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Buzz Archives: Accessibility

Who Needs JAWS?

So, web developers need to get a copy of JAWS to know that their web site sounds right? As covered in a previous post, this is not necessarily the case (although it is undoubtedly a 'nice-to-have'). As Mark points out, we should develop to standards, not to specific technology (otherwise ...

By Ian Lloyd | September 1st, 2003

JAWS petition: just say no

There is increasing buzz in web designer circles about a petition to Freedom Scientific to produce a free version of their JAWS screen reader so that web designers can test their own web pages. JAWS is the leading screen reader on the market by a wide margin, and as ...

By Mark Pilgrim | August 30th, 2003

Assistive Device Behavior Charts

Over at Juicy Studio, Gez Lemon is developing a chart that shows the capabilities of various assistive devices commonly used by others to access web content. Included in this list of devices are JAWS for Windows, WindowEyes, IBM Home Page Reader, pwWebSpeak, and EmacSpeak(linux based).Gez announced the launch via his ...

By Holly Marie Koltz | August 29th, 2003

An Accessibility Presentation For the People

For the People ("Bringing our world together, one voice at a time.") is a voice chat service that's worth checking out, not least because tomorrow they will be having a presentation by Gary Moulton from Microsoft's accessibility division. You will need to join to take part (and hopefully there's still time to ...

By Ian Lloyd | August 15th, 2003

Agency Requires all Purchases, Accessible

The Department of Commerce United States Patent and Trademark Office(USPTO) posted a press release on May 14, 2003, titled USPTO First Agency To Require All Electronic Information Purchases Be Accessible to the Disabled. Purchases of products and services will have to meet and be certified as meeting Section 508 of the ...

By Holly Marie Koltz | May 20th, 2003

Made for all, live to all

Interested in web accessibility? It might be worth your while checking out a new site that has just gone live today entitled Made For All. The site kicks off the first issue with an interview with RNIB Campaigns Officer Julie Howell (brough to you by WaSP member Anitra Pavka) and a feature about ...

By Ian Lloyd | March 21st, 2003

The Lifecycle of Accessibility

evolt has just published a fine article by Italian Web developer Antonio Volpon, discussing the lifecycle of Web accessibility, a refreshing change from the simplistic advice to just add alt attributes to your images. Volpon talks about the phases all Web sites go through, and in the tradition of Mark ...

By Steven Champeon | December 20th, 2002

Juggernauts Inept, Little People Adept

Author and accessibility maven Joe Clark wonders aloud why large corporations that have the money and resources to produce valid HTML pages so often do not, while the humble, unpaid hobbyist weblogger has no such difficulty.

By Scott Andrew LePera | October 28th, 2002

Accessibility Guidelines for Web Devices

User Agent Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 is a W3C proposed recommendation that provides guidelines for designing Web browsing devices that lower barriers to Web accessibility for people with disabilities (visual, hearing, physical, cognitive, and neurological). In addition, the Techniques for User Agent Accessibility Working Draft has been updated.

By Scott Andrew LePera | October 24th, 2002

One Man’s Journey

Randal Rust's Alphabet Soup: A web designer's journey to standards and accessibility describes how one man came to understand markup, css, and accessibility techniques. An informative, enjoyable read, especially for those new to standards.

By Molly E. Holzschlag | September 13th, 2002

Bobby Bought

Bobby, the accessibility validator created by, has been acquired by Watchfire, maker of web management solutions. (Hat tip: Tiffany Brown.) [Update: Bobby is now WebXACT.]

By Jeffrey Zeldman | August 6th, 2002

New Zealand Promotes Web Standards

New Zealand's e-government initiative has published its Web Guidelines, which include an endorsement of the use of standards such as CSS, XML, and the WAI, the Web Accessibility Initiative. Thanks to Richard Hulse for the pointer.

By Steven Champeon | August 3rd, 2002

Connecticut to Enforce Accessibility Guidelines

According to an article from Government Technology magazine posted in late May, the State of Connnecticut will require consultants, within the state's Department of Information Technology, to take Web accessibility training in accordance with state guidelines - hopefully more states will follow suit. A shout-out and kudos to Accessibility Maven Cynthia ...

By B.K. DeLong | June 10th, 2002

Web Accessibility in the NYT

Sarah Horton, a principal for the Curricular Computing division of Dartmouth College's department of Academic Computing and co-author of the famed Yale C/AIM Web Style Guide (which I happened to be my religious text when I first started developing websites) has an excellent editorial in today's New York Times ...

By B.K. DeLong | June 10th, 2002

Business Benefits of Accessible Web Design

Having a problem convincing your bosses of the benefits of accessibility? "Business Benefits of Accessible Web Design" from the W3's Web Accessibility Initiative outlines how an accessible web site can increase market share and reduce legal liability.

By Scott Andrew LePera | April 4th, 2002

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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