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Buzzing

June 24, 2005
Web Standards Project

At the @media conference in London, we were all treated to a blast from the past when Jeffrey Zeldman outlined the early days of the Web Standards Project. We were also well-informed about the current activities of WaSP by Molly, who successfully dealt with volley after volley of WaSP related questions from the audience throughout the conference.

Which brings us to what will hopefully be a really fun and adventurous future – I’ve become a WaSP, and I’m completely honoured, and very excited to work with such a talented group of people on the Accessibilty Task Force — all of whom I’ve got the utmost respect for, having followed and admired their work and writing from a distance for quite some time: Bruce Lawson, Gez Lemon, Patrick Lauke, Andy Clarke, Ian Lloyd and Matt May. Special thanks to Molly for getting the ball rolling on this much needed Task Force.

Tasks for the Task Force?

I know Andy has asked for your thoughts on tasks for the Accessibilty Task Force on his blog, and I don’t expect there will be many people here that don’t also read his site (I mean, is there anyone that doesn’t read Andy’s site?), but feel free to leave your thoughts here as well if you like… I’m hoping we can really cover some important ground and move Web Accessibility forward, and we won’t be able to do that without other people’s input…

12 Responses

Comment by Faruk AteÅŸ — Jun 24 2005 @ 3:24 am

Congrats, again, on your bump up to WaSPness!

Also, good to know that there’s CMS-savvy people on board. :)

Comment by Kev — Jun 24 2005 @ 3:55 am

Big congrats Derek, I think the combined skills of this Task Force are pretty formidable.

I recently wrote a post that stated that between 19% – 33% of those covered by the DDA in the UK had a cognitive/perceptual based disability and as you know I have a ‘vested interest’ in this side of things but I’d really like to see a major upsurge in prominence placed on expanding the debate around this user subset.

Comment by Robert Wellock — Jun 24 2005 @ 5:11 am

Precisely Kev, I think the Task Force contingence should at least be made up of an equivalent amount of people whom have disabilities as there are in the general population – if not twice that number. If it doesn’t then I will become very incredulous about quite a few things.

Comment by Derek Featherstone — Jun 24 2005 @ 6:47 am

@Faruk, @Kev: many thanks to you both!

@Robert:

I think the Task Force contingence should at least be made up of an equivalent amount of people whom have disabilities as there are in the general population – if not twice that number.

Robert – not sure if you read Molly’s response regarding the Task Force demographics over on Andy’s site, but this is only the first step and represents the WaSP side of the Task Force. From what I understand, the intention of the WaSP in this regard is to connect very closely with various vendors, non-profit organizations, and other interested parties, with the intention that the other orgs will have people on the task force as well.

I’m sure we’d all agree that the diversity in representation will be important to this endeavour. You won’t get any argument from me there…

Comment by Robert Wellock — Jun 24 2005 @ 7:27 am

Ah, thanks for that info. I just noticed 7 people (listed above) and if there were only one person affected out of the list it would certainly appear skewed.

Comment by Small Paul — Jun 24 2005 @ 11:25 am

I don’t read Andy’s site!

Hope I haven’t offended Andy now. ‘Specially with me being English and all.

Comment by Jon Hicks — Jun 24 2005 @ 2:20 pm

Congratulations Derek! I must admit, I kinda assumed that you were already a wasp – now I know you weren’t – I’m wondering what took them so long?!

Comment by Jesse — Jun 24 2005 @ 2:59 pm

Great news Derek… and I will add an item to your blog cause yours needs a good item or two.

I was talking to some students today that have low vision issues and their biggest problem is that they don’t know which sites are friendly to people who rely on adaptive technology. They simply blame JAWS or whatever technology for not being able to fill out forms or purchase trips or buy items.

Maybe a list of consumer sites by category would be a good idea?

Comment by Malarkey — Jun 25 2005 @ 4:02 am

@ Small Paul: That’s perfectly OK, I don’t read it either ;)

Comment by Bob Easton — Jun 25 2005 @ 8:04 am

Big Congrats Derek! Happy to see you made it into WaSP.

Exciting project, plenty of room for great results.

Comment by goodwitch — Jul 20 2005 @ 3:49 pm

So, Master D,

I was thinking…ya know what I really want, I want JAWS to have a Karoke machine version for developers. When I look at Home Page Reader…I love being able to see what HPR is reading as I’m listening…but HPR isn’t JAWS…so it isn’t good enough for me.

And when I look at the FANGS plug in for Firefox…I think…cool! But again…it isn’t JAWS…so I don’t trust it.

If somehow we could get to the actual parts of the code that JAWS is reading…damn, that would be sweet.

So…may I order 1 Karoke Machine ala JAWS?

Thanks much,
g

Comment by Saha — Dec 25 2005 @ 8:33 am

From what I understand, the intention of the WaSP in this regard is to connect very closely with various vendors, non-profit organizations, and other interested parties, with the intention that the other orgs will have people on the task force as well.