[Irl-dean] Accessibility of services from mobile phones

Paul Walsh, Segala paul at segala.com
Mon Sep 4 11:21:57 IST 2006

Sorry, forgot to add that we started off with the Web Content Accessibility
Guidelines (WCAG). To over simplify, we deleted accessibility guidelines
that weren't applicable and added mobile specific ones. So, this is proof
that creating an accessible site for people with disabilities also helps to
ensure it's more accessible on different device types such as PDAs and
mobile phones. 

I'd like to point out that Web sites that claim conformance to the MWI best
practices must do so using a Content Label
http://www.w3.org/2005/Incubator/wcl/wcl-charter-20060208. This demonstrates
that Google will filter mobile search results based on sites that claim
conformance to these best practices.

Kind regards,

-----Original Message-----
From: irl-dean-admin at list.eeng.dcu.ie
[mailto:irl-dean-admin at list.eeng.dcu.ie] On Behalf Of Paul Walsh, Segala
Sent: 04 September 2006 10:48
To: irl-dean at list.eeng.dcu.ie
Subject: RE: [Irl-dean] Accessibility of services from mobile phones

Hi Terry,

You might be interested to know the W3C Mobile Web Initiative (MWI)
www.w3.org/mobile. The aim of the MWI is to create best practices,
techniques and conformance criterion to help people design and build Web
sites to work better on mobile devices such as PDAs and mobile phones. I'm a
member of the Steering Council and Segala is co-editor of the conformance
document known as mobileOK with Google and ICRA - Sorcha is also a member of
the Best Practices working group. So, we are pretty familiar with the
developments of the initiative should you wish to learn more. 

MobileOK http://www.w3.org/TR/2006/WD-mobileOK-20060712/ 

Kind regards,

-----Original Message-----
From: irl-dean-admin at list.eeng.dcu.ie
[mailto:irl-dean-admin at list.eeng.dcu.ie] On Behalf Of terry turner
Sent: 02 September 2006 10:49
To: irl-dean at list.eeng.dcu.ie
Subject: [Irl-dean] Accessibility of services from mobile phones


Do any of you know of work in Ireland being done on the above topic?

I am a freelance telecom consultant who has done some work on telecoms for 
people with special needs. I have talked to some of you a few years ago but 
my direct interest has been dormant for some time.

Terry Turner

----- Original Message ----- 
From: <corrywt at cs.tcd.ie>
To: <irl-dean at list.eeng.dcu.ie>
Sent: Friday, September 01, 2006 2:07 PM
Subject: RE: [Irl-dean] Re: Request for Research Input

Hi Paul,

Thank you for your comments.  I have seen and included much of what you
have posted in my review of the current literature.  However, most of this
information is based on anecdotal evidence and does not stand up to the
scrutiny required to prove the business case empirically, and does not
satisfy the standards and requirements of my academic research - hence my
approach, of which the questionnaire is an important part.



