This morning, the television happened to be on to my local PBS station, and being Saturday, there was a cooking show. This one caught my attention because the chef was using an open hearth instead of a stove. This was eighteenth century cooking! It reminded me of cooking with Berta because she does not have any temperature controls other than me.I was intrigued and decided to check out the web site, A Taste of History. Well, I would be happy to report back what I found, except that I can’t read any of it.
As some of you know, I am a web developer, and I have always been a champion of accessibility. In the United States, we have the Americans with Disabilities Act, specifically section 508, and if you violate that, you and your website can get into a lot of financial trouble.
I called the restaurant this morning, and then I sent an email to Chef. Here’s what I said:
Chef, I spoke with your wonderful wife this morning, June 25, 2011 about visiting your web sites.
I called because I wanted to make sure that you were made aware that the sites are not accessible. The font size is way too small, and there is not enough contrast between the text and background color.
Your wife said that the designers of the web sites say this follows an 18th century theme. Well, text in the eighteenth century was not tiny. Look at the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence. It’s large black letters on a buff background. Even printing presses in those days did not have itsy bitsy letters, they could not make the letters that small. Do a Google Image search for 18th century books <http:/tinyurl.com/69d8xfe> and you will see what I mean.
The websites would not pass Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and since A Taste of History appears on PBS stations, and PBS stations are funded in part by the Federal Government, you could face problems.
Even my son, who is seven years old, with perfect vision, says “You have to change the color, Mommy, I can’t read it with that color”. If he can’t read it, no one else can either.
Well, we shall see what happens and if any of the web sites are changed. It’s a pity, they look like they might be interesting, but it’s a little too distracting to turn CSS off, or where there are images/flash up the size to 130% in order to see. I’ll be reporting back soon.
Update: June 27, 2011
I got an email! Here’s what the email said:
We are very sorry the “A Taste of History” Website was not displaying in a clear manner for you to read. We are currently designing an updated website, and we will keep your suggestions in mind as we make these revisions.
Please don’t let your experience with the website color your opinion of our series. We’re thrilled that you are enjoying watching “A Taste of History,” and hope you will continue to watch.
Multi Media Productions
Update: July 18, 2011 – No changes yet!
Update: July 1, 2012 – Yeah! They changed it, but some of the old links do not work. So if you really want to make those Salmon Corn Cakes, you’re just going to have to use my recipe for Salmon Corn Cakes from A Taste of History.