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Taking a holistic approach to Web Accessibility. Paul Jackson, Web Project Officer Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat Government of Canada. For many, W eb accessibility can be difficult to understand. Find it too technical or difficult to relate to

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taking a holistic approach to web accessibility

Taking a holistic approach to Web Accessibility

Paul Jackson, Web Project Officer

Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

Government of Canada

for many w eb accessibility can be difficult to understand
For many, Web accessibility can be difficult to understand
  • Find it too technical or difficult to relate to
    • WCAG 2.0 and guidance is 750+ pages long!
    • Each failure’s impact varies from user to user
  • Choose wisely: The approach you take will have a major impact on your proposals
    • Many stop listening when something is too difficult to understand or relate to
    • Use terms, concepts and benefits that work well for the target audience
web accessibility is not an island unto itself
Web accessibility is notan island unto itself
  • Not the only key to positive user experiences
    • What if users can’t find the right page?
    • What if an interface is non-intuitive?
  • Some overlap exists with best practices from other disciplines
    • Usability / User Experience
    • Mobile design
    • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
    • Open data and APIs
taking a holistic approach
Taking a holistic approach
  • Focus on Web accessibility in combination with other disciplines
  • Build multidisciplinary teams
    • Helps to avoid “us” versus “them” scenarios common to discipline silos
    • Address each other’s perspectives early on by working together as a team
show how other disciplines can benefit
Show how other disciplines can benefit
  • How can your proposal for improving Web accessibility help other disciplines?
  • “Situational disabilities” help others to relate
  • Video captions example
    • Kiosks or computers without speakers (communications)
    • Mobile devices in noisy or noise-free areas (communications, mobile design)
    • Video search (search engine optimization)
taking an enterprise level holistic approach
Taking an enterprise-level holistic approach
  • Standardize Web pages, Web publishing and Web development
  • Collaborate with other organizations
  • Benefits for each discipline
    • Makes it easier to ensure requirements and best practices are being met
    • Drives down research and development costs
    • Avoids duplication of effort
    • Produces better quality results
standardize web pages web standards government of canada
Standardize Web pages:Web Standards (Government of Canada)
  • Standard on Web Accessibility
  • Standard on Web Usability
  • Standard on Web Interoperability
  • Standard on Optimizing Websites and Applications for Mobile Devices
  • Technical Specifications for the Web and Mobile Presence
standardize web publishing web renewal government of canada
Standardize Web publishing:Web Renewal (Government of Canada)
  • Consolidating 1500 websites into Canada.ca
    • Single layout and design
    • Single information architecture and navigation structure
  • Establishing a Principal publisher
    • Manages publishing to Canada.ca
  • Procuring a managed Web service
    • Cloud-based service replacing departmental publishing systems and analytics software
standardize web development web experience toolkit 1 of 2
Standardize Web development:Web Experience Toolkit (1 of 2)
  • Front-end framework for building accessible, usable and mobile-friendlywebsites
    • Reusable templates, plugins and widgets
  • Accessibility
    • WCAG 2.0 level AA
    • WAI-ARIA to further enhance accessibility
  • Usability
    • Iterative design and usability testing approach
standardize web development web experience toolkit 2 of 2
Standardize Web development:Web Experience Toolkit (2 of 2)
  • Mobile-friendly responsive design
    • Adapts to device screen size and capabilities
    • Touchscreen support and optimized for performance
  • Multilingual (supports 33 languages)
  • Widely used on Government of Canada sites
    • Used on other sites including a11yQC and the City of Ottawa
    • Free to use by anyone (MIT license)
collaborate with other organizations web experience toolkit 1 of 3
Collaborate with other organizations:Web Experience Toolkit (1 of 3)
  • Open source project managed on GitHub
    • Open collaboration with private, academic and public sectors and anyone who is interested
    • Contributors from various disciplines
  • Improvements through collaboration
    • Crowdsourced the usability heuristic reviews for toolkit components (3 per component)
    • Translations for 33 supported languages were crowdsourced from missions around the world
collaborate with other organizations web experience toolkit 2 of 3
Collaborate with other organizations:Web Experience Toolkit (2 of 3)
  • Weekly open codesprints
    • In-person collaboration with laptops and wi-fi
    • Impromptu training sessions
    • Open to anyone who is interested in attending
  • Web Experience Toolkit CodeFest
    • Free community-driven event aimed at developers, designers and communicators
    • 3rd annual eventis August 14 and 15, 2014
collaborate with other organizations 3rd party plugins and frameworks
Collaborate with other organizations:3rd party plugins and frameworks
  • Widely used to reduce development and maintenance effort
  • Accessibility may need improving
    • Often not a major focus
    • Limited access to expertise and testing
  • Many open source plugins and frameworks are collaborative by nature
    • Rely heavily on community support
improving the accessibility of 3rd party plugins and frameworks
Improving the accessibility of 3rd party plugins and frameworks
  • Change the original
    • Large area of effect (all sites that update to the new plugin or framework version)
    • No extra maintenance effort
    • May be challenging to get changes accepted
  • Configure, enhance or override a copy
    • Small area of effect (only sites using the configured, enhanced or overridden copy)
    • Extra maintenance effort
web experience toolkit wet approach to bootstrap
Web Experience Toolkit (WET) approach to Bootstrap
  • CSS framework integrated into WET v4.x
    • Responsive grid system and components
    • Not using any of the JavaScript components
  • Worked with Bootstrap to fix as many issues in the original as possible
  • Fixed remaining issues by configuring and overriding the Sass version of Bootstrap
web experience toolkit wet approach to jquery validation
Web Experience Toolkit (WET) approach to jQuery Validation
  • Error handling plugin for forms integrated into WET v3.x and v4.x
  • Major WET project member now also a jQuery Validation project maintainer
  • Fixed several issues in the original
  • Fixed remaining issues by configuring and overriding the plugin
taking a holistic approach to web accessibility1
Taking a holistic approach to Web Accessibility
  • Focus on Web accessibility in combination with other disciplines
    • Build multidisciplinary teams to address each discipline’s perspective early on
    • Show how other disciplines can benefit
  • Take an enterprise-level holistic approach
    • Standardize Web pages, Web publishing and Web development
    • Collaborate with other organizations