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Web Accessibility


Everyone (content is presented in 1 medium) People with cognitive impairments ... Text-only content may be limiting. Cognitive Impairments: Example. Complex ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Web Accessibility

Web Accessibility What is it? Why is it
Sharon Trerise Coordinator of Accessible
IT Northeast ADA IT Center
Who defines web accessibility?
  • World Wide Web Consortium
  • Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)
    version 1 (current) version 2 (draft)
  • 14 Guidelines Priority Levels 1, 2 3
    (Priority 1 must do, Priority 2 should do,
    Priority 3 may do to improve accessibility)
  • Federal Government
  • Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act - 1194.22
    Web-based intranet and internet information and
  • 16 Standards

Who defines web accessibility?
  • New York State
  • New York State's Official Policy/Standards
    "Accessibility of State Agency Web-based Intranet
    and Internet Information and Applications"
  • NYS Statewide Technology Policy
  • NYS Mandatory Technology Standard

Who defines web accessibility?
  • Your university system
  • Your individual college
  • Your department

What does an accessible web design mean to a
person with a disability?
  • People who are blind or visually impaired
  • People who are color blind
  • People who are deaf or hearing impaired
  • People with mobility impairments
  • People with cognitive impairments

People who are blind
  • Do not use a mouse
  • May use a screen reader to listen to the content
  • May use a refreshable Braille display
  • All content must be accessible from the keyboard
  • Images, photos and graphics are unusable
  • Colors are unusable
  • Navigation may be difficult / confusing

Blindness Simulation
  • Using JAWS screen reader
  • Accessible web page
  • Inaccessible web page

WCAG 1.1 Text Equivalents (Priority 1)
  • Provide a text equivalent for every non-text
    element (e.g. via alt, longdesc or in element

Images Graphical representations of text Image map regions Animations Applets programmatic objects Frames Scripts Images used as bullets Spacers Graphical buttons Sounds Audio files Audio tracks of video
WCAG 2.1 Use of Color (Priority 1)
  • Ensure that all information conveyed with color
    is also available without color, for example from
    context or markup

WCAG 8.1 Scripts applets (Priority 1)
  • Make programmatic elements such as scripts and
    applets directly accessible or compatible with
    assistive technologies

WCAG 3.5 Document Structure (Priority 2)
  • Use header elements to convey document structure
    and use them according to specification

People with Low Vision
  • Images, photos and graphics may become unusable
    when enlarged
  • Navigation may be difficult / confusing
  • May use screen magnification software

Low Vision Common causes
  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma

Low Vision Common causes
  • Macular Degeneration
  • Retinopathy

Low Vision Simulation
Low Vision Simulation
  • Magnification
  • Accessible example
  • Less accessible example
  • IE v. 6.0
  • Enlarge fonts

WCAG 3.4 Relative sizing (Priority 2)
  • Use relative rather than absolute units in markup
    language attribute values and style sheet
    property values

WCAG 2.2 Color contrast (Priority 2 3)
  • Ensure that foreground background color
    combinations provide sufficient contrast when
    viewed by someone having color deficits or when
    viewed on a black white screen

Color Blindness
  • Reds greens are often indistinguishable
  • Other colors may be indistinguishable
  • Approximately 8-10 of the male population and
    about 0.5 of the female population experience
    some form of color deficiency
  • Cell phone, PDA and text browser users may not
    display color

Color Blindness Simulation
  • Map of Hurricane Isabel (with color)

Color Blindness Simulation
  • Map of Hurricane Isabel (with red/green

Simulated using Vischek (http//www.vischeck.com/v
ischeck/vischeckURL.php )
(No Transcript)
WCAG 2.1 Use of Color (Priority 1)
  • Ensure that all information conveyed with color
    is also available without color, for example from
    context or markup

The flights listed below in RED have been
cancelled. The flights in GREEN are departing on
time. Delta 1342United 320American Airlines
787Southwest 2390
The flights listed below that have been cancelled
are indicated in RED and by an asterisk. The
flights in GREEN are departing on time. Delta
1342United 320American Airlines 787Southwest
People with mobility impairments
  • May use only the keyboard for navigation
  • May tire quickly
  • May not have fine motor control
  • All content must be accessible from the keyboard
  • Lengthy navigation may cause fatigue
  • Small or moving links are difficult to select

Mobility Impairments Assistive Technology
  • Head wand
  • Adaptive Keyboard
  • Mouth stick

Mobility Impairment Simulation
  • Provide a way to skip over lengthy lists of
  • Inaccessible example
  • Accessible example
  • Ensure the page can be navigated using the
    keyboard only
  • Inaccessible example

WCAG 6.3 Scripts Applets (Priority 1)
  • Ensure that pages are usable when scripts,
    applets and other programmatic objects are turned
    off or not supported.
  • If this is not possible, provide equivalent
    information on an alternative accessible page.

