Reviewed October 16th, 2006 @ 06:46PM
Update July 8th, 2007: Be sure to read the online chapter, Understanding Web Accessibility. Also, be sure to read Just Ask: Integrating Accessibility Throughout Design by Shawn Henry.
The book was split up into three parts:
Part 1: The Impact of Web Accessibility was initially a tough section to get through. This is a very important section, and sets the foundation for the rest of the book, but I was initially overwhelmed by all of the terms presented (some of which I was unfamiliar with related to standards). This section was full of great information, as well as links to discover even more information.
Part 2: Implementing Accessible Websites covers a broad range of topics (listed above). This was the lengthiest part of the book, but well worth the read. Much of what was discussed in these chapters has been discussed in other books I have read lately. Each chapter goes in-depth on creating accessible websites and using the technology at hand. The chapter related to assistive devices confirmed what Nathan Smith said: “I mean, I always thought browser differences were bad, but compared to the many screen reader quirks, wow.” Overall, it discusses best practices for web development.
Part 3: Accessibility Law and Policy wraps up the entire book. This section covers the legal information in an array of different countries as they relate to websites. Again, I was worried that this section might be dry — but I found it easy to read and learned much.
Most of this book could be summed up by Cynthia Waddell at the end of Chapter 16 where she states:
“The economic, political, and ethical benefits far outweigh the cost of this effort. The cost of being inaccessible — missing the boat on the coming age of thin clients, failing to serve our most needful citizens and employees, and legal liability — can be incalculable.
This millennium offers unprecedented opportunities for efficient, effective governance. The Internet should be accessible to all. It is the right thing to do.”
This book is a must have for any serious web developer. Don’t be intimidated by the size, it is well worth the read.