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Buzz Archives: Accessibility

Web Standards and The New Professionalism

Either you’re with us or against us: you know your craft (or you’re willing to learn) or you don’t. We’re in a process of defining a new professionalism for Web developers and designers.

By Molly E. Holzschlag | November 15th, 2005

An Open Letter to Disney Store UK

Dear Disney Store UK, I would write this to you directly via your site feedback page but it is throwing Access database errors. The email appears to be down as well. So instead, I'm going to write my letter here in a public forum in the hopes that someone from your ...

By Molly E. Holzschlag | November 3rd, 2005

Multi-National Team to Focus on Accessibility Tools

A new consortium launches today and is announced at Juicy Studio with the entry Web Accessibility Tool Consortium (WAT-C), authored by Steven Faulkner, who is a co-founder of WAT-C. Gez Lemon of Juicy Studio is also a member of the WaSP Accessibility Task Force. The goals of the group include ...

By Holly Marie Koltz | September 15th, 2005

Disaster Aid for Windows users only?

At Boing Boing yesterday: FEMA to Mac, Linux users: drop dead. Bottom line: if you're not using Windows + IE, it appears that you won't be able to file a disaster assistance claim on A Javascript enabled browser is another requirement. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers ...

By Holly Marie Koltz | September 7th, 2005

Developing a Web Accessibility Business Case for Your Organization

On 21 August the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative released a new resource, titled Developing a Web Accessibility Business Case for Your Organization, which marshals criteria under the title's heading. These criteria are divided into four groups. Social Factors Technical Factors Financial Factors Legal and Policy Factors These documents facilitate the process of developing web accessibility practices ...

By Ben Henick | August 27th, 2005

IBM Donates DOM Scripting Accessibility Code to Firefox

IBM’s donation will help developers write accessible DOM Scripting applications, and make Firefox browser more accessible all-round.

By Chris Kaminski | August 16th, 2005

JavaScript and Screenreaders

What do you get when you cross JavaScript with a screen reader? James Edwards, Bob Easton, Mike Stenhouse and Derek Featherstone find out.

By Derek Featherstone | July 28th, 2005

Collaborative bug squashing

Lucian Slatineanu is putting together a DOM script to replace the default form widgets supplied by the browser with other, more customisable elements. He calls the script Niceforms.

By Jeremy Keith | July 25th, 2005

Accessible Event Pairs

In order to keep our pages accessible to non-mouse users, we must use non-mouse events like focus or keydown in addition to mouse events like mouseover and click. On I created the new Event pairs page to study this problem.

By Peter-Paul Koch | July 21st, 2005

Meeting Microsoft

Since the announcement of the WaSP / Microsoft Corporation Task Force we’ve had two face to face meetings. The first was held in Portland, Oregon at WebVisions ‘05. WaSP members DL Byron and myself met with Microsoft’s liaison to the Task Force, Brian Goldfarb. In this meeting, we brainstormed potential ...

By Molly E. Holzschlag | July 21st, 2005

Accessible Alternative vs. Direct Accessibility

The progressive enhancement approach, also called the ‘accessible alternative’ approach, is indeed the most common and best-understood. It’s not the whole shooting match, though. There’s a second approach to making ECMAScript-enhanced pages accessible: direct accessibility.

By Chris Kaminski | July 19th, 2005

JavaScript and WCAG2.0 progress

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (or WCAG) is a series of pointers and tips on making web content accessible to people with disabilities (with a useful side-effect of making the content more accessible to practically all devices). JavaScript has a bigger profile within the current WCAG2.0 work.

By Mike Davies | July 18th, 2005

SiteMorse: Not making friends or influencing people

You might imagine that accessibility specialists are slightly odd folk. Close your eyes and imagine them sitting quietly in the corner of a pub, sipping mild and wearing Hush Puppies. On a crazy night they might break out the box of dominoes and make remarks about how wonderfully accessible those ...

By Andy Clarke | July 9th, 2005

Accessibility Discussions: Article and Commentary Roundup

Ever since we announced the WaSP Accessibility Task Force, quickly given the sticky nicky “ATF” the recommendations, requests and even a few ragings have been storm-trooping 'cross the Web. Here's a round-up of reading associated with ATF activities. Requests and recommendations The following articles focus on requests from the ATF, recommendations, and general ...

By Molly E. Holzschlag | July 7th, 2005

Acessibility, Validity, Guidelines and Law

In the wake of the @media 2005 Conference and the WCAG Working Group face-to-face in Brussels, accessibility has been getting a lot of attention. Lots of people have been asking good questions. Fewer have been providing good answers, but at least we're getting healthy, broad-based discussion of the issues. Case in ...

By Chris Kaminski | June 27th, 2005

Inspired by Accessibility.

Accessibility and usability inspires innovation. Embracing and using standards and recommendations allows for more innovation. It's time to quit thinking that embracing accessibility stifles growth or causes limitations. Many years ago, I was inspired by accessibility and innovations. I began my work and advocacy of web standards and accessibility items well ...

