Introductions: Greg Gay

Michael S Elledge elledge at
Wed Aug 1 15:34:14 UTC 2007

Hi Sean--

I've started using aChecker recently, and actually switched to using it 
for our evaluations. Another real benefit is that you can review files 
you've saved to your desktop (essential for reviewing websites hidden 
behind passwords), and that it enables you to review frames.

One of the strengths of WebXACT, though, is that you can drill down to 
the W3C guidelines for reference, which would be nice to have eventually 
in aChecker.


Greg Gay wrote:
> Hello Sean
> Though I have not played with Bobby recently, the primary advantage the
> new checkers have is the ability for human interaction. Fully automated
> checkers are limited in what they can identify for certain as
> accessibility problems, so reviewers must know enough about
> accessibility to properly interpret the reports they generate. AChecker
> lets the evaluator make decision on potential issues the checker can not
> determine with certainly, and save those decisions.  It identifies
> Known, Likely, and Potential problems, and lets the evaluator decide if
> the latter two are real problems or not.
> AChecker also has Web services implemented, so it is possible to program
> an interface in other apps to run a remote accessibility check. There
> are two examples of this in the ATutor content editor. One is under the
> accessibility Tab in the editor, and the other is available as a plugin
> for TinyMCE (the blue wheelchair button). The former is fully integrated
> into the editor, generating reports in the editor itself, and the latter
> opens the accessibility report into a popup.
> ATutor demo: (pick a content page on the right, then pick Edit this Page)
> AChecker
> Being somewhat biased toward AChecker, I'd say yes you might want to
> switch. But AChecker is still fairly new. It was created for WCAG 2,
> which has been under development for years, but also supports most other
> accessibility standards. It will certainly provided all the information
> you need to identify and correct potential accessibility problems.  When
> WCAG is finally stable, we will likely introduce a first stable version
> of AChecker.
> greg
> Sean Keesler wrote:
>> So, for those of us that have dabbled in tools like CAST's Bobby 
>> (later acquired by Watchfire), can you clue us in to the relative 
>> advantages, disadvantages of the various accessibility validation 
>> tools out there? I admit that I use what I am familiar with and need 
>> a schooling!
>> I am using WebXACT to do some rudimentary UI reviews of OSP. Should I 
>> switch to AChecker?
>> ------------------------------
>> Sean Keesler
>> Project Manager
>> The Living SchoolBook
>> 030 Huntington Hall
>> Syracuse University
>> 315-443-3450
>> On Aug 1, 2007, at 9:00 AM, Greg Gay wrote:
>>> Thanks for the welcome Mike. I'll spend some time with the heuristics
>>> documents over the next couple days.
>>> About AChecker, that happens to be another project I am leading. I
>>> inherited it from Chris Ridpath a couple months ago, though we have  not
>>> done any further work since then. We have a  development project 
>>> planned
>>> for the fall, which will involve creating a php version of the  checker,
>>> and fixing a few bugs in the Java version.
>>> greg
>>> Michael S Elledge wrote:
>>>> Hey Greg--
>>>> Welcome aboard! It will be great to have you part of Fluid. You might
>>>> want to start out by looking at the heuristics checklist we're
>>>> developing for evaluating tools, which can be found at this url:
>>>> Our approach (at this point) is to provide a checklist that can be
>>>> used by non-experts to review a tool's usability, with non-technical
>>>> accessibility aspects thrown in. This will be supplemented by a more
>>>> technical review by a member of the team familiar with adaptive
>>>> technology (JAWS, ZoomText, maybe Kurzweil 3000) and accessibility
>>>> checkers (like aChecker).
>>>> Please feel free to jump right in and offer suggestions.
>>>> Mike
>>>> Greg Gay wrote:
>>>>> Hello All
>>>>> I'd like to introduce myself to the list. I am Greg Gay, a project
>>>>> coordinator of 10 years at the ATRC. My office is right around the
>>>>> corner from Colin's, The two main projects I currently run are the
>>>>> ATutor project, and the ATRC web accessibility evaluation and design
>>>>> services, both of which I think can bring much knowledge to this 
>>>>> group.
>>>>> ATutor is an open source Learning [Content] Management System (an 
>>>>> LMS,
>>>>> but with content authoring and management capabilities). One of 
>>>>> its key
>>>>> strengths is accessibility, having been built from the ground up  with
>>>>> accessibility in mind. A big reason why it was created comes from a
>>>>> couple studies I lead back in 99/00 which looked at the 
>>>>> accessibility of
>>>>> popular online learning systems. The first was a technical review 
>>>>> with
>>>>> WCAG 1 as the standard, and the second was a user study in which 
>>>>> users
>>>>> from various disability groups participated in a 6 week online 
>>>>> course,
>>>>> each week presented in a different LMS. All the systems at the time
>>>>> failed dismally. So, my pet project I'd started back in grad school
>>>>> (where I studied cognitive science), for delivering my own online
>>>>> course, ended up at the ATRC, and now it's used all over the 
>>>>> world, and
>>>>> available in 30 or so languages. I could talk for hours about the 
>>>>> design
>>>>> and intricacies of the system, but you can find out about all that
>>>>> yourself on the ATutor Web site.
>>>>> ATutor ( <>)
>>>>> Before ATutor (and still) I began running the “WebSavvy:  Inclusive
>>>>> Web
>>>>> Design” services at the ATRC. Most of my background in Web 
>>>>> accessibility
>>>>> has come through leading this group: designing accessible Web sites;
>>>>> performing accessibility conformance evaluations; as well as
>>>>> participation in the development of WCAG 1, and now WCAG 2. I'd be
>>>>> willing to make this expertise available to the group when 
>>>>> accessibility
>>>>> of Fluid features is being considered.
>>>>> Which brings me to the main reason for joining the group. Mellon has
>>>>> requested that ATutor participate in Fluid to expose the Fluid 
>>>>> community
>>>>> to ATutor, and to offer it as a model of accessible development
>>>>> practices in action. In particular Mellon has asked that we get 
>>>>> involved
>>>>> with the User Experience research currently underway. We can help 
>>>>> with
>>>>> the accessibility piece of these reviews, plus we'd like to throw 
>>>>> ATutor
>>>>> into the mix of systems being reviewed. So, we're looking for a 
>>>>> group to
>>>>> put ATutor through the “UX Walkthrough” process.
>>>>> I'll do my best to make myself available for accessiblity or LMS 
>>>>> related
>>>>> dicussions, and follow the developing threads as time permits. As  you
>>>>> might imagine, ATutor, not to mention Websavvy, is already a full 
>>>>> time
>>>>> job. I am though, looking forward to becoming an active member of  the
>>>>> Fuild community.
>>>>> greg
>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>> fluid-work mailing list
>>>>> fluid-work at
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> fluid-work mailing list
>>> fluid-work at
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