There has been some discussion related to the accessibility and usability of the CollapsiblePanel (part of Adobe’s Spry framework for Ajax) found on the Washington Wellness My Workplace Web page.
Many discussions of accessiblity eventually involve JAWS, the market leading screen reader software used by the visually impaired. Although many people design websites that are based on web standards and believe they will read correctly in JAWS (and other screen readers), they often do not test the site using the software.
Below is a screencast of JAWS reading the My Workplace page on the Washington Wellness site. The default installation of JAWS was used to provide a representation of what a user will experience if the software is used without customization. However, many non-sighted users increase JAWS’ reading speed and make other changes to suite their particular needs.
Are you thinking you don’t have to worry about accessibility? Target thought the same thing, but that thinking cost them a $6 million in a settlement against the National Federation of the Blind because their website was not accessible.
Play the video below to gain a better understanding of what the non-sighted experience on a daily basis.
ACCESSIBLE: Content is accessible when it may be used by someone with a disability.
Source: W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0
USABILITY: The effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction with which specified users achieve specified goals in particular environments.
effectiveness: the accuracy and completeness with which specified users can achieve specified goals in particular environments
efficiency: the resources expended in relation to the accuracy and completeness of goals achieved
satisfaction: the comfort and acceptability of the work system to its users and other people affected by its use
Source: W3C Usability – ISO 9241 definition