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Issues related to the development of accessible web sites. Steven Builta October 2002. Part 1: Section 508 and Related Legislation. Staggering Stats. Americans with disabilities spend twice as much time on the Internet. 500 million disabled worldwide 54 million disabled in US

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Issues related to the development of accessible web sites

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part 1 section 508 and related legislation
Part 1:

Section 508 and Related Legislation

staggering stats
Staggering Stats

Americans with disabilities spend twice as much time on the Internet.

  • 500 million disabled worldwide
  • 54 million disabled in US
  • Aging population
  • Temporary disabilities not included
rehabilitation act
Rehabilitation Act
  • Defined rights of the persons with disabilities to help them re-enter the workforce
  • Non-discrimination on basis of disability in programs or activities receiving Federal money
1998 amendments
1998 Amendments
  • Workforce Investment Act (1998) included amendments to the Rehabilitation Act
  • Section 501 requires reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities
  • Section 504 prohibits discrimination of persons with disabilities by Federal agencies in any federally funded or federally conducted programs or activities
section 508 what s covered
Section 508: What’s Covered
  • All Electronic &Information Technology (E&IT) developed, procured, maintained, or used by Federal agencies must be accessible
  • Alternative means of access when accessibility cannot be achieved
  • Authorizes lawsuits after June 21, 2001
section 508 what s not
Section 508: What’s Not
  • Does NOT require:
    • Agencies to provide AT to the general public
    • All workstations to be fitted with AT
    • Retrofitting of E&IT (e.g., Web pages)
other documents of interest
Other Documents of Interest
  • World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (
  • Illinois Web Accessibility Guidelines
part 2 why you need to care about accessibility
Part 2:

Why You Need to Care About Accessibility

barriers to access
Barriers to Access
  • Visual
  • Auditory
  • Mobility
visual disabilities
Visual Disabilities
  • Blindness
  • Weak vision
  • Tunnel vision
  • Dimness
  • Extreme near- or far-sighted
  • Color blindness
hearing disabilities
Hearing Disabilities
  • Deaf
  • Hard of hearing
  • High/low frequency hearing loss
mobility disabilities
Mobility Disabilities
  • Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSI)
  • Arthritis
  • Stroke
  • Spinal Cord Injuries
  • ALS
  • Loss of limbs or digits
benefits of accessible design
Benefits of Accessible Design

Accessible design benefits everyone!

  • Older technology
  • Slow connection speeds
  • Newer wireless technology
  • Personal preference
part 3 techniques for developing accessible web pages
Part 3:

Techniques for Developing Accessible Web Pages

  • Don’t rely on color alone to convey meaning
images and animations
Images and animations
  • Use the ALT (alternate text) attribute for all graphics
  • For audio - provide transcript
  • For video - provide transcript and closed captioning
hypertext links
Hypertext links
  • Make sure that links make sense out of context (avoid “click here”)
page organization
Page organization
  • Use headings (H1 - H6) - be consistent
  • Use lists where possible
scripts applets plug ins
Scripts, applets & plug-ins
  • If you use them, they must be accessible or provided in alternate way
  • If you use a plug-in:
    • Choose one that is accessible
    • Provide adequate instructions for downloading and installing it
adobe pdf files
Adobe PDF Files
  • PDF files were inaccessible
  • PDF becoming accessible?
  • Users can obtain a converted PDF file via e-mail or a utility
  • Convert PDF to HTML or text
equivalent pages
Equivalent Pages

Guideline (k): A text-only page, with equivalent information or functionality, shall be provided to make a Web site comply with the provisions of this part, when compliance cannot be accomplished in any other way. The content of the text-only page shall be updated whenever the primary page changes.

part 4 testing validation and budgeting
Part 4

Testing, Validation, and Budgeting

accessibility features of popular browsers
Accessibility Features of Popular Browsers
  • Netscape Navigator
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE)
  • Opera
  • Amaya
test for browser and version differences
Test for Browser and Version Differences
  • May interpret standard HTML elements differently
  • Accessibility features
  • Style sheet support
  • Deprecated elements
browsers designed for persons with disabilities
Browsers Designed for Persons with Disabilities
  • Complete keyboard control
  • Speech synthesis
  • Screen magnification
quick test your site format
Quick Test Your Site: Format
  • Turn all the images off
  • Turn off style sheets
  • Use the largest custom font size
  • Resize the browser window
  • Select all text and copy it into a word processor
quick test your site navigation
Quick Test Your Site: Navigation
  • Navigate using only the keyboard
  • Press Tab to move through the links
  • Does the link text tell you where the link will take you?
quick test your site media
Quick Test Your Site: Media
  • Turn off sounds
  • Disable all applets and scripts
quick test your site color scheme
Quick Test Your Site: Color Scheme
  • View the page on a monitor set to black & white resolution
  • Print the page on a black & white printer
  • Set a color monitor to high contrast
a more thorough test
A More Thorough Test
  • View your site in a text-only format
    • Lynx Viewer( )
  • Turn off “Play Animations”
  • Use a combination of various AT to view the site
let someone else test it
Let Someone Else Test It!
  • Bobby ( )
  • HTML checkers ( )
  • This slide show was adapted in large part from