By Holly Marie Koltz | March 31st, 2005

Access Matters Quiz Blog

Bob Easton is the man behind Access Matters, a weblog that offers up advice regarding web accessibility and best practises. Quiz items are presented as blog or journal entries and answers by others follow in the comments or replies often offering up additional key information. Thanks go to Gez Lemon of ...

By Holly Marie Koltz | March 29th, 2005

Ground Up, Accessibility

In a Digital Web Magazine article this past week, a W3C web accessibility specialist Matt May offers up a short primer for web designers. The article, Accessibility From The Ground Up, gives a quick overview and answers key questions regarding accessible web design. Accessible design or authoring may seem ...

By Holly Marie Koltz | January 25th, 2005

Inaccessible sites creating ‘Net underclass?

UK IT rag The Register is running an article about the potential for inaccessble web sites to create a 'Net underclass'. The article is speaking primarily of UK-based sites, but the problem it discribes is hardly limited to a single nation. The article leans heavily on quotes from Deri Jones, CEO ...

By Chris Kaminski | December 21st, 2004

Online Captioning Best Practices

Joe Clark, accessibility guru and author of the excellent Building Accessible Websites, has pointed me to 'Best practices in online captioning.' It's 21 chapters based on a government-funded university project, but don't let that fool you ;-): it's by far the most comprehensive work I've seen on online captioning. I find ...

By Chris Kaminski | September 9th, 2004

Accessibility Settlements by Priceline and Ramada

The New York State Attorney General's Office [published a press release][1] this Thursday announcing that [Priceline][2] and [Ramada][3] had agreed to make their sites more accessible to visually impaired visitors: >Under the terms of the agreements, the companies will implement a range of accessibility standards authored by the Web Accessibility Initiative ...

By Porter Glendinning | August 21st, 2004

Web Accessibility Toolbar for IE/Win

Chris Pederick's outstanding Web Developer Toolbar has long been a must-have tool for web developers & designers using Firefox and other Mozilla-based browsers. Now, webheads who're still using IE for Windows (yes, there really are some, and they deserve our pity ;-) have a comparable tool: the Web Accessibility Toolbar. Much ...

By Chris Kaminski | August 13th, 2004

The Value of Samaritanism

Inspired by the Odeon debacle, former WaSP extraordinaire Jeffrey Zeldman holds forth on the value of good samaritans who build accessible, standards-compliant versions of popular web sites for free. Zeldman also gives an excellent analysis of the accessibility and usability problems with Odeon's official site and how samaritan Matthew Somerville addressed ...

By Chris Kaminski | July 28th, 2004

Adaptive accessibility

IBM has a new service called WAT that promises to help make web sites — even those that aren't standards-compliant — more accessible. WAT accomplishes this feat by manipulating web pages before they are displayed to the user. SeniorNet, one of the organizations working with IBM on the service, has ...

By Chris Kaminski | July 26th, 2004

The Clue Stick

After viewing their browser-restricted redesigns, Eric Meyer swings the clue stick at Feedster and Scott Johnson's response in the case of Feedster is, in effect, "we don't have the resources to support all browsers."Yes, you do. It actually costs less to support all browsers. Well said. Apparently Mr. Johnson thought so, ...

By Chris Kaminski | July 21st, 2004

JavaScript and Accessibility

I have never done that well with JavaScript in general, much less properly integrating JavaScript into my work. I think that the WCAG 2.0 Scripting group might be just the solution I need. The group emerged today to help make the use of JavaScript more compatible with accessibility. I ...

By Molly E. Holzschlag | June 30th, 2004


The Guild of Accessible Web Designers (GAWDS) launched last week, and we'd like to welcome them to the standards advocacy block. From the press release announcing their launch: The Guild of Accessible Web Designers marked its launch today by calling upon Web designers to embrace accessibility as the cornerstone and ...

By Ethan Marcotte | June 4th, 2004

Election Time

Here in the Great White North we're deep in the middle of election season. Joe Clark [no, not former Prime Minister Joe Clark] and Craig Saila have compiled an "independent, nonpartisan review of Canadian political Web sites" that finds a massive disconnect between the parties running for leadership, and official ...

By Dave Shea | June 3rd, 2004

Stylin’ Atom, Talkin’ Turkey, Easin’ into Accessibility

Mark Pilgrim's been diving into using CSS to style his Atom feed. He's got an interesting discussion about what he's done plus examples on his weblog. But you have to use a real browser to see it work - I'm sure you're all as shocked and surprised as I ...

By Molly E. Holzschlag | May 3rd, 2004

Ohio State University: Kudos

Looking for a web standards job? This morning while reading an unrelated article about finding a job that suits work standards, I thought why not use Google to find openings for web standards jobs? My Google search terms, *job openings web design standards guidelines accessibility* returned results that included The Web ...

By Holly Marie Koltz | May 2nd, 2004

DRC? Yeah, You Know Me.

The Disability Rights Commission (DRC) released a formal accessibility review of one thousand UK websites today. Their findings paint a bleak picture: in their automated tests, 81% of the sites tested failed to reach the minimum standard for accessibility; additionally, 585 accessibility and usability problems were uncovered in user testing ...

By Ethan Marcotte | April 14th, 2004

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.
  • – 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 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)

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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.

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