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Archive for the ‘Accessibility’ Category

Don’t Mess with Texas Kids Goes Live!

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

The Don’t Mess with Texas Kids website has gone live! You can view it here: www.dontmesswithtexas.org/litterforce

Go9Media and Enviromedia commissioned us to work on the new kids site for Don’t Mess with Texas. With existing model sheets, and snippets from the new TV commercial, we designed the new interactive website that talks about the Litter Force characters and the Evil Trash Villains.

The interface for the website is the inside of a car, and the setting for the site is the Texas Highways. We are currently also working on making the entire site 508 accessible, including the game ‘Roadside Round-up”. Children that can’t see the graphics or that have trouble using the mouse, will be able to tab through the site and get auditory feedback. We will also be building in closed captioning for soundeffects, for children with a hearing impairment.

The site comes with a Parents and Teachers section, and a host of multimedia lesson plans for teachers, that incorporate the overall learning objectives and the games.

We will be adding more games in the future, so check back soon for more!

AIR Houston

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007

Snert has been asked by Knowbility to serve on the board of AIR Houston this year! The AIR events, (short for Accessibility Internet Rally) that were started by Knowbility in Austin, TX in 1998, is an accessible web design competition where teams from different companies come together and build an accessible website for a non-profit community member. Before the event, the teams are trained in different classes that cover accessible design via CSS and accessible Flash.

Besides having the honor to serving on the board, we will be holding the accessible Flash training for the team members and -hopefully- also competing in the AIR Austin event. Find out more on the event and how you can participate here: http://www.knowbility.org/air-houston/

Ability Magazine

Thursday, May 10th, 2007

We are in this quarters edition of Ability Magazine! The article is called “Flash Action Games, accessible fun for kids”. In the interview, we talk about the templates for accessible Flash games that we are currently working on, and some of our upcoming projects. We had sent in some loose artwork for the article, from our Whack-a-vole game, and the 2 page spread turned out great with our vole in the background!

Other articles in this issue are an interview with Holly Robinson Peete, who will star in the upcoming ABC pilot Football Wives. Her father, Matt Robinson, (Gordon on Sesame Street) suffered Parkinson’s. There is also a great interview with Chris Burke, from Life Goes On.

You can read the article here.

Access-U 2007

Thursday, May 10th, 2007

We have just come back from attending Access-U, an accessibility conference organized by Knowbility in Austin, Texas. In this conference, classes are taught that cover more then 25 different accessibility topics, such as accessible CSS mark-up, making PDF’s accessible, captioning videos, learning about screen readers and other assistive technologies, and much more! We teach Accessible Flash 101, which is a hands-on workshop that covers everything you need to know in order to make Flash applications accessible. We hope to see you next year! We will also be teaching our accessible Flash class in the upcoming California Web Accessibility Conference (CalWAC), in January of 2008. Read more about CalWAC here.

Flash magnifier

Thursday, March 29th, 2007

We have written code for a real-time Flash magnifier! This widget, can literally be plopped into any Flash movie, on the highest layer, and it will magnify any content that lies underneath. It works by using the Bitmap Data class, that takes a snapshot of the whole Flash movie, after we set the magnifying glass to invisible, so it will not magnify itself. Then this area is enlarged, and shown under the magnifying glass.

Hopefully, we will be writing our next Adobe article on the magnifier, and with it, we will make three magnifying glasses available for free use. One cartoony one for kids content, and two stylized ones. Flash content is often critized for having too small of a font, and this provides a great solution for sites that cannot always enlarge their fonts due to design limitations. To see how it works, you can go to our main site, and press the shortcut “7” to make it come up.

We have a winner!

Sunday, March 11th, 2007

I want to thank everyone that has posted comments on the Access button. It seems that there is a tie between the keyboard keys and the vitruvian man. We decided to go with a button with the representation of a keyboard and keyboard keys.

Since this button will be for kids, we chose an iconic button instead of a symbolic button. Since the "Access button" represents how you can access the activity via the keyboard alone, we decided on a representation of a keyboard. Since some of you said that that the row of squares, did not adequately represent the keyboard, we will be introducing a range of keyboard representations to a panel of children, to see how far we can take an abstraction of the image, before it becomes too obscure for them. Thank you again for all your comments! We will be posting the results soon.