Exploring New Social Media Technologies (with some comments on accessibility for people with disabilities)

I began this blog as part of the project sponsored by the North Texas Library Partners – North Texas 23 Things: A Roundup of Web 2.0 Technology http://northtexas23.blogspot.com/.  The project will allow for the exploration of a number of “new” technologies related to the social media – blogging, Flickr, Facebook, Ning, and a number of others.

Although I have never kept a diary or journal regularly, I had thought of beginning a blog to discuss one of my current areas of interest, the DAISy (digital accessible information system) standard -ANSI/NISO Z39.86-2005.

Since the first project for North Texas 23 was the development of a blog, it seemed the right opportunity and topic had been presented, and so I begin!

DAISy, the standard for digital talking books (or documents) is one of the most significant advances to date in the development of media in alternate formats for people with disabilities. Most current conferences devoted to accessible technology for people with disabilities are currently focusing on the enormous potential of DAISy to improve access to books – printed in the traditional sense; or published documents – those on the World Wide Web, in distance learning environments, or those disseminated by other means.

However, there are still many barriers in established modes of communication (including the World Wide Web), and new social media are no exception. Although a great body of information on designing accessible media exists, and much of it is freely available on the Internet, websites are still designed without thought given to useability by people with disabilities and new types of media are routinely introduced without consideration being given to accessible design.

As I explore the social media technologies required for the North Texas 23 Things, I plan to comment on issues that arise for people with disabilities who want to use them.  When possible, Iwill provide links to discussions, resources, and “fixes” that have been developed  to increase their use.


2 Responses to “Exploring New Social Media Technologies (with some comments on accessibility for people with disabilities)”

  1. 1 S July 16, 2009 at 3:35 am

    I am interested in reading about DAISY format as I work with a visually impaired student. He uses JAWS as a screen reader. It often doesn’t work with web pages if they weren’t designed correctly. This is frustrating because he loves to use the Internet. And it is especially difficult if it involves an assignment for class. We download books from Book Share in a braille format. He then listens to them in his braille note taker. Accessibility is a major issuse for the visually impaired. Especially when library computers dont’ have screen readers. Thanks for your blog

  2. 2 Mary B July 17, 2009 at 3:02 am

    Thank you for your comments! I hope you learn some helpful things about DAISy here. I also hope to discuss other aspects of accessibility to print for people with disabilities as I work on future posts.

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