What is Web Accessibility? The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect. -- Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director and inventor of the World Wide Web
Making Accessible Sites The web was designed to be used without a mouse and without eyes (if necessary). We are either making new web sites, or updating old web sites.
Why bother at all? Legal Obligation People with Disabilities make up about 15% of the population More efficient and can save money It’s actually better for people WITHOUT disabilities
Types of Disabilities Deaf, hard-of-hearing, hearing-impaired Blind, visually-impaired, low-vision Mobility-impaired Learning-disabled
Types of Assistive Technologies Screen readers, Braille displays Keyboard guards and overlays Slow keys and onscreen keyboards Replacement mice (foot switches, gigantic trackballs) Switches and scanning software (blow straws, knee triggers) Captioning (audio descriptions)
The Rules Web Content Accessibility Guidelines [WCAG] authored by the W3’s Web Accessibility Initiative, or WAI, has been adapted by much of the European Union and is the legal standard in many countries. See: http://www.w3.org/WAI/
WCAG Priority Levels [Priority 1] A Web content developer must satisfy this checkpoint. Otherwise, one or more groups will find it impossible to access information in the document. Satisfying this checkpoint is a basic requirement for some groups to be able to use Web documents. [Priority 2] A Web content developer should satisfy this checkpoint. Otherwise, one or more groups will find it difficult to access information in the document. Satisfying this checkpoint will remove significant barriers to accessing Web documents. [Priority 3] A Web content developer may address this checkpoint. Otherwise, one or more groups will find it somewhat difficult to access information in the document. Satisfying this checkpoint will improve access to Web documents. (http://www.w3.org/TR/WAI-WEBCONTENT/full-checklist.html)
WCAG Versions WCAG 1.0, WCAG 2.0
Section 508 Part of Rehabilitation Act of 1973, intended to end discrimination against people with disabilities. Section 508 became law on June 21, 2001. Equal or Equivalent Access to Everyone Based on WCAG priority level 1
Which should we use??? That depends…. Let’s compare
Thoughts… Some responsibility lies with the user to have up-to-date tools and resources. 100% Accessibility is not always possible Everyone uses the web/user agents/technology differently Equivalency is the goal Common sense is required This is an iterative process
Testing for Accessibility Testing requires a combination of software tools (algorithmic) AND human judgment (judgment). What about usability? “Don’t make me Think….”
Software Watchfire’s Bobby InFocus from SSB Technologies$1795 for corporate customers The LIFT Machine from UsableNet $999 WebKing from Parasoft WebXM from Watchfire More at Jim Thatcher’s site and here
Tools of our trade Firefox Web Developer by Chris Pederick Html Validateby Marc Gueury DreamWeaver CS3 http://validator.w3.org/ http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/ http://www.cynthiasays.com/ JAWS
Web Standards Standards are repeatable, measurable and testable specifications that can be used as normative technical requirements.