Ken's Voyages Around the Sun

CalWAC in Long Beach
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Thursday morning I took a train down to Long Beach to attend a small conference called CalWAC, which held sessions on making web sites accessible to people with disabilities. Unfortunately the city bus from the train station to the CSU campus broke down, making me late to arrive for the first session.

My CSUN web sites already implement the methods and practices advocated by these folks (I'm far ahead of the curve in this area), but I did come away with several technically interesting tidbits. These include seeing how to implement a drop-down menu using only CSS, learning about the wonderful web-developer's plug-in for Firefox, and finding out how to include a high-resolution graphic image in a web page so that it's hidden until and unless printed, in which case it comes out much smaller but not pixelated.

A couple other people from ExL attended as well and my boss put us all up in the conference hotel down there. Having made reservations too late to get into the conference's block of rooms, we had to pay a little more for mine, but what a view! Its tiny balcony overlooked the inlet across from downtown, so sitting out there playing World of Warcraft in the evening on the wireless laptop was quite a treat.

Dishearteningly, I learned that the online registration system I built this summer does not comply with accessibility guidelines because it uses Ajax, which relies on JavaScript, and requiring that for any core functionality is a big no-no. Thus I'm going to have to scrap that. Actually, I won't necessarily have to scrap it per se, I'll just have to build an alternative system that does not rely on it. Obviously it would have been better to do that from the start, in terms of minimizing work, but somehow I missed their incompatibility.

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