Disability and New Media by Katie Ellis & Mike Kent

By Katie Ellis & Mike Kent

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Sample text

Reviews of the interface have been positive: I’ll admit, when it comes to accessibility technology advances, I believe it when I experience it on my very own computer. So, while the news about iTunes 8 being fully accessible to screenreaders made me grin from ear-to-ear, I had to confirm it for myself. I’m thrilled to say that iTunes 8 and JAWS 10 are working like a charm. (Sims, 2008) Yet the $75 price tag is prohibitive especially when JAWS itself costs around $1,000 already. Likewise, ten-minute free trials available prior to purchase were perhaps not long enough to fully master the features.

While accessibility should in theory move in line with technological innovation and advancement, historically this has not always been the case. 0 despite Microsoft promising the National Council on Disability that they would increase accessibility in Windows across the board with a specific emphasis on screenreader compatibility (Goggin and Newell, 2003: 118). America Online (AOL) similarly decreased accessibility options between 2001 and 2002. In Chapter 4, we consider such disregard for accessibility as a symptom of the rush for market dominance during the browser wars and dot-com bubble.

Quoted in Accessify, 2009) Glenda Watson Hyatt (2009) acknowledges the balancing act between creativity/ aesthetics and usability/accessibility but affirms that site visitors’ preferences should be paramount. People must be able to access information in any way they choose: [balance] your blog’s aesthetics with usability and accessibility. Which do you value? Which is more beneficial to your readers? That is not to say a blog needs to 28 At the Crossroads be butt ugly to be accessible. Find the balance.

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