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published: April, 2002

Archives & Museum Informatics, 2002.
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0  License


Making Your Site Accessible
Philip Getchell, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA
Eleanor Rubin, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA
Brian Charlson, Carroll Center for the Blind, USA

Mini-Workshop: Accessibility

This Workshop will focus on Web accessibility issues facing people with disabilities and strategies to address them.

Elly Rubin, of the MFA's Education Division, has been focusing on Web access issues, and has even written a few recent articles on the subject, published in NEMA . She will introduce us to many issues of Web accessibility, from assistive technologies to multimedia content.

Elly will be joined by special guests, who develop or use assistive technologies for the Internet. They will demonstrate how many folks with disabilities surf the Web. We will see and use a text reader software to surf the Web, and experience them from the perspective of someone who may be blind or visually impaired.

She will also present a "top-ten" list of strategies to ensure a more accessible site, using specific examples from a recent Web Accessibility Report, commissioned by the MFA. This report, focused on specific parts of www.mfa.org , made specific recommendations about how to improve accessibility of the site. We will even review and compare some cutting-edge multimedia Web technologies, like Flash, Windows Media, and Real.

We will also review the findings of some of Elly's recent research, including a focus group, done in conjunction with Peter Ty, at the Carroll Center for the Blind, and some interesting results from an accessibility questionnaire, administered to members of the MFA's Accessibility Advisory Board.

In addition, we've compiled a large body of research around the state of accessibility of many of our peer institution's Web sites. We will take at some examples of more or less accessible sites.