Working together for standards The Web Standards Project


Buzz Archives: Accessibility

HTML5? Check. Accessible HTML5? Um…

The Paciello Group and others are examining the accessibility of HTML5 implementations across the current spate of browsers. Their findings are a little disheartening.

By Aaron Gustafson | February 1st, 2011

Be a True Blue Beanie Supporter of Web Standards

Monday, November 30, 2009 is the 3rd annual Blue Beanie Day. Started by Doug Vos, Blue Beanie Day is a way to show support for web standards and accessibility. Excerpt from the 3rd Annual Blue Beanie Day Event Page: It’s easy to show your support for web design done ...

By Glenda Sims | November 24th, 2009

Interview with Ian Hickson, editor of the HTML 5 specification.

You've heard it's coming in 2012. Or maybe 2022. It's certainly not ready yet, but some parts are already in browsers now so for the standards-savvy developers, the future is worth investigating today. Ian "Hixie" Hickson, editor of the HTML 5 specification, hopes that the spec will go to ...

By Bruce Lawson | May 13th, 2009

WAI ARIA Last Call, and Safari 4

The W3C’s WAI ARIA moves to Last Call Working Draft; appropriately, the Safari 4 Beta is out, featuring improved ARIA support.

By Derek Featherstone | February 24th, 2009

Web Standards in Indonesia – a university web developer perspective

When in Indonesia Bruce Lawson, co-lead of the Accessibility Task Force, got the opportunity to interview Widianto Nugroho from Institut Teknologi Bandung. What follows is the transcript of their chat as well as links to useful resources for anyone interested in web standards in Indonesia. Take it away Bruce! I was ...

By Henny Swan | February 20th, 2009

Shared Passion

Something magical happens when you put a group of people that have a shared passion in the same room together. We're not just talking "excitement" here, either. We're talking passion -- the kind that keeps the fire in the belly burning; the kind that brings people together from far away ...

By Derek Featherstone | February 15th, 2009

WebAIM screenreader survey…the results are in

Hat-tip to ATF member Jared Smith:WebAIM recently conducted a survey of preferences of screen reader users. With over 1100 responses, the results of this survey provide much useful information about screen reader user demographics and preferences. Some of the results were quite surprising. This comprehensive survey of screen reader ...

By Patrick Lauke | January 31st, 2009

UK government browser guidelines: good sense prevails

You might remember that I published a post called UK government draft browser guidance is daft browser guidance last September, calling out a draft document outlining some UK government browser testing guidelines. These suggested that for government web sites, webmasters need not test in less popular browsers (those with ...

By Bruce Lawson | January 19th, 2009

WCAG 2.0 is a W3C Recommendation

After 9.5 years of work, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 have reached W3C Recommendation status. On behalf of the WaSP Accessibility Task Force, I'd like to welcome WCAG 2 officially into the pantheon of Web standards. I think this tweet by caledoniaman sums up the level of anticipation: WCAG 2.0 and ...

By Matt May | December 11th, 2008

Introduction to WAI ARIA – available in Spanish and French

Accessibility genius Gez Lemon recently published An Introduction to WAI ARIA on Dev.Opera. Designed to work together with HTML 5 the Accessible Rich Internet Application Suite, published by the Web Accessibility Initiative, aims to make Ajax accessible to disabled people using screen-readers and is key to safeguarding accessibility in today's ...

By Henny Swan | December 10th, 2008

“Just ask: Integrating accessibility throughout design” available in English, Japanese and Spanish

Fancy giving your site a hardcore usability test? Then why not involve people with disabilities in your testing. Not sure where to start? Then check out Just Ask: integrating accessibility throughout design. This free online book, written by Shawn Lawton Henry from W3C in her spare time, looks at all you ...

By Henny Swan | December 8th, 2008

BSI British Standards invites comments on new draft standard on accessible web content

BSI British Standards is inviting all interested parties, and in particular marketing professionals and disabled web users, to review and comment on the draft of a new standard on accessible web content. DPC BS 8878 Web accessibility – Building accessible experiences for disabled people – Code of Practice is ...

By Patrick Lauke | December 1st, 2008

WCAG 2.0 resources

Here's a starter list of some resources to help transition to WCAG 2 from the world of WCAG 1, now the new standard goes to proposed recommendation status. This is just a starter list; please add other resources that you recommend in the comments. It would be great to have ...

By Bruce Lawson | November 6th, 2008

WCAG 2 and mobileOK Basic Tests specs are proposed recommendations

WCAG 2 and the mobileOK Basic Tests specifications have been moved to "proposed recommendation status" by the W3C, which means that the technical material is complete and it has been implemented in real sites. WCAG 2 Shawn Henry writes of WCAG 2, Over the last few months, the Web Content ...