> Hi Tristan,
> Why reinvent the wheel - you can find a great business case at
> http://www.w3.org/WAI/bcase/Overview.html
> I've taken the liberty to provide some information below. I've also
> included
> the market value of Web accessibility in the UK - I'm unable to find these
> figures for any other country - if anyone can point me to qualified
> resources I'd be very grateful.
> The market for making Web sites Accessible
> Web Accessibility is a Social Issue
> Web Accessibility is Essential for Equal Opportunity
> Use of the Web is spreading rapidly into all areas of society and daily
> life. In many countries the Web is increasingly used for government
> information and services, education and training, commerce, news,
> workplace
> interaction, civic participation, health care, recreation, entertainment,
> and more. In some cases, the Web is replacing traditional offline
> resources.
> It has become an important medium for society to interact. Therefore it is
> essential that the Web be accessible in order to provide equal access and
> equal opportunity to people with disabilities. It can help people with
> disabilities participate and take a more active role in society and
> provides
> an unprecedented opportunity for access to information for people with
> disabilities as the accessibility barriers of traditional print and
> broadcast media can be more easily overcome through Web technologies.
> An accessible Web expands opportunities for communication, interaction,
> and
> employment for people with all types of disability.
> Determining Applicable Policies
> Web accessibility requirements can take the form of policies, laws,
> regulations, standards, guidelines, directives, communications, orders, or
> other types of documents. Policies relating to Web accessibility lists
> governmental legislation and related information for many countries and
> regions.
> Some governments have laws that specifically require certain types of Web
> site to be accessible. Others may cover Web accessibility under broader
> anti-discrimination legislation, information and communications technology
> policy, or other disability laws or policies.
> Companies may also be required by non-governmental policies to make their
> Web sites accessible, such as policies from trade or industry bodies,
> professional associations, or standards organizations.
> Considerations for Different Types of Organizations
> Government - Some accessibility requirements apply only to national
> government ministries' or agencies' Web sites; some also apply to
> provincial
> or state governments. Other levels of government, such as provincial or
> state, establish requirements independent of national requirements.
> Education - Many educational institutions and organizations are covered by
> governmental requirements for accessibility of Web-based educational
> resources and online learning environments. In some countries or regions,
> educational institutions are covered in broad policies along with other
> types of organizations; and in others there are policies specifically
> addressing educational institutions. In addition to governmental
> requirements, some educational institutions and organizations have
> established separate or more extensive requirements for accessibility. In
> some cases there is a specific policy on Web accessibility; in other cases
> Web accessibility is covered under broader accessibility policies.
> Industry and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) - Some government
> policies
> require industry and NGO Web sites to be accessible. These types of
> organizations might also choose to follow other Web accessibility
> policies,
> such as recommendations from trade (industry) bodies or professional
> associations. Many corporations and NGOs establish their own policies for
> Web accessibility, which are often more extensive than those required by
> government policies. In some cases, policies established by corporations
> or
> NGOs might also apply to subsidiaries, vendors, agencies and others who do
> business with the organization.
> Countries where accessibility is a legal requirement
> Introduction
> The Web's emergence as a pivotal form of Information and Communications
> Technology (ICT) raises issues regarding the application of existing and
> the
> development of new laws and policies, and the importance of all members of
> society, including people with disabilities, being able to access the Web.
> There is a growing body of national laws and policies which address
> accessibility of ICT, including the Internet and the Web. There is also
> great variety of approaches among these laws and policies: in general some
> take the approach of establishing a human or civil right to ICT; others
> that
> government ICT must be accessible; and others that any ICT sold in a given
> market must be accessible.
> Understanding Risks for Non-Compliance
> Non-compliance with accessibility requirements can result in significant
> legal costs and have negative impact on the organization's reputation.
> Some
> organizations have faced legal action for not making their Web sites
> accessible.
> There are instances where the legal requirements for an organization might
> not be clear. In such cases organizations must determine for themselves
> that
> it is in their best interest (financially and otherwise) to make their
> sites
> accessible, rather than risk legal action.
> Financial Benefits
> There are significant financial benefits to organizations that provide
> accessible Web sites including increased Web site use and direct cost
> savings.
> Increased Web Site Use
> A major benefit of Web accessibility is the potential for direct and
> indirect financial gains from increased Web site use. Web accessibility
> can
> make it easier for people to find a Web site, access it, and use it
> successfully, resulting in increased audience (more users) and increased
> effectiveness (more use).
> Many organizations benefit financially when more people successfully use
> their Web site; commercial companies generate more sales, educational
> institutions acquire more students, and non-profit organizations secure
> more
> funding by demonstrating successful outreach and dissemination.
> Increasingly, Web sites are used to cut costs by decreasing high-cost
> customer support services and enabling customers to complete transactions
> online rather than requiring personnel and paper interactions. The many
> examples of cost savings from online transactions include citizens
> renewing
> licenses online, investors trading stock online, and students registering
> for classes online. Thus, increased site use can result in financial gains
> and cost savings.
> Increase in audience (Web site users) can result from the following
> benefits
> of Web accessibility:
> Increases potential use by more people, expands potential market share
> Accessible sites can be used by more people -- including people with
> disabilities, people with low literacy, people who are not fluent in the
> language of the site, people with low bandwidth connections to the
> Internet,
