Related posts to accessibility
The recent announcement that the RNIB are going to focus on task-based usability evaluations rather than pure guideline conformance testing to measure the accessibility of 433 UK local authority web sites has led to some discussion in accessibility circles. While details are vague, what's interesting about this is the move towards measuring success disabled people have in completing set tasks as the main means of finding and reporting accessibility problems. Compared to a check with an automated checking tool, or even a manual expert inspection, it's quite a commitment, given the number of sites, and that the pool of evaluation participants will need to cover a range of disabilities and — ideally — assistive technology usage.
As I understand it, the survey is conducted annually to measure and compare performance of UK council web sites. Itís obviously good publicity for a council to rank highly in the league table that inevitably results. If evaluation methods rely on automated tools (the easy way out), there is the danger of developers adjusting markup to satisfy the tool's algorithms and thus gain a high ranking — at the expense of actual accessibility. So the move towards exp