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Sitemeter Updates Website but is it Accessible to Disabled

  • Published: 2009-01-02 (Revised/Updated 2015-07-18) : Author: Disabled World : Contact: Disabled World
  • Synopsis: Well known statistics website Sitemeter updated its website to a format using flash technology but is it accessible to people with disabilities.

Disabled World would be interested to hear from vision impaired persons who use Sitemeter on their blog or website in regards to how their screen readers handle the new Sitemeter statistic displays.

Well known website updated its website on 19/20 th of September 2008 to a new format using flash technology.

Sitemeter is one of the most popular website statistic programs used by nearly a million webmasters, bloggers and website owners, including our own website, Disabled World. The limited version, or free sitemeter website statistics program, allows webmasters to add a small piece of code to a website or blog to measure website statistics such as where their "hits" or traffic is coming from, what pages and how many a visitor views on the site, plus many other interesting and valuable pieces of information to any site owner.

Prior to last weekend, Sitemeter information was output to a static page where statistics could be read quickly and easily, even by the vision impaired using screen readers such as Jaws. After the Sitemeter website update the statistics and most of the website is in the Flash format.

According to the Macromedia website, who own and develop the Flash Player, "Adobe Flash Player is the standard for delivering high-impact, rich Web content. Designs, animation, and application user interfaces are deployed immediately across all browsers and platforms, attracting and engaging users with a rich Web experience."

Flash designs tend to be highly visual, but users who cannot see or who have low vision need a textual alternative that describes what the visuals mean for the application. Because Flash has been inaccessible to many screen-readers until recently, users with disabilities will have to make sense of an unfamiliar environment that behaves differently than a static Web page.

Many Flash applications introduce the ability to offer advanced functionality to a website, this is fine for those not sight impaired, however users with disabilities often appreciate simplicity, and being able to navigate a process with less hassle and fewer bells and whistles.

Maybe the time has come for Disabled World to try an alternative website statistic program such as google analytics.

Disabled World would be interested to hear from vision impaired persons who use Sitemeter on their blog or website in regards to how their screen readers handle the new Sitemeter statistic displays.

UPDATE: Sitemeter seems to be having problems. As of the evening of 14/9/2008 Sitemeter has reverted back to their old website format and method of displaying website statistics. Sitemeter reports "Based on some performance issues we were experiencing along with feedback from the community it appears we have pushed our new site live prematurely."

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