> people with older access technologies, and new and infrequent Web users --
> thus increasing the frequency and reach of users who can successfully use
> the site. In some countries older people are the fastest growing group of
> new Web users and accessibility is an important issue for them
> Increases "findability"
> Accessibility techniques increase the "findability" of Web pages by
> efficiently exposing content to search engines, both internally (within a
> Web site) and externally (across the World Wide Web).
> For example, these key aspects of accessibility design inherently enable
> findability:
> Some search engines use metadata to index pages
> Alternative text for images and multimedia is available to search engines
> Most search engines access text and not images
> Some search engines give higher weight to text that is marked up as
> headings
> Increase in effectiveness (Web site use) can result from the following
> benefits of Web accessibility:
> Increases potential use in more situations
> Accessible sites can be used in more situations. Web sites that can be
> used
> by people with disabilities can also be used more easily by people without
> disabilities who are limited by their situation, such as:
> in a noisy environment
> using a low-grade display e.g. small or black & white
> Increases usability
> Accessible sites are generally more usable to everyone, including people
> with disabilities and people without disabilities. Increased usability
> means
> Web site users achieve their goals more effectively, efficiently, and
> satisfactorily. When users have a positive experience with a Web site,
> they
> are more likely to use the site more thoroughly, return to the site more
> often, and to tell others about the site ("viral marketing"). Some
> accessibility guidelines directly increase usability to all users, such
> as:
> clear and consistent design, navigation, and links
> blocks of information divided into groups
> clear and simple language as appropriate
> supplemental illustrations
> good colour contrast
> Increases positive image
> An organization's efforts in Web accessibility are a public relations
> opportunity to increase its positive image. This may also increase Web
> site
> use. The Social Factors page discusses Web accessibility as a social issue
> and an aspect of corporate social responsibility (CSR). CSR has been shown
> to improve financial performance, enhance brand image and reputation,
> increase sales and customer loyalty, increase ability to attract and
> retain
> employees, and provide access to capital and funding.
> Direct Cost Savings
> In addition to the benefits from increased Web site use discussed above,
> many organizations realize direct cost savings from efforts to improve Web
> accessibility.
> Accessibility reduces long-term site maintenance, decreasing development
> and
> maintenance personnel and resource costs
> Accessibility reduces server loading, decreasing the amount of server
> capacity required and saving on additional server and network capacity
> costs
> Accessibility enables content to work on multiple devices, decreasing the
> need to create multiple costly versions of a site for different devices
> Accessibility can take advantage of advanced Web technologies and enable a
> site to be prepared for future Web technologies, decreasing the future
> cost
> of upgrading
> Potential direct costs savings also result from the following benefits of
> Web accessibility:
> Decreases potential for high legal expenses
> Ensuring that Web sites are accessible reduces the risk of high legal
> costs
> associated with defending potential legal action for non-compliance with
> Web
> accessibility requirements. Legal and Policy Factors discusses policy
> considerations for different organizations.
> Decreases cost of alternative format materials
> For organizations that provide printed materials in alternate formats
> (large
> print, embossed braille, computer disk), an accessible Web site can reduce
> the demand for these materials as people chose to use the Web, reducing
> production and distribution costs.
> Decreases cost of translating
> The cost of translating a Web site to other languages can be decreased by
> following accessibility guidelines for:
> clear and simple language as appropriate
> clear and consistent design, navigation, and links
> separating content from presentation
> text and markup rather than bitmap images of text to convey information
> (WCAG 1.0 Checkpoint 3.1)
> The market value for Web accessibility
> The information contained in this section is based on the UK market only.
> Further research is required to ascertain the market value in other
> countries and territories. This information cannot currently be found on
> the
> Internet. It is known, however, that Web accessibility is a legal
> requirement in countries such as the UK, Ireland, Australia, Canada and
> the
> US.
> More businesses recognise that accessibility is a huge commercial ROI
> opportunity and not just a regulatory requirement. The market in the UK
> alone is worth £145million per year.
> There are 8.6 million registered disabled people in the UK. This amounts
> to
> 14% of the population. (Disability Rights Commission)
> The disabled community has an annual spending power of £5billion (Scope)
> There are 1.6 million registered blind users. (Employers' Forum on
> Disability)
> Two million UK residents have a sight problem. (RNIB)
> One in 12 men and one in 200 women have some form of colour blindness - 9%
> of the UK population (IEE)
> 3.4 million people have disabilities preventing them from using the
> standard
> keyboard, screen and mouse set-up with ease. (Employers' Forum on
> Disability)
> There are 12 million people aged 60 or over. (UK government)
> UK population is also becoming older. Businesses will increasingly need to
> tap into an older - and often affluent - demographic
> Online businesses are potentially losing out on £50-£60bn per year buying
> power.  (Employers' Forum on Disability)
> Businesses can affect significant upturn in online sales by making Web
> sites
> more accessible
> Accessible Web sites are better Web sites for all users, irrespective of
> disability
> Better accessibility means better conversion rates
> Hope that helps
> Paul
> -----Original Message-----
> From: irl-dean-admin at list.eeng.dcu.ie
> [mailto:irl-dean-admin at list.eeng.dcu.ie] On Behalf Of corrywt at cs.tcd.ie
> Sent: 31 August 2006 12:12
> To: irl-dean at list.eeng.dcu.ie
> Subject: [Irl-dean] Re: Request for Research Input
> Dear all,
> Just a quick reminder about my research questionnaire on Web
> accessibility.  If anyone would still like to take the opportunity to
> contribute (5-10 minutes) to my research, the questionnaire is still
> available for a short time (until the end of next week) at
> http://stage2.labyrinth.ie/accessibility_survey
> Many thanks to those who have already taken the time to fill it in!
> Thanks and regards,
> Tristan
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> Irl-dean at list.eeng.dcu.ie
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