WebMail Accessibility Interest Group

Campus Information Technologies and Educational Services (CITES) and Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES)

University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign

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Teleconference Details

Date: 2006-10-05

Time: 1:00 PM CDT


1. Next teleconference
2. Next scribe
3. Access to MiraPoint Demo Server (matt)
4. Next WebMail generation discussion (continue)


Notes from WebMail Accessibility teleconference 10/5/06


Hadi Rangin
Don Evans
Jon Gunderson
Julio Chavarria
Mike Scott
Matt Anderson

Next Teleconference: Thursday, October 19, 2006 

Matt gave an overview of Mirapoint's WebMail Corporate Edition with general GUI layout and design structure similar to other email clients including MS Outlook and Yahoo beta, including Web 2.0 features such as drag and drop messages to folders, double-clicks to open messages, mouse button context menus, etc. Hadi is very happy with the improvements in usability and design in Corporate Edition over the previous version of WebMail (UIUC branded version of Mirapoint's 'Standard Edition'). However, he and Matt concurred that Corporate Edition is not very usable for accessibility. 

Mike and Jon described some additional more dynamic behaviors of widgets found in 'Accessible Rich Internet Applications' such as rich interaction in table or grid controls in HR applications.  Jon and Mike felt that this group will need to deal with the general problem of where do the 1.0 techniques apply, and what is needed to do more in Web 2.0 interfaces. For example, will use of headers and document titling still work well in Web 2.0 applications? Jon raised the concern that IBM is pushing ahead for Web 2.0 and implementing those in Firefox. 

Hadi asked if there are specific needs for WebMail applications that are different from other applications that will employ the Accessibility techniques. Jon and Mike suggested that this group review the W3C work for both the Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 with respect to WebMail interfaces. Jon is also interested in attempting to build specific example widgets for WebMail that will provide accessibility where current techniques do not exist today.  Don and Matt agreed with this approach to look at what is being developed in W3C and exploring what is needed in terms of 2.0 widgets for accessibility.  Jon expressed concern that the group needs to develop something quickly that can be used for feedback to the W3C group working on ARIA and IBM's work there to make more accessible FireFox due out in the Spring '07. 

The discussion moved to a working session on developing widgets and trying to work out some techniques that will provide assistive technology and accessibility. Mike mentioned a company called TeleRik that is developing .net accessible components that he feels is promising for 1.0 to 2.0 'bridge techniques' to build accessibility. Mike will send a link to the group with more information.  See www.telerik.com

Summary and next steps:

Jon will continue to work on a grid widget, and expressed interest in developing a tree widget as well.

The group is planning a face-to-face work meeting to look at the widgets and potential accessibility solutions. This is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, Nov 15. in Champaign-Urbana. 

Next week's meeting will be postponed.
The group agreed to review the W3C documents in the meantime. 

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