All posts by George Williams

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The Latest From Digital Humanities Questions and Answers

Launched in September of 2010, Digital Humanities Questions & Answers is a joint venture of the Association for Computers and the Humanities (ACH) and ProfHacker. (See Julie Meloni’s launch announcement.)

Digital Humanities Questions and Answers (@DHAnswers on Twitter) is designed to be a free resource where anyone with an interest in the digital humanities can pose a question to the community of folks working in the field.

Since we last checked in with the site, many interesting threads have b…

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Google Image Search Adds Easy Interface for Finding Images Licensed for Re-Use

Here at ProfHacker, we’ve written a number of posts over the years about Creative Commons licenses, which are intended to “give everyone from individual creators to large companies and institutions a simple, standardized way to grant copyright permissions to their creative work.” For example, I’ve explained how to find free online content that you’re allowed to re-use. Jason showed us the basics of searching the photo site Flickr for images with Creative Commons licenses. And Julie discussed using Creative Commons licensed material in the classroom.

Recently, Google’s Matt Cutts took to Twitter to announce a change to the search interface for Google Images, making it easier for users to find Creative Commons licensed images:

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Best Practices for Accessible Print Document Design

I suspect we’ve all been on the receiving end of poorly-designed documents: pages drowning in enormous gray oceans of text with no navigational cues whatsoever; emphasis indicated by text that is bold, all-caps, italicized, and underlined*; color choices that threaten to damage retinas (or that make text practically unreadable); text so small and margins so narrow that it’s obvious the desire to save paper has trumped the desire for clear communication.

As authors, when we create documents for …

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Weekend Reading: Disability and Accessibility Edition

IntelliKeys keyboard

An Intellikeys keyboard, featuring a variety of layouts for users with limited mobility.

Here in the United States, another week of extremely cold weather has passed, but at least the days are getting longer, providing us with more sunshine. (Okay, I like to tell myself that this makes a difference…) Below I’ve provided you with five interesting reads for the weekend, all of them related to issues of disability and accessibility.

The Privilege of Snow,” by Kara Ayers (@DrKaraAyers):

While anyo…

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To Keep Gmail Inbox Under Control, Adjust Google+ Setting

Earlier this month, the Gmail blog announced that by more tightly integrating their social media platform, Google+, with their web-based email service, Gmail, they’ve made it possible for you to “[r]each the people you know more easily.”

I can understand why they didn’t title their announcement “Now anyone on Google+ can send you email without knowing your email address,” but that would have been just as accurate. You see, the default setting in your Gmail account is to allow anyone with a Goog…

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Make Your WordPress Site More Accessible

Like many blogs, ProfHacker runs on software called WordPress, and we’ve written many posts over the years about this software. WordPress is a great tool for creating a variety of different kinds of digital resources. An important issue to consider when creating a digital resource is how accessible it is to a diversity of users — including, but not limited to, people with disabilities. (For a consideration of the various reasons why, read “Why: The Case for Web Accessibility.”) However, if you’…

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10 ProfHacker Tips for 2014

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At my campus, classes start on Monday, which means this week has been devoted to getting ready for a new semester and, more broadly, a new year. If you’re a longtime reader of ProfHacker, you probably already know some of the recommendations we make on a regular basis. If you’re a new reader, it might be more than a little intimidating to try to wade through four and a half years worth of blog posts to identify those key recommendations. I hope that both categories of readers will find the foll…

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CFP: ‘Accessible Future’ Workshop in Austin, TX

Here at ProfHacker, we’ve published a number of things about accessibility in digital environments. And Regular readers will remember that back in September we announced the first Accessible Future workshop, which took place in Boston last semester.

Well, applications are now being accepted for the second workshop, which will be held on February 28-March 1, 2014 in Austin, Texas. If you are interested in digital environments and accessibility, please apply. The Accessible Future workshop is inte…

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‘Open Access Button’ Designed to Raise Awareness, Improve Access

 This morning, a team of developers and researchers announced the release of a new research tool in the form of a browser bookmarklet: the “Open Access Button.” The bookmarklet will work with a variety of browsers, and it’s intended to allow the user who installs it “to track the impact of paywalls and help you get access to the research you need,” in the words of the creators:

People are denied access to research hidden behind paywalls every day. This problem is invisible, but it slows innovatio…

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User-Friendly Advice for Accessible Web Design

Logo for WebAIMHere at ProfHacker we’ve published a number of posts over the years about accessibility and digital environments. One of my favorite resources for learning more about how to make digital resources usable by the greatest number of people possible is WebAIM (@WebAIM), a non-profit organization based at the Center for Persons with Disabilities at Utah State University. I really like their “Introduction to Web Accessibility,” for example.

WebAIM, in my opinion, provides well-written and very user-fr…