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The AccessAbility SIG is dedicated to removing barriers that prevent access to the World Wide Web. Some barriers are caused by functional disabilities, such as a traumatic brain injury or a hearing impairment. Other barriers are caused by situational disabilities, such as a slow Internet connection or the lack of a sound card. The focus of our group is twofold - to raise awareness about these barriers to Web designers, and to provide information to assist individuals with functional disabilities.

Our SIG is a chapter version of the Society-level AccessAbility SIG. The Society Web site may contain additional information and resources in areas specific to your interests. Our SIG does not diagnose, prescribe, or endorse. We simply provide information to those who want it.

March Program

Tuesday, March 8, 2005

Web Site Layouts&Without Tables!
Presenter: Char James-Tanny

When the W3C added table tags to the HTML 3 and HTML 3.2 standards, Web site designers adopted them for layout. With tables, designers could create intricate sites, positioning graphics and text where desired.

However, layout tables create a layer of difficulty when it comes to accessibility. The latest W3C standards strongly suggest that tables be used only for tabular data, and not for layout. To create sites without tables, designers use positioned div tags, which are controlled through the Cascading Style Sheet.

During this meeting, you will learn the basics of incorporating divs and the positioning rules. You'll see examples of absolute and relative positioning, and how to make floated divs work correctly. You'll receive lists of resources where you can get more information.

About the Speaker
Char James-Tanny, President of JTF Associates, has more than 20 years of experience as a technical writer and is well known in the Help community for her knowledge of online Help tools and concepts. Author of two books and numerous courses about Help, as well as several Help Authoring Tool tutorials, she speaks frequently at conferences around the world on Help topics, cross-browser issues, and tool-specific functionality.

Char was responsible for producing the online documentation for Toshiba Corporation - Japan's laptops during the 90s and for producing the Discover Magazine's 15 Year Electronic Index for Walt Disney Company. Her tutorial on Microsoft's HTML Help 1.x, hosted at the Help Technology Center, has been downloaded over 12,000 times since 2000. Her company has worked for clients such as Dragon Systems, Honda America, PepsiCo, and the U.S Navy. Char maintains the Help Authoring Tools Comparison Matrix, available from her Web site at

Char has been a Microsoft Help MVP since 2002. She is an AuthorIT Certified Consultant, a member of RoboGurus, and a Senior Member of the Society of Technical Communication. She has been an eHelp Certified RoboHelp Instructor (1997-2002) and a member of the RoboHelp Community Advisory Board (2000-2002). You can visit her Web site at

Welcome and munchies    6:30 - 7:00 pm
Presentation 7:00 - 8:30 pm

Sheraton Lexington, 727 Marrett Road, Lexington, MA 02173
Map and Directions

STC-Boston chapter and Northern New England chapter members    $7
STC members and non-members $10

Please register online for this meeting by March 4. All people who register will receive a PowerPoint presentation to read before the meeting.

For More Information
If you need any specific accommodations or if you have any questions, please contact the SIG coordinator, .

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