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Accessibility and 508 easily with ColdFusion


Why are Accessible Web Sites Important ... 182 pages passed (89%) GUESS WHAT? LYNX IS NOT A Speech Browser! ... Marquee and Blink? ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Accessibility and 508 easily with ColdFusion

Accessibility and 508 easily with ColdFusion
  • Sandra Clark

  • Accessibility and Speech Browsers
  • 508 and WAI
  • Survey
  • Stop Designing for the Browser
  • The Good and the Bad of Fusebox
  • A Better Way
  • Exceptions to the Rule

Why are Accessible Web Sites Important
  • Accessible Web Sites are important for all types
    of web sites.
  • 15 30 of the general population have
    functional limitations that can affect their
    ability to use technology products
  • Accessibility helps those who
  • Cannot use a mouse (only have access to
  • Are blind
  • Have other vision impairments
  • Are Deaf
  • Are Color Blind.

What is 508 and WAI
  • Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act Amendment
    of 1998 requires that US Federal Agencies and
    covered entities must make their electronic
    technology and information accessible to people
    with Disabilities
  • WAI (Web Accessibility Initiative) by the World
    Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
  • WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines)
  • Deals with the authoring of web standards.

The United States isnt Alone
  • Other countries have or are adopting and require
    adherence to either the WCAG or something similar.
  • Ireland
  • Italy (WCAG)
  • Luxemburg
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Portugal (WCAG)
  • Singapore
  • Spain (WCAG)
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom (WCAG)
  • Australia (W3C WCAG)
  • Canada (W3C WCAG Priority 1 and 2 checkpoints)
  • EU (W3C WCAG Priority 1)
  • Belgium
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France (WC3 WCAG)
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Japan

  • In December 2002, I surveyed the entry home pages
    of 204 Federal Cabinet and their Departments.
  • These are the entities REQUIRED to comply with
    Section 508
  • Validated with a number of readers
  • Bobby (Online 508 and WAI Validator)
  • Simply Web 2000 (Free Speech Browser)
  • pw Web Speak (Free, discontinued Speech Browser)
  • IBM Home Page Reader (Speech Browser)
  • Lynx (Text Only Browser)

Survey Results
  • Out of 204 Web Sites Surveyed
  • Bobby Approved
  • 77 pages passed (38)
  • Simply Web 2000
  • 5 pages passed (2)
  • pwWebSpeak
  • 50 pages passed (25)
  • IBM Home Page Reader
  • 58 pages passed (28)
  • Lynx
  • 182 pages passed (89)

  • LYNX IS NOT A Speech Browser!
  • Having something readable in Lynx is not
    indicative that it will be readable in a Screen

Validating Accessibility
  • Validating Accessibility is like Validating a Web
  • Use Validation Testing
  • Bobby or UsableNets Lift
  • Different Speech Browsers
  • But who has the time and money to test to make
    sure it works everywhere?
  • This is what happens when people design sites for
    the letter of the law rather than the spirit.

Designing to the letter of the law
  • The HTML passes Bobby.
  • It works in the one screen reader you tested for
    and thats the one you tell everyone to use.
  • If you get sued, you can point to the above two
    points and hope its enough for the judge.

Designing to the Spirit of the Law
  • That the content of your web site or application
    can be read and understood no matter what type of
    browser is being used.
  • That all disabled persons have the same type of
    access to your web site as able bodied people.
  • You dont have to worry about convincing a judge
    because there is no reason for a lawsuit based on
    accessibility issues.

How can we do that?
  • JavaScript is only used for nice-to-haves and the
    absence of it does not diminish the usability of
    your site.
  • This covers DHTML. If you must have a DHTML menu
    have a link at the top letting people use another
    menuing system.
  • Plug ins must be accessible or there must be
    equivalent content in an accessible format.
  • The most important thing we can do is

Stop Designing to the Browser
  • Remember the browser wars?
  • Marquee and Blink?
  • I remember signing a petition asking Netscape and
    MS to make their browsers work with standards
  • They did (MS IE 6, Netscape 7 and Opera 6) are
  • Guess What?
  • We arent taking advantage of this
  • We still design for the browser.

Design to the Standards
  • What "Standards"?
  • When we speak about "standards" for the Web, we
  • Structural Languages
  • Extensible Hypertext Markup Language 1.0 and 1.1
  • http//
  • http//
  • XML
  • Extensible Markup Language 1.0
  • http//
  • Presentation Languages
  • CSS
  • Cascading Style Sheets Levels 1 and 2
  • http//
  • http//
  • as well as emerging standards, such as those for
    television and PDA based browsers.

Design to the Standards
  • What "Standards (cont)"?
  • Presentation Languages
  • CSS
  • Cascading Style Sheets Levels 1 and 2
  • http//
  • http//
  • as well as emerging standards, such as those for
    television and PDA based browsers.

