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Name the BBC accessibility tool - the story continues

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Damon Rose Damon Rose | 12:23 UK time, Friday, 12 February 2010

Gosh. An awful lot of suggestions came through to us about what to call the BBC's new accessibility tool that I blogged about last week. We had dozens of responses on the Ouch! blog, via our Twitter page and elsewhere.

So. Where have we got with this? I attended a meeting yesterday lunchtime and we had a list of suggestions plus your answers on this blog were being displayed live on a laptop screen. Thank you for helping inform the meeting, a great deal of the discussion was led by your messages to us.

Considerations, considerations: As someone cleverly pointed out here, it's not all about 'seeing' or display options because the new tool will also address some other kinds of accessibility issues for people who can't see a screen, for instance. And then branding and marketability were considered. And we mustn't forget that a link to these accessibility options will appear on every single BBC page so it has to be a bit BBC-ish. But also it will benefit more people if we get a good catchy name that people are interested in using, rather than wanting to avoid.

I should perhaps say a bit more about that: The usability and accessibility team here know that an awful lot of disabled peple don't like 'special' disability/accessibility words because they feel it ghettoizes them. Research has shown this. We all know and recognise this in many people. So how do we attract everyone who could benefit in this diverse community? I think it's perhaps worth noting that there are disabled people and solid stakeholders and people with a great deal of experience of accessibility in this group and lots of deep deep thought has gone into the product and its naming. Though Trevor was a remarkably popular choice for a short while back there ... thanks Chris Page for that suggestion.

The product - formerly known as the Accessibility Tool Kit - needs to break through the disability barrier (I just made that term up, I hope it works) to help as many people as we can to help themselves to a better web; it's so important and at the heart of BBC and government campaigning presently.

So. C'mon. What will the name be?

Unfortunately, there was no firm decision at the end of the meeting yesterday lunchtime but I can tell you that when we left the room we did have a Top 3. The number one choice had a great deal of support ... though I think it's fair to say that there was an underlying feeling that this choice may not make it through the next part of the thought and marketing process. But who knows.

I can't reveal a lot more about it at this point and, actually, I've probably come to the end of my brief journey alongside the project as a name is close to being chosen. So great that Ouch! users could be involved. I'm sure there will be more discussion about it on the BBC blogs soon and doubtless you'll hear from the usability and accessibility team themselves at some stage. we'll link to any discussion about it, and tweet it too. And perhaps ultimately you can help spread the word about the new tool when it goes live. I think we all have the same goal.

I particularly like the fact that there is a plan to share the technology in the future with other websites and platforms (mobile, set-top boxes, etc) ... so many people stand to benefit if the buzz is loud enough.



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