach conference started today with several workshops. Tomorrow, I will be hosting our session on Accessible Action Games at 2:45PM! Here is a sneek preview of some of the games that will be covered in the session:

See you there!

Mr. Accessible!

Friday, May 15th, 2009

We are finaly done with our presentation for Adobe ‘Creating Accessible Sites in Flash’! Produced by Knowbility and made for Adobe, this presentation gives an overview of all the different things you can do to make Flash accessible for users with a visual, hearing or mobility impairment.

The presentation itself is fully accessible, with keyboard shortcuts, closed captioning and audio descriptions, written by Knowbility. The piece will be hosted on the Adobe website.

Stay tuned for the final URL!

Access-U 2009

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

I just came back from Access-U, hosted by Knowbility in Austin, Texas at St Edwards University. We had a great time! I taught two classes on accessible Flash. Here are a few photos of the event:

   

   

   

Click on the images to enlarge them. For more photos, fan us on Facebook!

Sign Up for Access-U May 11-13!

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

I am teaching the following accessible Flash classes at the John Slatin Access-U in Austin, in May! Check them out:

Accessible Flash I: Quality Assurance
Learn how to evaluate accessible Flash
Learn how to evaluate Flash for accessibility. This lecture will go through a checklist of accessible Flash requirements and will discuss several different case studies of Flash evaluations. You will learn just enough about Flash to be able to test for accessibility and give recommendations for improvement.

Accessible Flash II: An Introduction
Learn how to make Flash content 508 accessible
This workshop will cover all the necessary steps in making Flash content fully 508 compliant. Through hands–on practice you will learn how to program content in Flash so it can be read by a screen reader. You will also learn how to program keyboard shortcuts and make Flash content accessible through the keyboard alone.

Sign-up here!

Great Panel at SXSW09

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

I had a great time at SXSW09 on Andrew Kirkpatricks panel ‘Accessible Flash and Flex Applications’. I met Niqui Merret from www.jadehopper.com and Alaric Cole from Yahoo! We talked about accessible Flash and Flex, and I showed two of our accessible Flash games, a memory game and a whack-a-mole game, both of which are accessible to screen readers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CalWAC Classes- sign up now!

Saturday, December 13th, 2008

Sign up now to reserve your place at CalWAC – California Web Accessibility Conference coming to CSU Long Beach on January 12th 2009!

We will be teaching 3 different Flash accessibility classes. Read more about the class descriptions here.

Accessible Flash I: Quality Assurance
Learn how to evaluate Flash for accessibility. This lecture will go through a checklist of accessible Flash requirements and will discuss several different case studies of Flash evaluations. You will learn just enough about Flash to be able to test for accessibility and give recommendations for improvement.

Accessible Flash II: An Introduction
This workshop will cover all the necessary steps in making Flash content fully 508 compliant. Through hands-on practice you will learn how to program content in Flash so it can be read by a screen reader. You will also learn how to program keyboard shortcuts and make Flash content accessible through the keyboard alone.

Accessible Flash III: Applied Practices
In this workshop, you will get the chance to re-visit the exercises from the Accessible Flash II introduction course in more detail, and work on making a small Flash site accessible. You can attend this workshop if you are a novice, intermediate or advanced Flash developer.

Register now!

Readability

Monday, September 29th, 2008

An important part of usability and accessibility is the reading ease of text. Especially when designing content for educational media, we have to make sure that the reading level of the text meets the respective target audiences. We test all the text that we write for educational children’s media against the following tests:

Spache – useful for primary age (Kindergarten to 7th grade) readers to help classify school textbooks and literature. Also defined a list of difficult words.
Powers, Sumner, Kearl – useful for most text geared towards primary age (Kindergarten to 7th grade) readers.
Fry – useful for most text, including literature and technical documents.
Coleman-Liau – useful for secondary age (4th grade to college level) readers. This formula is based on text from the .4 to 16.3 grade level range.

Any educational project should always address the ease of reading. By taking the average of these readability formulas, we determine the reading ease of our scripts.

