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How the iPad Can Save Accessibility

#sxsw #iPadA11y

Usability has come a long way since the dark days before "Designing with Web Standards". Now nearly all companies see the value of UX in their digital designs. But despite heightened focus on the user and a growing awareness of accessibility concerns, implementation of accessibility standards have often fallen victim to time pressures and obsolete design practices. Disabled users struggle through sites missing alt tags, keyboard inputs or text alternatives.

Enter devices like the iPhone & Android … and the iPad. With the proliferation of non-desktop devices and browsers like tablets and gestural smartphones, suddenly more people are finding that the web isn't as nice and clean as they remembered: broken formatting, too small text, hover functionality that doesn’t work, and entire swaths of the web rendered as Flash-based wastelands that millions can’t access.

We've now discovered that by solving for many of the issues that iOS and other mobile users face, we can also solve for the most prevalent accessibility issues. Using side-by-side examples and case studies, I'll show how we can make sites more accessible and more usable by mobile devices. Through combinations of better markup, HTML5 and CSS3 functionality and better scripting, we can serve two masters at once. Better yet, in some cases, we can take advantage of the accessibility capabilities built into newer mobile devices to make the digital experience even better than they would get on the 'old web'.



Marty DeAngelo VP/Dir, Interaction Design Digitas Health

I've been active in web design since 1995, focusing on usability & accessibility since about 2000. Now wholly into the UX world primarily for pharma projects.

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