On January 5th the US Access Board announced that the OMB (Office of Management and Budget) had cleared the Final Rule for ICT (Information and Communication Technology) Standards and Guidelines, a.k.a. the "Section 508 Refresh". The new standards and guidelines were published in the U.S. Federal Register on January 18th and will become effective and enforceable starting January 18th, 2018.
You may be thinking: "What does this mean for our site?"
1. Not all content/code will have to be updated right away, because there is a safe-harbor provision, specifically:
"legacy ICT that complies with the existing 508 Standards and has not been altered after the compliance date (i.e., one year after publication of the final rule) need not be modified or upgraded to conform to the Revised 508 Standards. However, when existing ICT is altered after the compliance date, such alterations must comply with the Revised 508 Standards."
This means that if only some elements on the page are changed after January 18th, 2018, then only those changed elements need to comply. Any newly added elements will need to fully comply.
2. WCAG AA 2.0 is to be the new standard to follow. Previously WCAG A 2.0 was sufficient, but now you must comply with AA. This applies to all new or altered web, software and electronic documents, and includes digital content delivered to personal computers and mobile devices.
3. The Final Rule includes a provision for situations where some content might technically pass, but in reality be unusable by non-sighted / low-vision web site visitors, web visitors with cognitive disabilities, limited strength or limited manipulation. In such cases alternate content must be provided. This is in line with previous regulations, but is now more explicit as to which situations warrant this, and for what types of users. The Final Rule states that the:
"revised requirements include functional performance criteria, which are outcome-based provisions that apply in two limited instances: when the technical requirements do not address one or more features of ICT or when evaluation of an alternative design or technology is needed under equivalent facilitation"
In other words, in cases where the guidelines don't touch on whatever technology you may be implementing, the situation must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to ensure the outcome is one that provides ALL web visitors with comparable, if not identical content. For example, if you have a video with narration, it must include closed-captioning or an alternate way for the deaf to to follow along.
Engaged learning microsite selected among nearly 13,000 entries
A Rider University microsite has been selected as an Official Honoree for the 20th Annual Webby Awards. The distinction puts Rider in the top 20 percent of nearly 13,000 entries from 66 countries around the world.
The microsite focuses on engaged learning at Rider, showcasing the multiple ways in which the University creates opportunities for profound learning experiences. The site highlights the opportunities and results of students participating in internships, study abroad, service learning, student/faculty collaboration, the arts and leadership development.
“The engaged learning microsite takes users through a series of high-impact visuals, which include video and interactive storytelling, that portray how our students take part in a vibrant learning community and cultivate the foundation needed for future career and personal success,” says Rider’s director of enrollment digital strategy, Tara Laposa, who oversees every aspect of the website, including design, strategic planning and execution.
Plethora built this microsite from the ground up and designed its UI with jQuery, CSS, and a responsive layout.
Drupal just celebrated a major milestone - its fifteenth birthday!
The Drupal project has grown tremendously over the years and with Drupal 8 it is now 'off the island'. Since its early days, Drupal has held on to its own internal ways of coding and using PHP, but with Drupal 8 this change changed dramatically. Now Drupal uses Composer, OOP, Twig, YAML, and Services to name a few. This new policy of openness will help Drupal grow and improve. It will allow themers to do their thing and coders to do theirs - better than before.
We're headed to DrupalCon Amsterdam! Excited to see what everyone's working on.
SourcingLine identifies top Drupal development firms and displays independent customer reviews.
We're happy to be listed as a Market Leader as of today, and supremely grateful for our customers' glowing reviews.
We have finally redesigned plethoradesign.com, using Drupal (what else?!). It's mobile-friendly and just about everything has been revamped, even the logo. In the Work section (our portfolio) we're using the Isotope jQuery plugin with Drupal's Views Isotope module. We're making extensive use of Drupal's taxonomy system for tagging content, and using Views to display that content in different ways throughout the site.
Our design for the Vineyard Arts Project site has won a 2011 Web Marketing Association Arts Standard of Excellence Award.
We have written a number of blog posts on the Concrete5 content management system.
Brooklyn police officer performs piano recital at the Brooklyn Music School
We recently redesigned the Brooklyn Music School's site at brooklynmusicschool.org, which this New York Times blog article links to. The article covers the officer's preparations for his performance. A follow-up article will soon follow.
The Brooklyn Music School site has helped the school book its theater for various performances over the past two years, which was previously only a minor revenue stream for them. The newly redesigned is helping bring the BMS greater publicity.