STC advocates for members with special needsA Special Needs Committee was formed in 1997 at the STC conference in Anaheim, California. Its first meeting was at the 45th STC Annual Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio. Judith Skinner, founding member, presented the History of the Special Needs Committee at the 2001 conference in Chicago, Illinois. Three months before the 2002 conference in Dallas, Texas, the committee was told that STC committees do not have a long life and it would be terminated.
Special Needs SIG is foundedThe founding members scrambled to quadruple the membership and get the required 75 signatures on a petition to form a SIG. By 2003, the SIG had grown from 20 committee members to 260 Special Needs SIG members.
Accessibility SIGIn 2004, the SIG was renamed the AccessAbility SIG, using a play on English words. In 2015, this was changed to the Accessibility SIG to make the name accessible to speakers of all languages and so it would be rendered correctly regardless of the software application. A brochure was published in 2005.
Leadership and Process Documentation
- 5-Year Strategic Plan, 2006-2011 (51.3 KB .pdf)
- Recharter, March 2006 (54.9 KB .pdf)
- Election Procedure, March 2006 (36.4 KB .pdf)
- Membership Procedure, March 2006 (35 KB .pdf)
- Officer Descriptions, March 2006 (42.6 KB .pdf)
- Succession Plan, March 2006 (35.7 KB .pdf)
- Transition Plan, March 2006 (40 KB .pdf)
Formation Reports and PresentationsPresentations were given at the 48th International STC Conference in Chicago, Illinois, May 13-16, 2001 about how the SIG started.
- "How Did the Special Needs Committee Get Started?" by Mark Hanigan
- "My Brain Works...My Legs Don't! Let's Take the "Dis" out of Disabilities" by Judith Skinner
- "History of the Special Needs Committee" by Judith Skinner, presented by Dan Voss
- "The Story of the Starfish" by Dan Voss
Note: The following description of this website applies to the site prior to its migration to STC hosting, competed in August, 2015. Some statements about accessibility and implementation of WordPress may no longer apply.
On this page:
Website Accessibility InformationThis site was originally designed in XHTML Strict with accessible features and considerations to give all visitors a similar browsing experience. Unfortunately many of those features are lost when converting the site to a WordPress site. Lost features include
- Stylesheets that allow users to select higher or lower contrast views or preferred color background tints for low vision, color blindness, and dyslexia.
- Stylesheets that allow the user to switch font sizes or switch to viewing the site in text only.
- An aural stylesheet for screen readers and audio assistive technology.
- Sidebar navigation
- Bottom navigation, replaced with the WordPress Page Directory in the center sidebar
- On-page navigation, for example, in some browsers the on-page link goes to the first line below the referenced header.
Cascading Style SheetsThe entire website has been converted from a table-heavy design to a W3C-validated CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) design and layout. Cascading style sheets (CSS) replace table-defined page layout and spacer graphics so that pages will load as fast as possible and information will be in a logical order. Tables are used for presenting data only. CSS separates site content from presentation and offers the following benefits:
- Consistent look and feel across the entire site
- Smaller page size/lower bandwidth usage (less demand on servers)
- Better user experience (smaller page size leads to faster site loading)
- Better search engine optimization (increased information/markup ratio)
- Cross-browser compatibility (CSS is supported by most browsers)
- Future compatibility (valid, standard-compliant markup ensures reusable data)
- Better accessibility and usability (screen-readers, access keys, alternative formats)
- Better extensibility (i.e., printer-friendly, handheld-friendly)
CookiesThe website does not use "Session" cookies to track your visit. Information is not saved for future visits.
ColorsThe colors used in the website for links and change status flags were chosen using the:
- Luminosity Colour Contrast Ratio Analyser [from Juicy Studio]
- Accessibility Color Wheel Version 1.0 by Giacomo Mazzocato.
- Colour Contrast Analyser [From the Paciello Group.]
Mobile Theme RequirementsThe original website used two columns on the home page to show more sections near the top of the page. Because two columns are not supported in mobile themes, content split into two columns are now in one column. This may be problematic for CSS tables—more mobile use will let us know if the tables need to be changed to straight text. The HTML title= attribute has been removed from all links and images because the title= attribute hides things in mobile browsers. (See Title Attribute Removed.)
Blaskan Browser SupportThis site aims to comply with current standards on Web accessibility. To ensure that we meet or exceed the guidelines of the World Wide Web Consortium Web Accessibility Initiative (W3C-WAI) and WAI-ARIA, we continually review our site and modify pages to remove accessibility problems for people with disabilities. The Blaskan theme for WordPress is fully responsive and built for smartphones, tablets, netbooks, laptops and desktops. Accessibility is highly prioritized, following the WAI-ARIA specification as well as possible. For more information about the Blaskan theme see the Overview and Demo. The Blaskan theme works on many browsers. Among the supported browsers are
- Internet Explorer 7+
- Mobile Safari (iPhone/iPad/iPod touch)
- Opera Mini
NavigationNavigation features for screen readers include a "skip" link to jump to specific areas on a page. For people using audio assistive technology, there are skip links to go directly to the main content and to the navigation areas on the site. All links going to other websites will open in the current browser window. Use the Back button to return to this site. (See Target Window Attribute Removed) CSS is used to style the links with the following features:
- Hyperlink, a navigation link to another page or place on a page. These links are blue in the body of the page and white in the navigation menu at the top.
- Active, a link that will be viewed when clicked on. These links have a different font color with an underscore. For links that are currently being viewed in the navigation menu, the active menu item will be identified by a different color.
- Visited, a link that has been seen, but is no longer open. It may have been visited during the current browsing session or it may be listed in the history of previous sessions. Content links have a gold font color in browsers that support this feature.
- Hover is the link state when the mouse moves over the link borders. Focus is the link state when the tab key moves to a link. As you move or tab from link to link, the current link is said to have focus. Hover and focus states help make links more prominent so users can tell which link is the current one. The hover state gives the links a distinctive font color and an underline seen by sighted users. The focus state is for users who use the keyboard to move between links. Focus uses the same font colors and text decoration (underline) as the hover state to give all users a similar browsing experience.