About the Author
Patrick H. Lauke works as the web editor for the University of Salford in Manchester, U.K., where he heads a small central web team which provides development, training and advice to departmental web authors across the institution. In 2003, he implemented one of the first web standards-based XHTML/CSS-driven U.K. university sites. He has been engaged in the discourse on accessibility since early 2001, regularly contributing to a variety of web development and accessibility related mailing lists and forums, taking an active role in the running of Accessify.com and moderating the Accessify forum, and joining the Web Standards Project Accessibility Task Force (WaSP ATF) in June 2005. In his spare time, Patrick pursues his passion for photography and runs a small web/design consultancy, splintered.co.uk. With two years of computer science studies at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, followed by a switch to a bachelor's degree in graphic design and a master's in creative technology at the University of Salford, Patrick's background spans both technical and creative disciplines, which he feels are essential for a holistic approach to web design and development. An outspoken accessibility and standards advocate (although he's been called an "evangelist," with only slight negative connotations, by some of his colleagues), Patrick favours a pragmatic hands-on approach to Web accessibility over purely theoretical, high-level discussions.
As executive director of the International Center for Disability Resources on the Internet (ICDRI), Cynthia Waddell provides leadership and project oversight for carrying out ICDRI's overarching vision for the equalization of opportunities for people with disabilities. Internationally recognized as a public policy center organized by and for people with disabilities, ICDRI's mission is to collect a global knowledge base of quality disability resources and best practices and to provide education, outreach, and training based on these core resources. In the world of accessibility, Cynthia is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in the field of electronic and information technology as well as employment and construction. Named one of the "Top 25 Women on the Web" by Webgrrls International in 1998, she received the first U.S. Government Technology Magazine award in 2003 for leadership in accessibility technology and for pioneering advocacy and education.
Jim Thatcher received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1963, one of the first Ph.D.s in computer science. Together with his thesis advisor, Dr. Jesse Wright, Jim then joined the Mathematical Sciences Department of IBM Research in New York. His research was in the area of mathematical computer science, automata theory, and data abstraction. Jim began moving away from the abstract and toward the practical when he and Dr. Wright, who is blind, began working on access to the personal computer for people who are blind. He developed one of the first screen readers for DOS which, in 1986, became IBM Screen Reader (and the phrase later became generic). After that, he led the development of IBM Screen Reader/2 for OS/2, which was the first screen reader for the graphical user interface on the PC (1991). In 1996, Jim left his research post to join the IBM Accessibility Center (formerly IBM Special Needs Systems which produced Screen Reader, Home page Reader and other assistive technology) in Austin, Texas. He served as vice-chair of the Electronic and Information Technology Access Advisory Committee (EITAAC) which was impaneled by the Access Board to propose standards for Section 508; he chaired the sub-committee on software standards. Jim led the effort to establish the IBM accessibility guidelines specifically for use by IBM's development community. He wrote the course on web accessibility for Section 508 for ITTATC, the Information Technology Technical Assistance and Training Center, which was funded to support Section 508.
Shawn Lawton Henry leads the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)'s worldwide education and outreach activities, promoting web accessibility for people with disabilities. She develops online resources to help web developers understand and implement web accessibility guidelines, and provides presentations and training on accessible web design and development with the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI). Shawn has presented and published papers on accessibility and usability for Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES), Computer-Human Interaction (CHI), Usability Professionals Association (UPA), Web Design World, and many other conferences around the world (www.uiaccess.com/pres.html). Her publications also include the "Everyone Interfaces" chapter in User Interfaces for All (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2000), Accessibility in the User-Centered Design Process (Georgia Tech Research Corporation, 2004), and other online resources (www.uiaccess.com/pubs.html). Prior to joining W3C WAI, Shawn consulted with international standards bodies, research centers, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, education providers, and Fortune 500 companies to develop and implement strategies to optimize design for usability and accessibility (www.uiaccess.com/experience.html). She developed UIAccess.com to share information on universal user interface design and "usable accessibility." Shawn holds a research appointment at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Bruce Lawson is a member of the Web Standards Project's Accessibility Task Force. He was brand manager for glasshaus, which published many books on usable and accessible client-side development, including the first edition of Web Accessibility, in which he had an instrumental role. He has also been invited by the Disability Rights Commission and the British Standards Institute to sit on the review panel for the proposed British Accessibility Standard. He lives in the U.K. with his wife, Nongyow, and his kids, Marina and James, but wishes they all lived somewhere warm.
Andrew Kirkpatrick serves as the cross-product accessibility engineer for Adobe Systems. Prior to joining Adobe, Andrew was principal accessibility engineer at Macromedia, and director of technology at the National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM) at WGBH in Boston, with a focus on accessibility consulting for corporate clients including America Online, Yahoo!, BT, Apple, and Macromedia. In addition to activities with corporate clients at NCAM, Andrew managed projects focused on web and interactive media accessibility, and was the product manager for MAGpie (NCAM's software for creating captions and audio descriptions) and developer of STEP (NCAM's Simple Tool for [Accessibility] Error Prioritization).
Christian Heilmann grew up in Germany and, after a year working with people with disabilities through the Red Cross, he spent a year as a radio producer. Beginning in 1997, he worked for several agencies in Munich as a web developer. In 2000, he moved to the U.S. to work for eToys and, after the dot-com crash, he moved to the U.K., where he currently works as a lead developer for Agilisys. He publishes an almost-daily blog at http://wait-till-i.com and runs an article repository at http://icant.co.uk. He is a member of the Web Standards Project's DOM Scripting Task Force.
strongMichael R. Burks/strong serves as Section 508 analyst, working on the accessibility of electronic and information technology. He is also the webmaster and public information officer of the International Center for Disability Resources on the Internet (a href="\"www.icdri.org/a), a nonprofit organization dedicated to presenting disability resources and information to those who are dealing with disability issues. Michael works with the Internet Society (a href="\"www.isoc.org/a) on disability issues, and has made presentations and taught tutorials on web accessibility and disability issues around the world.
Bob Regan is a solutions architect for vertical markets at Adobe Systems, Inc. In that role, he serves as the technical lead for the education, government, financial services, manufacturing, telecommunications, and life science markets. It is his responsibility to connect with the specific needs, challenges, and successes of customers working to create digital content and applications. He works with each team to help them collect customer experiences and communicate them into the product organization, and assemble solutions based on these requirements. Bob's first role in the software world as an accessibility advocate continues to play an important part of his day-to-day life. Now with Adobe, he is part of a much larger team looking at accessibility issues from product design to engineering, from content authoring through to the end user. Ensuring that the Web is a great experience to us all remains a great passion of his.
The Honorable Mark Urban is chairman of the North Carolina Governor's Advocacy Council for Persons with Disabilities. He is a member and past chair of the board of directors for the International Center for Disability Resources on the Internet (www.icdri.org), and a member and past vice chairman of the International Committee for Information Technology Standards, V2 (IT Access Interfaces). He was chief executive of a municipality during the implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and a reservist in the U.S. Navy. He is an experienced technical architect and IT policy developer. Mark currently does project management and consulting on accessibility and related IT and disability matters with federal, state, and local agencies and the businesses that supply them.