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The Education Forum

What does a good website look like?

David Richardson

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A postscript.

With the passage of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act in this country and the Americans with Disabilities Act across the Atlantic, another consideration in website design is the issue of accessibility for those with disabilities, particularly sensory impairments. An article by Bob Godwin-Jones of Virginia Commonwealth University, a centre of excellence in the field of modern foreign languages and special educational needs, entitled "Accessibility and web design: why does it matter?", Language Learning & Technology 5(1), pp. 11-19, http://llt.msu.edu/vol5num1/emerging/default.html, gives a useful overview of what constitutes accessibility.

This summer, when I was in Minneapolis, I purchased "Accessible Web Sites" by Jim Thatcher and others, published by glasshaus ltd. This tome treats the subject of accessibility exhaustively. Accessible websites can earn "Bobby Approved" certification (see http://bobby.watchfire.com/bobby/html/en/about.jsp). It's possible to run a free "Bobby scan" from that address to check out how accessible a website is for the disabled.

David Wilson


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