Making The Web Accessible

[p1vc-video]

Why Web Accessibility Matters

Ever been on a website and wondered why it hasn’t loaded on your browser? Or wondered why half of the site has loaded whilst the other hasn’t or worse yet why the entire site just looks quite odd? There is no doubt that at one point or another something like this will have happened to a site you will have visited; this is referred to as an accessibility issue.

Web accessibility is exactly what you think it is; a websites capability to reach different users on different devices, occasionally however, a website may not be entirely accessible. consider the range of technologies within the market- there will no doubt be some issues with some websites however in today’s competitive web design industry, designers and developers are urged to consider every need and requirement a user may face.

Originally web accessibility focused on users with disabilities; those who use speech browsers, have low vision or any cognitive or motion disabilities should be considered. A website designed to accommodate those who may have some difficulties is important however today accessibility also refers to users in different situations.

There are many reasons as to why a website cannot be fully accessed however the main issues include:

A website is designed to target users and encourage them to either purchase a product or service or continue accessing further information or even engaging in dialogue with a company; however without adequate access, users will no doubt immediately switch off.

Whatever the website, all web designers and developers must account for potential the needs and situations that a user may be in…

By considering all of the potential situations a website can improve and open itself up to all of the different users, immediately increasing its chances of expanding its growth. Accessible websites are also generally easier to navigate and use, effectively making them easier for search bots to read and ultimately rank.

The internet has become an integral part of business life and as a result an increasing number of people are venturing online to find products, services and information. Remember however that all of these users won’t be arriving to your site in the same way so anticipate, think ahead and consider the various scenarios to ensure your site is accessible to all and does not lose out.

 

Just  as it is important to have an accessible web. It is important to have accessible software. Before the web is accessible we must have an accessible operating system to access the accessible web. This is the goal of Sonar GNU/Linux.

Welcome to Sonar 2015.2

Sonar 2015.2 is out! just as promised it came out just a few weeks after sonar 2015.1. Now that we have our build system in place we are ready for building other images of Sonar. But let’s take a look at the Gnome version of 2015.2

Overview

Sonar is focused on assistive technology trying to give the best a11y experience for everyone that depends on accessible software.

This version comes with Gnome 3.16 and this is the best version of Gnome yet. Sadly Gnome doesn’t run rather well on older hardware but as long as you have a computer from 5 years ago you should have no problems. This desktop is fast responsive and most important accessible!

The Free screen reader Orca has seen some performance improvements and also is now working much better with Firefox thanks to the Orca team. There is now a focus and browse mode in Orca while using Firefox to help with filling out forms and fields on websites.

Eviacam is now part of Sonar helping give access to quadriplegics. Letting them move the cursor on the screen with just the movement of their head.
The Dasher onscreen keyboard is now a part of Sonar giving greater access to those that have low motor skills.

Open Dyslexic is a few button pushes away to switch over to the font for easier reading.
Magnification is just a keyboard shortcut away. now low vision users have easy access to enlarge their screen.

Try Sonar Without Risk

if you have never tried out Sonar and want to give it a try just download the DVD and boot it up. Don’t worry Sonar boots into a live system which means that Sonar runs off of the DVD. It doesn’t effect the operating system that you already have installed on your computer. So you can run Sonar without having to install it. Don’t forget to check out our mailing list for any help and support.

Checkout the download page and get either the Gnome or CLI versions of Sonar 2015.2! The beta of the MATE version will also be available on the download page.

Don’t forget to join the mailing list if you have any questions or need some help.

Sonar Linux 2015.1 Is Out

Sonar Linux would like to announce the new release of Sonar Gnome 2015.1! The Sonar team would first like to apologize for getting this release out so late. The Manjaro team put a new build system into place which is even better than the last build system. So we had to adjust the way that we build Sonar and that took some time. Now that we have our system in place we will be ready for when Gnome 3.16 comes out and we will have the new release out much quicker. So you can expect a new version of Sonar in a few more months.

A big shout out to Phil the lead developer of Manjaro. He was a huge help with getting this release out. I wish that more of the open source developers would be has willing to assure accessibility in the software that they develop like Phil does. I know i’ve said this before but Phil is the perfect person to work with. The open source community should follow his example.

Now that we have this release out we will be working on a MATE and CLI version of Sonar. We have some more news coming out soon about Sonar but that will be for another post. Checkout the download page and get Sonar Gnome 2015.1!

Don’t forget to join the mailing list if you have any questions or need some help.