By Bruce Lawson | November 4th, 2008

UK government draft browser guidance is daft browser guidance

This blog post is superseded by UK government browser guidelines: good sense prevails. Last friday, the UK government's Central Office of Information (COI) published a public consultation on browser standards for public sector websites: This guidance has been developed to assist those delivering public sector websites to determine which web browsers to ...

By Bruce Lawson | September 8th, 2008

Call-to-action: Save the UT Accessibility Institute

The University of Texas is closing its Accessibility Institute today. Non-profit Knowbility has started a petition to save it. Though you may not have heard of the Accessibility Institute, you have been influenced by its work. Its late founder, Dr. John Slatin, was the former co-chair of the Web Content Accessibility ...

By James Craig | August 29th, 2008

What the Target settlement should mean to you

It's a question many of us in accessibility have been waiting for years to be answered. Does the Americans with Disabilities Act apply to the web? Sadly, accessibility's ultimate cliffhanger once again reaches an awkward denouement, leaving us deflated, and looking at yet another boring sequel. The National Federation of the Blind ...

By Matt May | August 28th, 2008

British Standard for accessibility

The British Standards Institution (BSI) has invited two members of the WaSP, Bruce Lawson and Patrick Lauke, to join the drafting committee for the first British Standard for Web Accessiblity. Two years ago, the BSI was sponsored by the Disability Rights Commission to write a Publicly Available Specification ...

By Bruce Lawson | July 11th, 2008

hAccessibility redux?

Thanks to Sebastian Snopek from the International Liaison Group (WaSP ILG), this post is also available in Polish: Wtórny hAccessibility?. Fanning the fires of the ABBR pattern debate, the developers at BBC Radio Labs announced today that they'll be removing the hCalendar microformat from their programmes listing pages, pending further ...

By Patrick Lauke | June 23rd, 2008

RNIB Surf Right Toolbar available for IE

Those clever folks at the Royal National Institute of Blind People have teamed up with the Web Accessibility Tools Consortium and The Paciello Group to produce a toolbar for Internet Explorer that exposes some of its usually buried accessibility options. It's not for developers so much as end-users; the RNIB say The ...

By Bruce Lawson | June 20th, 2008

Easy-to-use Flickr and YouTube

It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that accessibility is only about the blind people with physical disabilities, and forget about those with cognitive difficulties, or those who are new to the Web. Many pages are very busy and confusing and hence off-putting. Flame-haired DOMscripting lovegod Christian Heillman, ...

By Bruce Lawson | June 19th, 2008

WCAG 2 now “candidate recommendation”

The W3C announced today that WCAG2 is now a candidate recommendation and is likely to be "live" by the end of the year. The W3C says Candidate Recommendation means that we think the technical content is stable and we want developers and designers to start using WCAG 2.0, to test it out ...

By Bruce Lawson | April 30th, 2008

Opera complains to Europe over IE lock-in

Opera Chief Technology Officer and co-inventor of CSS, Håkon Wium Lie has written an open letter to the Web community explaining the reasons that Opera has filed an antitrust complaint with the European Union to force Microsoft to support open Web standards in Internet Explorer and to unbundle Internet ...

By Bruce Lawson | December 13th, 2007

UK government accessibility consultation

The UK government has issued a consultation document on Delivering Inclusive Websites. It's not finalised, as the consultation doesn't end until November 13 (my birthday, by the way …) but in its current state it's not a bad document; it rehashes PAS 78, recognises that the only way to find out ...

By Bruce Lawson | November 4th, 2007

Will Target get schooled?

Yesterday, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California certified the NFB lawsuit against Target as a class action on behalf of blind Internet users throughout the U.S. and ruled that websites like Target.com are required, under California state law, to be accessible.

By Aaron Gustafson | October 5th, 2007

Obstacles to Accessible Flash

Adobe Flash can often get a bad rap from the standards community, but the reality is that there are many situations where Flash is the most appropriate tool for the job. As well as just being the best technology for some applications, the Flash Player also enjoys near ubiquity in ...

By Drew McLellan | August 6th, 2007

A review of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0, May 2007 Working Draft

In last month's Interview with Judy Brewer on WCAG 2.0, we read that:WCAG 2.0 went through several Public Working Drafts in recent years, and a Last Call Working Draft in 2006. Each Working Draft was sent out for public review — altogether to hundreds of individuals, organizations, and lists around ...

By Patrick Lauke | June 11th, 2007

London: Shawn Lawton Henry on WCAG 2.0

Organised by the RNIB, Shawn Lawton Henry will be talking about WCAG 2.0 at Westminster University, New Cavendish campus on Tuesday 5th June 7pm.

By Mike Davies | May 28th, 2007

Screen Reader User on U.S. National Public Radio

I heard a piece on NPR this morning featuring an atypical screen reader user: atypical because he is not blind.His vision-impairment is caused by a lack of muscle control due to cerebral palsy, effectively making him vision-, mobility-, and dexterity-impaired. The mention of the screen reader is a minor note ...