Why design to the standard
  • Designing and building with these standards
    simplifies and lowers the cost of production,
    while delivering sites that are accessible to
    more people and more types of Internet devices.
    Sites developed along these lines will continue
    to function correctly as traditional desktop
    browsers evolve, and as new Internet devices come
    to market.
  • http//

Using Nested Tables for Layouts
  • Most of us use tables for layout.
  • This is not what tables in HTML were designed for
  • By using tables for layouts, we are not only
    limiting ourselves, but we are limiting the ways
    in which our work can be utilized.
  • Tables are limiting, the web is designed to be

Are the newer browsers truly compliant?
  • Most Newer Browsers are compliant
  • IE6, NS7, IE5Mac, Opera 6, Konqueror (Linux), IBM
    Web Browser
  • When writing to the standard, make sure you tell
    the browser to go into standards mode though.
  • In order to deal with both old tag soup written
    to old browser quirks and new standards-compliant
    pages, Mozilla (and Mozilla-based browsers, such
    as Netscape 6, Netscape 7, Chimera, Galeon and
    Beonex), Mac IE 5 and Windows IE 6 have two
    layout modes. In one mode the layout engine
    attempts to comply with W3C Recommendations. In
    the other mode the layout engine tries to mimic
    old browsers. In Mozilla these modes are known as
    the Standards mode and the Quirks mode

How to force Browsers into Standards Mode
  • Mozilla, Mac IE 5 and Windows IE 6 all use
    doctype sniffing in order to decide between the
    standards mode and the quirks mode. This means
    that the mode is picked based on the document
    type declaration (or the lack thereof) at the
    beginning of an HTML document.
  • Full list can be found at
  • http//

Standards Forcing DocType Declarations
  • HTML 4.x Strict
  • "http//"
  • HTML 4.01 Transitional
  • Transitional//EN" "http//
  • XHTML 1.0 Strict (no xml Declaration)
  • Strict//EN" "http//
  • XHTML 1.0 Transitional (no xml Declaration)
  • Transitional//EN" "http//
  • Using an xml Declaration with XHTML will Force
    IE6 into Quirks Mode

Separating Content from Presentation
  • Content is the most important aspect of the web.
  • What you get is more important than how you see
  • Separating Content from Presentation gives you
  • Increased accessibility
  • Improved Performance
  • Easier initial work and easier maintenance.

CSS and Positioning
  • By using Cascading Style Sheets for positioning
    and design, we are truly separating content from
  • All Major Browsers (IE 6, Netscape 7, Opera 6)
    support CSS-2 (which includes Positioning).
  • XHTML requires CSS for all presentation in its
    strict format.
  • CSS-2 allows different style sheets to be
    employed for different media.
  • Change the way your page looks on a printer
    without changing the page.

Fusebox and Nested Layouts BAD
  • The Fusebox philosophy encourages separation of
    business logic from presentation logic which is
  • With CFMX, Macromedia is also encouraging
    separation of the two tiers with CFCs.
  • However, Fusebox 3 incorporates Nested Layouts
    which by design encourages Nested Tables.

What's good about Fusebox
  • Everything BUT Nested Layouts!

Keeping the good, booting the bad
  • Dont let Fusebox handle the layouts
  • Capture the layouts into Streams

Problems with this technique
  • Need to design your circuits with layout in mind
    rather than functionality.
  • Its a kludge to get around an architectural
    problem rather than simply a solution.
  • The top level circuit cant have any real code in

Finding a better way
  • Find a technique that
  • allows me to capture my output streams when I
    want to.
  • allows me to design my applications based on
    functionality rather than the output.
  • allows me to separate out my business logic from
    my presentation logic from my content.

  • Introduced by John Quarto-vonTivadar in May 2002
    at CF North in Toronto.
  • A derivative of the Fusebox 3 core file which,
    while fully compliant with FB3, also has exciting
    and necessary enhancements which allow more
    flexibility in design.
  • Makes design patterns like MVC easy!
  • Fully allows for separating presentation and
    content which are necessary for fully accessible
    and compliant web sites.
  • Precursor to FuseBox4 xml Being presented at
    CFUN03 in June
  • If you know FuseQ FB4 xml is a snap.

What about Netscape 4?
  • Browser Statistics from shows that
    Netscape usage has gone from 5.4 usage in
    11/2001 to 2.3 in 11/2002
  • Netscape and MSIE 4 and older editions do not
    support CSS 2.

Browser Stats 11/2001 11/2002
What about Flash?
  • Macromedia is pushing CFMX and Flash MX as a Rich
    User Interface.
  • Flash MX does have some accessibility built in.
  • Flash Player 6 now uses the Microsoft Active
    Accessibility (MSAA) API to exchange information
    with a web browser that supports MSAA, which
    channels information to and from assistive
    technologies that support MSAA.
  • Today, the only screen reader that allows users
    to interact with Flash content is Windows-Eyes
    from GW Micro.
  • Objects that cant be currently made accessible
  • invisible buttons and some specific form
    components combo boxes, list boxes, and scroll

Recommendations and Resources
  • Web Sites
  • http//
  • http//
  • http//
  • FuseQ
  • http//
  • 508
  • http//
  • Bobby
  • http//

Recommendations and Resources
  • Books
  • Constructing Accessible Web Sites
  • Publisher Glasshaus
  • Author Jim Thatcher
  • Cascading Style Sheets Separating Content from
  • Publisher Glasshaus
  • Author Owen Briggs
  • Core CSS
  • Publisher Prentice Hall
  • Author Keith Schengili - Roberts