Web Accessibility: Web Standards and Regulatory Compliance

cover of Web Accessibility: Web Standards and Regulatory Compliance

That little mouthful is the full title of the latest book with my name on it. Published by Friends of Ed, it’s now gone to the printers and will be available sometime in July. I was extremely proud to be asked to contribute, as there are some real shining lights in the world of accessibility involved; how’s this for an awesome line up: Andrew Kirkpatrick, Christian Heilmann, Jim Thatcher, Cynthia Waddell, Michael R. Burks, Shawn Lawton Henry, Bruce Lawson, Mark Urban, Patrick H. Lauke and Gez Lemon (tech editing).

As the subtitle implies, the book focusses on a web standards approach to accessibility, with chapters on HTML, Javascript and my chapter on CSS. But this is a practical book, and the web does not work on standards alone, so there are also excellent chapters on making Flash and PDF accessible, as well as details about assistive technologies. The issue of web accessibility in law and regulations is also of importance to many people. In my opinion this book covers these issues to the deepest, most pragmatic level I’ve yet seen. There was even time to squeeze in an appendix on PAS 78.

Writing a chapter on ‘CSS for Accessible Web Pages’ was an interesting exercise in itself as it meant taking CSS in isolation. Some aspects are obvious – user style sheets for example. Others are less obvious such as discussion of highlighting areas of the page which have focus. I included a fairly deep discussion of image replacement techniques as these can be really problematic from an accessibility perspective. I also highlighted as many best practices as I could (for example including text colors with background colors) including a special section on zoom layouts.

As you can tell I’m somewhat pleased with Web Accessibility: Web Standards and Regulatory Compliance and I’m really looking forward to seeing the final book. I know it will make a really useful addition to our shelves at Clearleft.