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Accessibility : Where It Is Where is it Going? SXSW 2010. Rich Schwerdtfeger DE, SWG Accessibility Strategy and Architecture. Where We Are – Tremendous Progress in last 5 Years!. Huge: WAI-ARIA has advanced Web/AT interoperability

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accessibility where it is where is it going sxsw 2010

Accessibility : Where It IsWhere is it Going?SXSW 2010

Rich Schwerdtfeger

DE, SWG Accessibility Strategy and Architecture

where we are tremendous progress in last 5 years
Where We Are – Tremendous Progress in last 5 Years!
  • Huge: WAI-ARIA has advanced Web/AT interoperability
  • Browser application accessibility has surpassed desktop applications!
    • Easier to Write (20% of work)
    • Immediate access to richer accessibility API driven by WAI-ARIA
  • Mop up Mode: Getting all the major browser’s and ATs to finish Up
  • On brink of major advancement in Web Accessibility Tooling
open ajax alliance accessibility tools task force
Open Ajax Alliance Accessibility Tools Task Force
  • Key Players in Accessibility Tools Industry
    • ParaSoft
    • IBM
    • Deque
    • University of Illinois
    • Fraunhofer Institute
    • Others
  • Develop a standard set of accessibility validation rules (WCAG 2 WAI-ARIA)
    • Handle dynamic content
    • Structural Analsyis
    • Interoperability validation
  • Develop Reporting Best Practices
    • Developer IDEs,etc.
    • Crawler
    • Functional Verification Test

OAA Accessibility Tools Task Force:

problems with web accessibility
Problems with Web Accessibility
  • Growth of Complex Visualizations creating accessibility problems
  • Web Mashups accelerating accessibility problems
    • Rapid integration of complex visualizations
    • Integration of third party inaccessible content
    • Usability problems arise when integrate third party ATs
  • One Size Fits All Approach to accessibility falls short
mashups rapid application development
Mashups = Rapid Application Development

Competition Tracker / Web Site

Sales – Customer Trip Prep

Many accessibility issues

it is time for a flexible personalized web
It is time for a Flexible, Personalized Web
  • Accessibility becomes a preference
  • Does your video support closed captioning – In my language?
  • Do you have a text equivalent for that complex Visualization?
  • May I have it in high contrast and with large fonts?
tactile html 5 css media queries
Tactile – HTML 5 CSS Media Queries

Media Query in link tag for user selectable prevention of flagged flashing hazard

<link rel="stylesheet" href=”epileptic.css" media="screen and access(not hazardflashing)">

Media Queries using HTML embedded styling to allow selection of transcript alternative to video

<video src=“abc”>


<div id-”foo”>

<style media=“screen and access(accessmode:text accessmodeadapted:auditory adaptationtype:transcript)”>

#foo {display:inline;} </style>

… Transcript of video only renders if user requested it in browser


Media Queries using HTML embedded styling to user selection of AT interoperable content

<div id=“googlemap>

<style media=“screen and access(accessmode:visual atinteroperaable=“true”)”>

#googlemap {display:none;} </style>

… google map


<div id-”drivingdirections”>

<style media=“screen and access(accessmode:visual atinteroperaable=“true”)”>

#drivingdirections {display:block;}


I-35 South (25 miles) …


on demand personalization delivery scenario strategic




On-Demand Personalization Delivery Scenario (Strategic)

Content and ACCMD

Aggregating server (search, mashup, etc.)

*DCO delivered using AJAX

BrowserDCO (with ACCLIP)HTML 5 Storage


*DCO – W3c Delivery Context Ontology with IMS Global Learning Consortium Access For All Personalization

problems with assistive technologies
Problems with Assistive Technologies
  • People without means cannot afford AT
  • Mobile Devices are pushing static AT Model to a tipping point
    • Single OS Platform Sink Hole
    • Mobile devices change rapidly leaving people with disabilities behind
  • Many Web Resources are not designed for a users’s AT
  • Reusable AT resources unavailable to applications and AT
    • Digital Exclusion e-meetings (hearing impaired) – Need Voice to text
    • Formant TTS unavailable to AT
national public inclusive infrastructure the big cheese
National Public Inclusive Infrastructure – The Big Cheese!
  • Software enhancements to the nation’s broadband Infrastructure
    • to ensure that people with disabilities who need non-standard interfaces can use broadband information and services available to others
  • Supports built-in accessibility features, AT and new network-based solutions – and human assistance on demand
  • Simple or special interfaces appear automatically for user
  • Allows captions/descriptions to be located for user when media is encountered (if alternatives exist anywhere on the network)
  • Creates a set of common development tools and components to lower development costs and increase interoperability of AT with other AT and with ICT.
  • Richer selection of commercial and public accessibility products, facilitating development of new features and solutions for more disabilities
  • Paradigm shift: Makes basic access available to everyone on any computer they may encounter: cloud
  • and ubiquitous access to technology as it is evolving, at a lower cost. More information at:
what the npii is a way

for people to have access anywhere on their computing device

for people operating in the Cloud to have the accessibility features they need

for people to have computers automatically configure to them and their environment – including their AT and their access settings

to find user-specific accessible resource equivalents or adaptationsof web delivered content (Captions, descriptions, alternative renderings).

