A solid session by Terry Thompson with University of Washington’s National Center on Accessible Information Technology in Education on the concept if Universal Design for web content.
(excuse the post-blogging– the wireless in the session room is not there or off the map).
The materials and the resources on the AccessIT site are worth a bookmark or furl.
Interesting that the concept started with design of buildings and has moved into web design. This is not just about addressing the needs of people with disabilities, but now embraces the various types of devices now used for getting web content- dealing with small screens (phones, PDAs), speech/audio interfaces (voice recognition in autos/telephone systems), devices lacking mouse capability (cannot hover with a stylus) noisy environments (where audio cannot be heard), and noiseless environments (where audio should not be heard, Shhhhhh).
A core is the separation of content and formatting, a core principle. Close captioning of audio/video content provides fullt ext retreival of content, and key word searching to say, find specific frames of video.
Some more general stuff in Guidelines, W3 Accessibility Guidelines 1.0, newer guidelines for XML accessibility (never even thouight of that, but it makes sens as more content is stuffed inside XML), and a Draft for the version 2 of the W3 Guidelines which are broken into 4 areas:
Perceivable – getting to the content
Operable – dealing with the different devices for interacting with content
Understandble – bridging into usability
Robust – it works?
Then terry provided some brief examples of how to address issues in HTML, PDF, Flash.