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Workshop 1 Basics of Web Accessibility. Web Content Accessibility Project Funded by BCcampus Natasha Boskic, Kirsten Bole, Nathan Hapke University of British Columbia. Workshop schedule. Monday August 21 Basics of Web Accessibility Tuesday August 22 Coding an Accessible Website

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workshop 1 basics of web accessibility

Workshop 1Basics of Web Accessibility

Web Content Accessibility Project

Funded by BCcampus

Natasha Boskic, Kirsten Bole, Nathan Hapke

University of British Columbia

workshop schedule
Workshop schedule
  • Monday August 21Basics of Web Accessibility
  • Tuesday August 22Coding an Accessible Website
  • Wednesday August 23Accessible Multimedia
  • Thursday August 24Creating Usable Content
  • Friday August 25Disabilities & Assistive Technology
the plan
The Plan
  • What is accessibility and why is it important?
  • E-learning and accessibility
  • Who is affected?
  • How are they affected?
  • How do I make my course more accessible?
why does it matter
Why does it matter?
  • We often make assumptions about our students and site visitors
  • Disabilities are invisible online
  • If we are unaffected, we are unaware of any inconvenience
consequences in education
Consequences in Education
  • Inaccessible sites can be slightly inconvenient or completely frustrating
  • Inaccessible academic sites can have serious impact on someone’s educational experience
  • Affects students’ access to course materials and ability to work and participate
  • Excluding students is not an option
  • Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0
  • Created by the Web Accessibility Initiative section of the W3C
  • 2.0 is under review
  • Section 508 (US)
  • UK Disability Rights Commission
  • Laws in Canada are not as specific
  • Canadian anti-discrimination laws strong
e learning and accessibility
E-learning and accessibility


  • Learning online bridges huge distances
  • Potential for small classes,more interaction
  • Opportunities for students who otherwise can’t attend a physical campus

Not so good:

  • Dependent on technology
  • Requires careful time management
students with disabilities
Students with disabilities
  • Learning disabilities most common
    • Dyslexia, ADHD
  • Sight
    • Partial sight, blindness, colourblindness
  • Motor/physical
    • Limited control of mouse/keyboard
  • Hearing
getting around
Getting around
  • Sight & learning issues
    • Screen readers
    • Screen magnifiers
    • Braille devices
  • Physical issues
    • Adaptive keyboards
    • Alternative pointing devices

Many students with disabilities navigate by keyboard only.

our focus group students
Our Focus Group students
  • Ted: teacher with problems focusing; memorizes programs rather than using visual cues
  • Robert: nerve damage to right hand; uses FrogPad instead of keyboard
  • Samuel: hard-of-hearing ESL student; prefers videos to text
  • English major at UBC
  • Blind since birth
  • Uses a screenreader called JAWS to access the web
making your course accessible
Making your course accessible

Many accessibility changes to your site

benefit all learners.

  • Be consistentKeep navigation the same on each page
  • Be redundantPresenting information in multiple ways helps all learners
what to consider text
What to consider: text
  • Is the font big enough, with enough contrast?
  • Can the user change the font size in their browser?
  • Are there distracting colours or animations?
  • Is there alternative text for every important graphic? (Don’t forget charts & graphs!)
what to consider links
What to consider: links
  • Screen readerscan take linksout of context
  • Do links makesense on theirown? (Don’tuse “click here”as link text!)
what to consider other elements
What to consider: other elements
  • Forms, tables and frames should be labeled
  • Audio, video transcripts should be available
  • Flash and PDF often require extra effort
  • When in doubt, offer same information in plain text format as well
what do i use
What do I use?
  • Do NOT use Word’s “Export to HTML” feature!
  • Beginners: Course Genie will export a valid, accessible site from Word
  • Intermediate: use a good WYSIWYG editor such as Dreamweaver
  • Expert: hand-code XHTML and CSS
checking for accessibility
Checking for accessibility
  • Online checkers help find problem areas
  • Good tool, but no substitute for human testing!
it s not difficult
It’s not difficult
  • Most code changes are fairly minor
  • Many changes benefit all students, not just those with disabilities
  • Many terrific resources available online
go forth accessify
Go forth & accessify
  • Try running your own site (or your favourite website) through a validator. How does it rate?
  • Download a trial version of JAWS. What does your website sound like?
thank you for coming
Thank you for coming!
  • Join us tomorrow for Coding an Accessible Website - 12 pm PST
  • Natasha Boskic (
  • Kirsten Bole (
  • Nathan Hapke (