Use the Right Tool for the Job

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Maximum Accessibility: Making Your Web Site More Usable for Everyone
By John M. Slatin,, Sharron Rush
Table of Contents
Chapter 14.  Accessible Use of Scripts, Applets, and Plug-ins


This has been an intricate look at a wide array of applications. And, as we mentioned, this is probably the most rapidly changing area of Web development. The take-away message once more is to use the right tool for the job. Think deliberately about your choices. Don't use sophisticated applications simply because you have them; use them only if they improve your ability to convey your message. Don't lock millions out simply because they can't or don't choose the same tools you do. Take the time to think about the multiplicity of ways you can communicate with your audience, and include as many of those modes as needed to reach the largest number of people.

An unfortunate side effect as many people first learn of the need for accessibility is the perception that creativity must be "limited" by accessibility constraints. The Human Factors International listserv has a chat feature on which a recent anonymous poster lamented the fact that ". . . many times in designing a site for accessibility we need to water things down so much that the interface design will suffer for people who prefer visual learning with GUI's." [4] Our experience suggests that the belief that accessibility "water[s] things down" is most often the result of a lack of real understanding and practical application. Developers who are just learning about accessibility tend to think there is no way to create accessible content without sacrificing visual elegance or impact. We believe that as they gain experience in accessible design, the world begins to open up again for these developers and that most will come to understand that accessibility means using all the multiple modes of the Web to best advantage.

[4] Anonymous post submitted on June 16, 2002, at http://www.humanfactors.com/downloads/askericanswers.asp.

Our sincere hope is that the information you have gained from this and other chapters has given you this wider perspective. Armed with an understanding of the many options available and supported by the increased commitment to accessibility from makers of innovative software, you have an unprecedented opportunity to communicate. Stay in touch.


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    Maximum Accessibility(c) Making Your Web Site More Usable for Everyone
    Maximum Accessibility: Making Your Web Site More Usable for Everyone: Making Your Web Site More Usable for Everyone
    ISBN: 0201774224
    EAN: 2147483647
    Year: 2002
    Pages: 128

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