‘Building Accessible Websites’

You are here:
joeclark.org > Captioning and media access >
Building Accessible Websites > About the book

See also: Bookblog

Updated 2004.03.01


  1. Hebrew (March 2004): נגישות באינטרנט
  2. Czech (forthcoming, from what I am told)

What people are saying

About the book

‘Building Accessible Websites’ coverAccessibility for people with disabilities is a hot topic in Web development, and Building Accessible Websites, my new book from New Riders Publishing, is published, printed, and ready to go and will be available online and in stores in late October 2002 – just in time for Hallowe’en.

The book teaches developers of every sophistication and budget level how to improve the accessibility of their Websites so that people who are blind, deaf, or mobility-impaired can get the most out of them. Far from being a dry textbook of how-to information, Building Accessible Websites is written by a seasoned writer with a strong authorial voice over 20 years’ accessibility knowledge.

What’s more, Building Accessible Websites is flat-out the best-looking computer book ever published, with advanced, minutely-detailed typography and enormous attention to detail on the part of the author and the book designer, Marc Sullivan. The book is, as we like to say, “a beautiful object you will love to read.” It is and you will.

Table of contents

See also: Tour   ¶   Serialization

Note that you do get the entire text of the book on its enclosed (hot-pink) CD-ROM, and a talking-book version has been announced.

00. The access manifesto
A declaration of what accessibility is and should be: “The true reason to design for accessibility is greed. Quite simply, I want it all, and so should you. Give us everything you’ve got. Give us everything there is to give”
01. How to read this book
Facts about the approach, limitations, and typography of the book
02. Why bother?
Why make Websites accessible? Well, why not? Common myths exploded, and active reasons to engage in Web accessibility provided
03. How do disabled people use computers?
The right (as opposed to “correct”) terms to use in discussing disabled people. Screen readers and other adaptive technology
04. What is media access?
Web accessibility is merely the latest form of media access to come down the pike. Learn your history
05. The structure of accessible pages
Web accessibility relies on standards. Learn the importance of valid structured HTML
06. The image problem
Reason in itself to buy this book: The fullest explanation of how to make online images accessible yet written, with dozens of special cases explained
07. Text and links
Text is the most accessible format there is, but some reasonable care must nonetheless be taken
08. Navigation
For a mobility-impaired person (and, to a lesser extent, for a blind person), moving around within Websites is tedious. Learn how to ease the tedium
09. Type and colour
Colourblindness explicated. In this chapter, what little you need to do to ensure readable onscreen type is laid out in black and white, as it were
10. Tables and frames
Tables prompt eye-gouging hissyfits among accessibility advocates and Web designers of all stripes, whether oldschool or avant-garde. Both sides are saddled with myths and both argue in large part from ideology. Let’s do a reality check, shall we?
11. Stylesheets
We are told that stylesheets hold tremendous untapped power in accessible Web design. Could it be almost completely untrue?
12. Forms and interaction
Getting around inside Web forms
13. Multimedia
Near and dear to my heart, a full discussion of captioning and audio description of multimedia
14. Certification and testing
You may be required to assert that your Website is accessible – and prove it. Here’s how
15. Future dreams
The current state of the art barely qualifies as an “art.” What do we need for Websites to be truly and elegantly accessible?
Appendix A. Accessibility and the law
Is accessibility legally required? In some cases, yes. Read case history and precedent
Appendix B. Language codes
How to specify languages in Websites
The making of Building Accessible Websites
For further reading
Who owns the rights to this book
About the author
Super-intimate biographical details about your accessibility author

Bibliographic details