Citizen Media Watch

november 7th, 2007

”Let blind people and people with ADHD test-run your site”

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

Stefan Johansson, Funka Nu

Social media is supposed to make it easier for everyone to contribute and to express oneself. But a lot of people are still shut out.
– Blog services are not accessible for everyone, says Stefan Johansson of Funka Nu. He talks about accessibility at the Morgondagens webbplatser conference in Kista outside Stockholm.
He gives the example of Blindbloggen, a blog started by blind people. In the beginning they were enthusiastic, but the project died out because it was too complicated to use the blogging tool.

Accessibility issues are not only about people with physical disabilities. A lot of people simply don’t understand what they’re reading. It is a common problem that hasn’t yet been given much focus.
– One fourth of all adults cannot answer control questions correctly about an article they have read in an ordinary morning newspaper.
He thinks that accessibility is often forgotten when a new site or new functionality is developed.
– Few site developers have problems with using a mouse, for instance, Johansson says.
– They don’t think about it being a problem for some people. If you’re aware of the problem you can find a solution. Flash developers are also seldom aware of accessibility problems.

As soon as you build in requirements in your web site, you shut out people.
So how well does your site work with keyboard only?

– The best people to test-run your site is one blind person and one with ADHD. People with ADHD have low patience, and need things to work right away. They will tell you what you need to change.

november 2007
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