A new accessibility business case – good news?

The WAI-Engage group has published, on its wiki, an article written by Peter Thiessen: Social Networking Application Business Case.The story is worth a read. But if you don’t have time: in short, it describes the hard path towards building a business case for accessibility. The author is a convinced advocate, but he struggled with his management while trying to prove a ROI for accessibility improvements.

Although he finally succeeded, I’m, personally, a tad disappointed by the fact that it took kind of a workaround: accessibility was sold through mobile development. All purely accessibility-related arguments were rejected, and only when it was paralleled with mobile adaptations, approval was won.

Which is not totally surprising… but it saddens me to observe that, even with considerable effort, it was not possible to prove that accessibility pays for itself – which I’m deeply convinced of.

I would argue that the problem was not the case in itself, but the lack of documentation to back up the assumptions made to support the arguments. We need more solid facts, believable and demonstrable figures, and realistic success stories.

So, in conclusion, we certainly must celebrate the fact that a high profile social networking company embraces accessibility as a business goal. But it’s still not the bullet-proof business case that demonstrates that accessibility, by itself, is a worthwhile investment.

Accessibility Certification: the Accessiweb Model

Cyndi Rowland of WebAIM wrote an excellent article, Accessibility Certification: The Devil is in the Details, about the possibility of an accessibility certificate for professionals who seek recognition as per their expertise. I encourage you to read the whole article. It highlights key issues, that will deserve close scrutiny.

I commented on the article to describe their experience regarding certification, which can certainly bring an interesting viewpoint about certification traps and pitfalls. The current article is the copy of this contribution, slightly adapted for the blog’s format. La suite

How we could build a Body of Knowledge for Web Accessibility

It is now a well-accepted assumption that, in order to move forward, accessibility needs a unified set of resources that would be reliable, comprehensive, and easy to consume for users of all levels of proficiency in accessibility. There have been many discussions around this idea for a while. Yet, so far, it does not exist, for a disappointingly simple reason: nobody started it yet. And I’m afraid that, in the current state of things, nobody has the ability to start it the way it should be started. This article exposes the reasons why I believe so. But, moreover, it also explores some ideas and propositions that could change this state of things.

La suite

Little action, great effects: improving a CSS-based tooltip in 18 seconds.

Reading this blog post about designing fancy tooltips with CSS3 tricks, I did my usual first-step test: hit the tab key and see what happens. Disappointingly, and yet expectedly (I’ve been in this business for too long, it seems…): nothing happened, apparently, when I reached the first icon

. La suite