Accessibility is a new word, appearing in the Web since a few years, but it's meaning is simple:To make access to the Web possible for everyone.The goal is to remove or at least lessen all barriers that prevent millions of people to accessing Web.
People with disabilities of all kinds, or users who have an early version of a browser, are part of a population completely ignored by Internet and constantly growing. We must send a clear sign to break this trend. It sounds embarrassing to think that after all technological and social achievements we still have to remind this problem.
Correct use of applications and assistive technologies can now contribute to make persons with disabilities more independent, improving their social participation, access to culture and to recreational activities, work integration and economical self sufficiency.
Accessibility in school and Osservatorio Tecnologico
School, as an institution, involves in different ways many components of society (students, parents, teachers, technology companies). For this reason school has to face accessibility problem in a practical way, according to its basic principles. This section of OTE's site has been designed and realized according to these guidelines.
This didactic section has the following purposes:
- To inform on the main tools and techniques to implement accessibility;
- To evaluate accessibility in school web sites giving as a feed back specific recommendations
- To constantly relate the national and international news on this issue
- To submit to web sites developers an explanation of the guidelines and more advanced theories
To publicize accessibility in an accessible way. That has been our starting point some years ago, and we are still acting according to it..
As a result, OTE Web site complains with all applications, as is testified by its many validations.
This has been achieved with an accurate usability test viewing the whole site through a vocal browser (Home Page Reader, free Trial version available in the IBM Web site) and also submitting our Web site to Bobby validator .
Our partnership with Istituto David Chiossone for blind persons in Genoa led us to a better understanding of the validator's reports and to find better technologic solutions. To understand how a person with visual disability perceives the screen it's most useful to find solution for Web site accessibility.
All the experience acquired to attain the maximum accessibility level in OTE Web site is constantly made available to schools by our staff through our two main services : the didactic section and the school web site test section.