Archive for the 'WaSP ATF' Category

PAS 78 and the Disability Discrimination Act

As well as my notes quoting the DRC’s legal bloke saying they would be getting more shirty and would/ could cite the PAS in court, here’s a couple of opinions from third party lawyer types:

Alex Newson, a UK lawyer at Freeth Cartwright, writes

  • PAS 78 is the latest addition to the ‘best practice’ concept.
  • Following best practice is the best way of complying with the DDA
  • PAS 78 is not a technical standard like WAI, it’s about the process of making and maintaining accessible websites
  • Following WAI Level 2 (at least) remains the ‘minimum’ website owners and designers should be looking to achieve

Struan Robertson, editor of (a Pinsent Masons site), comments:

The DRC‘s endorsement of PAS 78 is significant and it could be used in court to illustrate whether a business has complied with the Disability Discrimination Act. A failure to follow it could be damaging to an organisation’s case; but compliance would be evidence of steps being taken to fulfil the legal duty.

Good golly, Ms Molly

Molly and 7 year old Marina smiling

So that Molly Holzschlag came to stay for a couple of days in my subterranean lair, to drink wine, talk geek and frighten my children. If you’re interested, pop over to eBay, where I’m auctioning all the bogies that she wiped on her pillows. Then, that Malarkey popped in for a Guinness and a curry, too.

We put the world to rights, played guitar and drank some more. We accessibility types aren’t always grumpy and right-on, you know.

There’s more pictures in Molly’s photostream.

WordPress accessibility hacks

I really love WordPress (apart from a few minor niggles). It maintains all my links, archives, it’s customisable – it’s a splendid piece of software, and the fact it’s free is fantastic. WordPress conforms to the basic level of accessibility, but most WordPress blogs don’t pass all the WAI/ WCAG Accessibility guidelines, so I decided to hack around with the code to make it more accessible.
Continue reading WordPress accessibility hacks

Criticising Molly? Shut the fuck up.

This is an angry post. It’s filed under “personal and family” because it’s to defend a friend of mine from way back – Molly – who’s sad because of hate mail she’s getting about the IE7 beta.

Regardless of your ideological standpoint about the Web Standards Project’s involvement with Microsoft, no-one can deny that she works tirelessly to help a volunteer grassroots organisation that will ultimately benefit all of us.

IE7 is a program. The Web is a network of machines. Molly is a person and you should treat her respectfully, no matter how you disagree with her. Or you’re rude AND ungrateful.

Posting for posterity

I’m finding it hard writing this blog lately. It’s not that I haven’t got stuff to say. Far from it – I’ve got about 12 draft posts on the go, about screenreaders, the Ben Jonson play I’ve just been to see, Islam, and Sri Lankan rap music.

Previously, I wrote about whatever I’m thinking about at the time as a kind of catharsis. In the old days, people used to shout at passers-by in the street; these days, we blog. It keeps the peace and normal people don’t have to be harangued while they do their shopping. Nutters get their outlet, so everyone wins. I didn’t even have comments: it was a solo pleasure, like wanking.

But now I’ve got performance anxiety. To continue my wanking analogy, someone who gets pleasure from a daily tug won’t necessarily feel comfortable having a porn film crew around them recording it.
Continue reading Posting for posterity

SiteMorse stung #2

SiteMorse sent out “league tables” to lots of local government webmasters, ranking their web sites for accessibility, download speed, metadata etc.

The developers were then put under pressure to change their sites to get higher “MorseMarks” even though automated accessibility tests don’t work and SiteMorse had very odd criteria in their closed-source secretive testing suite. Many felt that they had to make their sites *less* accessible in order to please their bosses by being higher in the league tables.

Things started to get nasty when SiteMorse issued a press release criticising the Guild of Accessible Web Designers’ web site and then changed the press release when Gawds cried foul.

Isofarro, Malarkey and the WaSP ATF blogged it.

The Public Service Forums website (“created for use by e-Government practitioners in central and local government to encourage the sharing of knowledge and good practice”) has decided to stop publishing SiteMorse’s league tables, thus depriving the snakeoil salesmen of the oxygen of publicity.