to lower AT costs by leveraging economies of scalereducing efforts to keep up new mainstream by leveraging readily available cloud services

for new people and ideas to enter the access tech field

for mainstream ICT to more easily integrate and interoperate with AT

for delivering (computer and human)assistance on demand

for helping people become aware of and find the properaids for them

What the NPII Is – A way …
major components

Virtual Delivery System - to allow anywhere access

Platform independent, (but support platform optimization)

Secure Personal Preference, Permission and Payment System

Wizard for identification of appropriate AT, ICT, and network features and services

A central, trusted, application/services store for locating the different solutions and services that are available (and that are checked for malware and privacy and security risks)

Metadata based accessible resource location system (Captions, descriptions, alternative renderings for inaccessible resources).

Assistance on Demand Infrastructure

A set of common open source and royalty-free components, or connectors

Awareness Program

Major components
what the npii is not

Not anything to do with regulation

It is only about making it easier and less expensive for ICT companies, AT vendors, Free and Open Source Developers and Consumers.

Not one size fits all

The NPII infrastructure will support many models

User experience is personalized

Not (just) about creating accessibility patchesto mainstream interfaces

This is an important approach when direct access is not possible

But NPII also supports ‘alternate interfaces’ and ‘interface sockets’ where supported.

Not about Free AT

About advancing all types of accessibility and extended usability features

Built-in, commercial, and free/public

What the NPII is NOT
basic principles of npii projects
Basic Principles of NPII Projects
  • Grow the market for innovative product and service vendors.
  • Maximizing the portion of accessibility that can be addressed through ordinary market mechanisms - minimize the portion of the market that must be served through government or philanthropic intervention.
  • Maximize the accessibility of mainstream products.
  • Ensure basic access for those that market forces can not reach. 
today access is through a standard interface
Today Access is through a standard interface

Often this means having an accessible interface to the standard interface which then accesses the functionality of the device, service, information etc.

This provides a multilayer interpretive interface that is less efficient and more complicated and difficult to use.

alternate approach interface socket
Alternate approach – Interface Socket

With interface socket – an alternate interface can connect directly to the underlying functionality of the device, information or service.

preference profile scenario
Preference Profile Scenario

User plugs USB dongle in (or types code or smartcard in future)

( For security - may have fingerprint reader on USB or may have voice recog on Website)

It autoloads browser and goes to preference web site

It securely accesses users preferences (general and specific to hardware)

If indicated – it sends back a settings packet to OS that sets itself up to match (requires coop of OS vendor)

If indicated – it invokes Access software from server

May be free public or commercial (authority to run commercial software as service is in Permission database)

May run on local platform ( Model 1) or as a cloud service (Model 4)

If indicated – it invokes other services – or they are invoked by user as needed.

Personal Preference, Permission, and Payment Server

Other Computer or Human Services on Demand

Access Technology Server


Interface to user is composed of many components OS, Browser, Cloud and Projected elements from the Cloud.

Computer/Device being used.


The clouds.

Access Technology Server

The Access architecture for connecting different AT and Access features within the AccessTech Server

The On Demand Service servers

The Preference, Permission, and Payment Service and server


The wizard

The Specific assistive technologies and access features served by the cloud (virtually or download)

The on Demand services

The connections inside OS’s

Tools for building a-d

Personal Preference, Permission, and Payment Server

Other Computer or Human Services on Demand`

Access Technology Server

Computer/Device being used.

ways to participate

Participation in NPII Grant Efforts

Assistance/Input on Strategic Direction and Architecture

Software Development (infrastructure – we don’t make AT )

Common Function / Service Modules (used by others to build new solutions)

Make Standardized interfaces to your modules (w & w/o authentication)

Translators (TTS, Speech-to-Text/caption, Text-to-sign)

Other modules


Assist in Awareness

Assist in user support/ training

Matching Support for Public Funding Requests

Ways to Participate

Thank You

The contents of this presentation were developed in part with funding from the National Institute on Disability and

Rehabilitation Research, U.S. Department of Education, grant number H133E080022. However, those contents

do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.