Thursday, December 07, 2006

Leading Websites Disabled Unfriendly, says U.N. Study

The U.N. marked the International Day of Disabled Persons on December 3 with an interesting report that should give most webmasters and e-salesmen around the world to do bit of rethinking before presenting their estimated target figures. The report revels that most leading websites around the world do not meet the accepted international standards of web accessibility, therefore losing a significant portion of their intended audience by not being fully accessible to all people. Web accessibility means that people with disabilities can perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the Web, and that they can contribute to the www.

The survey, conducted by the British accessibility firm Nomensa, used the globally recognized benchmarks for accessibility adopted in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. Websites, according to the guidelines, must allow users, particularly those who used web readers, to easily adjust text size, to easily navigate through a website, to easily differentiate between colors, to offer an alternative to JavaScript that prevents many people from accessing key information, and by allowing keyboard shortcuts.

Nomensa studied 100 leading websites for travel, finance, media, Government and retail shopping in 20 IT savvy countries and found that only three met the basic standards for accessibility. And all three are non-commercial sites – the German Chancellor's, the Spanish Government's and the British Prime Minister's websites. But hopefully, the survey found that a quarter of the websites investigated could easily be brought into conformance with the standards for accessibility. The 20 countries that the firm studied are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, France, Germany, India, Kenya, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Russian Federation, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the United States.

The survey revels the fact that many websites are not even close to reaching the Internet’s full potential for use by persons with disabilities. An accessible website does not necessarily require great expense. But the report also found that many of the websites under review were within “grasping distance” of the minimum standards.

This study should come as an eye opener to many Indian website development companies, specially the .ORGs and the ones surviving on click revenues, to tap the never-given-a-thought audience the chance to be an active part of the www. Moreover, as an U.N. official commented, fully accessible websites are not only good for persons with disabilities, they are good for everyone. Commercially speaking, there’s a glittering pasture of greens out there to be ‘mowed’. Persons with disabilities shop, they travel and they need information just like everyone else. And socially, allowing people to exercise their human rights and play their full part in the economic, social and political lives of their societies just makes good sense all around.

(Facts taken from U.N. report)

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Wildly Chilling

A liquor kiosk near Surajkund – a popular tourist getaway located 20 km from Delhi – welcomes visitors in its own ‘spellbinding’ style. Cheers to the Spelling Bee masters!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

What's a HOBO?

A lot of folks Q-ed me - What's a Hobo? Well, to cut a long story short, here's my answer - courtesy {check out the site, it's worked-up with Hoboism}

For those who need to know the differences...

A Hobo is a person that travels to work
A tramp is a person that travels and wont work
A bum is a person that will neither travel or work

A CyberHobo is a person who travels and works, but most of all has a lot of fun! A CyberHobo's work is on computers, internet, etc. (whatever for money) Wannabies go here...

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Assam Jumbo Jets to LA

A small-budget documentary film - In search of a Job - on the struggle and pain of unemployed elephants of Assam has been selected for screening at Hollywood's Silver Lake Film Festival in Los Angeles.

The film, made by journalist Mrinal Talukdar, has been selected as Special Invitation Film and the filmmaker has been invited to attend the Festival from March 23 to 30 next.

The festival's Fusion Asian Cinema Programme Director Erika Kao-Haley said in a faxed statement that as the documentary has been selected as a Special Invitation Film, Talukdar would get the services of the Festival's marketing and media campaign to assist with promoting the film to the press, general audience and Hollywood filmmaking and distribution community.

The festival is one of the largest independent and critically acclaimed film festivals in Los Angeles devoted to discovering cutting edge movies.

The film made in 2005 focuses on 1200 domestic unemployed elephants of Assam along with their mahouts, who are desperate to find an alternative means of livelihood, after Supreme Court banned timber felling in forests of North East and the elephants lost their primary means of livelihood.

Meanwhile, the Paris-based 'Des Elephants Et Des Hommes' has also included the documentary in their Hall of Fame as one of the important movies made on elephant.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006