Accessibility and the WWW Resource

Kind of an interesting resource I stumbled across via Charlie Lowe’s blog called “Dive Into Accessibility,” a web resource designed to improve a web site’s “accessibility,” a term held in some high esteem to tech writers. It’s on the web at http://diveintoaccessibility.org/. It was put together by this guy named Mark Pilgrim, who is a computer programmer-type.

I haven’t looked through this site much yet, but I need to start thinking about these things more carefully because I’m teaching a new course in the winter called “Writing for the World Wide Web.” I’ve taught a version of this course before, but I am going to take a slightly different approach to the class this time around. This might seem obvious, but I am going to focus in this version of the class on “writing,” as opposed to “web page production.” Obviously, these two things are related with each other, but I guess what I’m getting at is I am not planning on spending a ton of time on the details of fancy web stuff. Just as well since I don’t do fancy web stuff, anyway. Rather, my goal is to spend more time on issues of how the web forces us to think about the conventions of writing– style issues, audience, etc., etc.

Right now, I’m planning on using a lot of web sites (like this one), and probably a couple of books, including one by Robin Williams (and someone else– she co-wrote this one) called The Non-Designers Web Design Book, or something like that, and probably a book by Jonathan and Lisa Price called Hot Text: Web Writing That Works. But I haven’t settled on anything yet; right now, I’m just trying to keep up with my fall students!

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