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.
The European Commission-funded eAccess+ network is a network of organisations who will focus on supporting and promoting awareness and adoption of e-accessibility in industry and the public sector, and also amongst service providers to excluded groups. We’ve just had our kick-off meeting – so here’s some information about what we’re going to do over the next 3 years.
Education, Education, Education. Much of the buzz filtering back through Twitter from this year’s South by Southwest Interactive (SXSW) surrounded the launch of the Web Standards Project’s InterAct Curriculum. It builds on the efforts of Chris Mills and colleagues at Opera in developing their Web Standards Curriculum, and, while it’s still work in progress it looks – from a first glance – like it will grow to be an excellent set of resources to promote the teaching of best practice in web design.
These initiatives are all evidence of a brighter horizon, the product of efforts by web standards advocates to improve the quality of web design education, and thus the skillset of people entering the web design industry. This follows criticism of the standard of web design education, particularly at university level.