By James Craig | May 24th, 2007

Current browsers and the User Agent Accessibility Guidelines 1.0

In web accessibility, you’ll often hear emphasis being placed on the duty of web authors to create accessible content. However, this is only one part of the web accessibility equation.One that has been particularly close to me, or rather one that has provided me with a lot of opportunity to ...

By Patrick Lauke | May 20th, 2007

Call for Review: Updated WCAG 2.0 Working Draft

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (WCAG WG) invites you to comment on an updated draft of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG 2.0), published on 17 May 2007. WCAG 2.0 addresses accessibility of Web content for people with disabilities.The updated WCAG 2.0 Public Working Draft incorporates changes ...

By Patrick Lauke | May 17th, 2007

The Web Standards Project is a grassroots coalition fighting for standards which ensure simple, affordable access to web technologies for all.

Recent Buzz

Our Work Here is Done

By Aaron Gustafson | March 1st, 2013

Thanks to the hard work of countless WaSP members and supporters (like you), Tim Berners-Lee’s vision of the web as an open, accessible, and universal community is largely the reality.

When The Web Standards Project (WaSP) formed in 1998, the web was the battleground in an ever-escalating war between two browser makers—Netscape and Microsoft—who were each taking turns “advancing” HTML to the point of collapse. You see, in an effort to one-up each other, the two browsers introduced new elements and new ways of manipulating web documents; this escalated to the point where their respective 4.0 versions were largely incompatible.

Realizing that this fragmentation would inevitably drive up the cost of building websites and ran the risk of denying users access to content and services they needed, Glenn Davis, George Olsen, and Jeffrey Zeldman co-founded WaSP and rallied an amazing group of web designers and developers to help them push back. The WaSP’s primary goal was getting browser makers to support the standards set forth by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

In 2001, with the browser wars largely over, WaSP began to shift its focus. While some members continued to work with browser vendors on improving their standards support, others began working closely with software makers like Macromedia to improve the quality of code being authored in tools such as Dreamweaver. And others began the hard slog of educating web designers and developers about the importance of using web standards, culminating in the creation of WaSP InterAct, a web curriculum framework which is now overseen by the W3C.

Thanks to the hard work of countless WaSP members and supporters (like you), Tim Berners-Lee’s vision of the web as an open, accessible, and universal community is largely the reality. While there is still work to be done, the sting of the WaSP is no longer necessary. And so it is time for us to close down The Web Standards Project.

Many (if not all) of us are continuing to work in the world of web standards, but our work is now largely outside the umbrella of WaSP. If you are interested in continuing to work on web standards-related projects along with us, we humbly suggest you follow these projects:

  • A List Apart – The magazine “for people who make websites” is run by WaSP founder Jeffrey Zeldman and is a consistent source of forward-thinking articles and tutorials.
  • HTML5 Doctor – A solid resource and discussion forum on all things HTML5, brought to you by Bruce Lawson and his team.
  • W3C Community Groups – If you have a passion for a specific web technology, you can help make it better by participating in one (or more) community groups. In particular, you might be interested in one of these: Core Mobile Web Platform, Responsive Images, Web Education, and Web Media Text Tracks.
  • WebPlatform.org – A fantastic web standards resource, providing up-to-date documentation, Q&As, tutorials & more. Chris Mills, Doug Schepers, and a number of other standards advocates are involved in this project.
  • Web Standards Sherpa – An educational resource founded by WaSP which continues to operate under the leadership of Chris Casciano, Virginia DeBolt, Aaron Gustafson, and Emily Lewis.
  • Web Standards + Small Business – An outreach project started by WaSP that educates small businesses about why they should care about web standards. This project is overseen by Aaron Gustafson.

The job’s not over, but instead of being the work of a small activist group, it’s a job for tens of thousands of developers who care about ensuring that the web remains a free, open, interoperable, and accessible competitor to native apps and closed eco-systems. It’s your job now, and we look forward to working with you, and wish you much success.

Nota bene: In the near future, we will be making a permanent, static archive of webstandards.org and some of our other resources like WaSP Interact to preserve them as a resource and to provide a record of our 15-year mission to improve the web.

Bruce Lawson and Steph Troeth contributed to this post.

Filed in WaSP Announcement | Comments (89)

More Buzz articles

Title Author
Call for action on Vendor Prefixes Rachel Andrew
An End to Aging IE Installs Aaron Gustafson
Beyond the Blue Beanie? Stephanie (Sullivan) Rewis
The Sherpas are Here Aaron Gustafson

All of the entries posted in WaSP Buzz express the opinions of their individual authors. They do not necessarily reflect the plans or positions of the Web Standards Project as a group.

This site is valid XHTML 1.0 Strict, CSS | Get Buzz via RSS or Atom | Colophon | Legal