About This Site 2000 – 2014

This page documents development of the Society for Technical Communication (STC) Accessibility SIG website from inception through 2014. This website aims to provide resources, information, and support to technical communicators with special needs and to help technical communicators make the products they create accessible to end users with special needs. The site includes articles and links that cover standards, legislation, and other information that can keep technical communicators up-to-date on topics in accessibility. The SIG introduces technical communicators to the many different perspectives on accessibility and how awareness of accessibility and knowledge about solving accessibility issues is becoming a more powerful tool to add to a technical communicator's skill set.

Site Design

The STC Accessibility SIG website has been developed to be 100% accessible. Cascading style sheets (CSS) instead of tables are used for the page layout. All navigation menus are text links styled by CSS: no graphic buttons are used in the menus. The WordPress theme used is specifically designed to be accessible: Blaskan. For more information, see the Accessibility features page. The site was first put up in January 2000 for the Special Needs Committee. The committee was converted to a Special Interest Group (SIG) in May, 2002 and the site moved to a new URL for the Society SIGs. In the early years, we used a small starfish in the navigation links. The significance of the starfish is explained in "The Story of the Starfish" (116 K .pdf) by Dan Voss. The blog started life using the WordPress platform on 1 February 2008. The old site was fully merged into the WordPress platform in 2014. The site was initiated, designed, and coded by Cynthia A. Lockley. Development of the site grew from HTML4, javascript, CSS1, with Unix server side includes; to XHTML Strict, CSS2.1, javascript, Unix server side includes, and PHP4. It is now using HTML5, CSS3, and PHP5 on the WordPress platform. Input for the site has been provided by several SIG members including: Karen Mardahl, Cynthia Lockley, Lori Gillen, Jodie Gilmore, George Hoerter, Connie Kiernan, Paula Kimbrough, Gail Lippincott, Andy Malcolm, Helen Marty, Kim McConnell, Gloria Reece, Judy Skinner, Karen Steele, Fabien Vais, and many others inside and outside the SIG.

Accessibility Design and Features

The Accessibility design and features page describes the navigation, fonts, style sheets, colors, website conventions, and other items used through 2014 to make this site an enjoyable and useful experience for people with special needs.

PDF file information

Some hypertext links may take you to Portable Document Format (PDF) files you can view in your Web browser. PDF file links are marked by by noting the size of the PDF with the.pdf file extension at the end of the link (250 KB .pdf). PDF files are extremely compact, platform-independent, and easy to create. They offer design control, print-ready documents, and an endless array of authoring applications. PDF is an extension of the Encapsulated PostScript format that allows hypertext linking. Some PDF files may contain hypertext links that take you to another location in the PDF file or to another Web page. The hypertext links are indicated by a hot spot in the PDF file where the cursor changes to a hand with a pointing finger. Use the Back button to return to previous pages in the Web browser or to return from the PDF viewer to the HTML viewer. If you can't view the PDF files or you get an error message, download and install the latest version of the FREE Acrobat® Reader™ plug-in for your browser: http://get.adobe.com/reader/otherversions/. Some PDF files are saved with accessibility and search capabilities for screen readers. The Acrobat Reader, full version has accessibility and search capabilities. Access Plug-in Note:  If you are using a screen reader, download the Access plug-in as well: http://access.adobe.com. The Access plug-in allows you to convert the PDF file to an ASCII Text format.


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