T.V. Raman is a Research Scientist at Google who knows a thing or two about accessibility. We took the opportunity to interview him, and Hubbell, his seeing-eye dog (who was nice and quiet).
We started out by asking the honest question that developers ask about accessibility: "What is in it for me?". T.V. discusses the practical issues, and what you should be doing with respect to accessibility, and how it is one piece of the usability picture.
We then delve into the problems of developing accessible websites, and solutions to some of the problems.
If you listen to the interview you will learn:
- How not to develop in a user-agent specific manner
- Fun issues with screen readers
- How audio CAPTCHA brings equality to the pain of CAPTCHA, and how people who can see use the audio ones
- How painful is the Web to view for a blind person
- Using the Google Web Transcoder (the other GWT!) to clean up pages
- How CSS hasn't been as leveraged as much as we would like
- How the increase in mobile and widget platforms has a side effect of accessible views
- How RIA applications deal with accessibility
- How T.V. has written custom clients for Google APIs
- What standards groups are doing in the accessibility space
- Dealing with Python, a language that cares about whitespace, as a blind man.
Also, check out an accessible web search for the visually impaired.