This year, we’ve seen a growing prominence of discussions about the idea of developing a resource providing access to trusted information on web and ICT accessibility – an accessibility Body of Knowledge. It would be hard to defend the idea that accessibility knowledge should remain a specialism, held only be a chosen few and made available to others only at great cost, going against the very objective of supporting inclusion that we surely all support. Instead, there’s an obvious attraction for accessibility specialists and those less familiar with accessibility theory and practice to be able to refer to and use a resource that provides authoritative information on accessibility, from development techniques to assistive technology performance and support to legislative requirements to statistics on return-on-investment.
Yesterday, two unrelated events made me think about accessibility and communication – and in particular the impact of accessibility and usability on a communication system.
I had the honour of taking part in a panel session discussing How Does Accessibility Fit into Today’s Usability Practice? at the Usability Professionals’ Association Conference (UPA 2010) in Munich last week. The session was organised by Shawn Henry of the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative and provided an opportunity to debate the challenges of promoting and supporting accessible ICT design within a wider usability context. A number of interesting discussion points emerged – here are my reflections on the panel session.
Today I arrived at work and discovered that someone had been sending unauthorised direct messages (DMs) from my Twitter account. These messages were of the form “This you???? <URL>”, where the URL is a shortened URL which led to a site designed to phish for Twitter password details. I can see these messages by looking at the Sent list of my Direct mesages, and it appears that has been sent to a random selection of over 100 Twitter accounts (some of whom I follow, some I don’t recognise).
Firstly, apologies to everyone who received one of these messages and who was inconvenienced by it.