Drag and Drop vs Point and Click

Monday, July 21st, 2008

There has always been some debate on whether drag and-drop is too difficult to use for children because they may not be able to hold the mouse button pressed while moving the mouse. We researched and compared two articles: Drag-and-Drop vs. Point-and-Click Mouse Interaction for Children by Kori Inkpen, Kellogg S. Booth and Maria Klawe (1996) and Drag-and-drop errors in young children’s use of the mouse by Afke Donker and Pieter Reitsma (2006).

The older article, proved that the point-and-click method was preferred by students, (68 children, of age 9-13) more so by girls than boys who had a larger error rate in dragging and dropping. 53% of the children said that the point-and-click was easier, and 37% complained that the drag-and-drop made their finger or hand tired. 47% of the children that preferred the drag-and-drop said it was because they were more familiar with the interaction. Some children mentioned that they preferred drag-and-drop because it gave them more tactile feedback. (This ties in with Buxton’s view [3] that that a kinesthetic connectivity can help to reinforce the conceptual connectivity of the task. Unfortunately there is no research to date that might prove if the benefits from conceptual feedback outweighs the physical difficulty of performing the drag-and-drop.) There was a significant difference between girls and boys feedback, which today might be reduced with girls playing video games almost as much as boys do.

The newer research was conducted with 53 children in Kindergarten, mean age of about 5, and 50 children in Grade 1, of age 6. This research proved that most of the drag-and-drop errors made were not due to an inability to maintain pressure on the mouse, but most occurred at the start or the end of the drag-and-drop. Errors at the start are due to the user not knowing whether or not to drag-and-drop or point and click. This can be prevented by adding a short tutorial. Errors at the receptor can be prevented by showing a rollover state, so that it is clear when the target can be released. The receptor should also be larger than the target. The direction of the drag-and-drop also made a difference, as well as the distance between the item and the receptor and the size of the receptor. Dragging down and to the right, and having a larger receptor made it easier. They were unable to show that more errors were made during point-and-click and drag-and-drop.

Our observations confirm the studies. With children as young as 3, we have seen the most errors occur at the receptor, due to not releasing the target at the right time. Rollovers and indicators are necessary. We can make both drag-and-drop and point-and-click accessible. We prefer the point-and-click method for  K-2, because the directions are the same as for the accessible implementation, where the user can click on the target, then click on the receptor to place the target.

[1] Drag-and-Drop vs. Point-and-Click Mouse Interaction for Children (1996) Kori Inkpen, Kellogg S. Booth, Maria Klawe Department of Computer Science The University of British Columbia.

[2] Drag-and-drop errors in young children’s use of the mouse Interacting with Computers, Volume 19, Issue 2, March 2007, Pages 257-266 Afke Donker, Pieter Reitsma

[3] Buxton, W. (1986). There’s more to interaction than meets the eye: Some issues in manual input. In Norman, D. A. and Draper, S.W. (Eds.), User Centered System Design: New Perspectives on Human-Computer Interaction (pp. 319-337). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Spot the new Accessible Cartoon Network Site!

Saturday, June 21st, 2008

We were commissioned by Cartoon Network to make one of their promotional sites accessible! Spot the Block is a website for the FDA that teaches kids how to read the information on Nutrition Labels.

We did a 508 analysis on the site and made a custom 508 checklist for all the pages. Then we programmed the tab order and all the accessible elements for the site. Stay tuned for the URL!

Access-U 2008

Sunday, May 11th, 2008

I taught classes at Access-U again this year! Access-U was re-named in remembrance of John Slatin as John Slatin Access-U. Check out some of the photos of the conference here:


Panel with Sharon Rush, Glenda Sims, Kelsey Ruger a.o.


St. Edwards’ beautiful architectures


Me in front of some slides


The Accessible Flash 101 class, are they having fun?


Proud to say that Germaine (Pat’s dog) was the only one snoozing in my class!

You can read more about Access-U here: http://www.knowbility.org/conference/
Thanks to Luis Cuellar for taking the photos!