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Social accessibility

April 5, 2012
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Our Week 6 lecture on accessibility turned out to be very eye-opening for me because it was something that I had never considered before.  It got me thinking about how good coding and metadata can help with web accessibility, and it inspired me to explore the subject more for my LIBR 281 – Metadata research paper.  While doing research I came across articles about social accessibility, which uses the idea of crowd sourcing to help make web pages more accessible to people with disabilities without having to rely on web designers to do all the work (though, as Derek says, it’s just good practice anyway).  Although it didn’t fall under the coverage of my paper I still thought it was really interesting and I wanted to share it with you all because it deals with two concepts already covered in this course: accessibility and crowd sourcing.  I think web accessibility is an important issue, one that we as librarians should be more aware of and by utilizing the collective efforts of the “crowd” we can achieve a more accessible web sooner.  At the same time, however, I do think there should be a push for standards in universal web design to ensure that the web can be used by all.  The article (Social_Accessibility) is a bit technical because it discusses an actual study done by IBM research, so to help I’ve also added an entertaining music video to go along with it.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. shenriksson permalink
    April 6, 2012 9:27 am

    The Week 6 lecture resonated with me as well. I, too, had never previously given accessibility much thought–but the lecture showed me how crucial it really is. I really enjoyed the video (and I have plans to use it in an online resource for computer information science students). Crowd sourcing has made Wikipedia huge–harnessing that for efforts to improve web accessibility would definitely speed things along towards achieving that goal (and making the Internet an enjoyable experience for everyone).

  2. merrily chopp permalink
    April 6, 2012 12:44 pm

    Great video!

    In my LIBR 241 class we watched a video to remind us of why accessibility is important, and I was actually a bit moved by it. There is a lot about using the web most of us never realize.

    http://webaim.org/intro/video

  3. April 6, 2012 6:28 pm

    I love the music video! Something I’ve noticed about accessibility from observing ADA library technology is that the scope of adaptations is huge; from simply making the text bigger on the screen to heavily adapting for the blind through use of audio cues. The software company that my husband works for is very interested in making their software compliant for users who are colorblind, not as an essential selling point of the product but just to make it easier on users who may be colorblind.

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