WCAG 6.4 Device Independence (Priority 2)
  • For scripts and applets, ensure that event
    handlers are input device-independent.

WCAG 7.3 Moving Content (Priority 2)
  • Until user agents allow users to freeze moving
    content, avoid movement in pages.

Section 508, Standard (o) Skip navigation
  • A method shall be provided that permits users to
    skip repetitive navigation links.

People who are deaf or hearing impaired
  • Video clips that include audio are unusable
  • Audio clips are unusable
  • Audio is unusable

WCAG 1.4 (Priority 1)
  • For any time-based multimedia presentation (e.g.
    movie or animation), synchronize equivalent
    alternatives (e.g. captions or auditory
    descriptions of the visual track) with the
  • Many people benefit
  • Students in library w/o headset
  • People with learning disabilities
  • People for whom English is not their primary
  • People in a noisy environment
  • Everyone (content is presented in gt1 medium)

People with cognitive impairments
  • Users may have difficulty focusing on or
    comprehending lengthy sections of text
  • Complex layouts or inconsistent navigational
    schemes may be confusing
  • May need content in gt1 form
  • Animated images may be distracting
  • Complex layouts may lead to confusion
  • Text-only content may be limiting

Cognitive Impairments Example
  • Complex layouts
  • www.msnbc.com
  • www.cnn.com

WCAG 14.1 Language (Priority 1)
  • Use the clearest and simplest language
    appropriate for a sites content.

WCAG 7.2 Use of Blinking (Priority 2)
  • Until user agents allow users to control
    blinking, avoid causing content to blink

WCAG 12.3 Large block of text (Priority 2)
  • Divide large blocks of information into more
    manageable groups where natural and appropriate

Why make your web pages accessible?
  • Who does your audience consist of?
  • Students (current and prospective)
  • Faculty
  • Staff
  • Alumni
  • Parents
  • Community
  • World

Disability as a Function of Age
Source U.S. Census Bureau Report on Americans
with Disabilities 1994-95, P70-61 (August
1997) Based on Survey of Income and Program
Participation, Oct. 1994-Jan. 1995
Why make web pages accessible?
  • Continuing Education and Our Aging Population
  • In 2010, the majority of the US population will
    be 45 years and older

Brian Basset, Cartoonist and creator of
syndicated cartoon Adam_at_Home
Benefits and Costs of Implementation
  • Benefits of accessible web design
  • Social
  • Technical
  • Financial
  • Legal policy
  • Costs
  • Primarily up-front
  • Ways to reduce costs

Social Benefits of accessible design
  • People with disabilities can actively participate
    (equal opportunity)
  • Improved access for other populations
  • Older people
  • Speakers of other languages
  • People with low bandwidth connections (rural
    connection, internet congestion, connection
    technology, financial)
  • People using older technology

Technical Benefits of accessible design
  • Reduces site development maintenance time
  • Reduces server load
  • Enables content to be delivered accurately on
    different configurations
  • Better prepared for future web technologies
  • Meet recognized international standards (W3C WAI)

Financial Benefits of accessible design
  • Increased number of users and use
  • Rank higher in search engines
  • Usable in more situations (noisy environment)
  • Increased usability (effective and efficient)
  • Payback from positive social image for
  • Decreased risk of legal action
  • Decreased cost for alternative formatted materials

Legal policy benefits
  • What broader accessibility policies apply?
  • Considerations for future policy requirements
  • More cost effective to build in accessibility now
    than retrofit later

Cost considerations
  • Initial investments
  • Acquiring knowledge
  • Establishing processes
  • Increased development testing time

Cost Considerations
  • Personnel-related
  • Training skills development
  • Hiring expertise (testers, consultants)
  • Incorporate accessibility into protocols
  • Evaluating accessibility of existing site

Cost Considerations
  • Potential Initial Capital Costs
  • Purchasing evaluation tools
  • Purchasing Assistive Technology for testing
  • Upgrading technology tools that support

Cost Considerations
  • On-going Costs
  • Some additional development time
  • Ex. Captioning video
  • Additional testing time
  • Testing prototypes with Assistive Technology
  • Reviewing for conformance with standards
  • Quality assurance testing (alt text)

Ways to Decrease Costs
  • Incorporate accessibility from the beginning
  • Easier
  • Less expensive
  • More effective
  • Share accessibility resources across organization
  • Make investments in necessary technology at the
    organizational level rather than for each
    individual project

Benefits vs Costs
College Web Accessibility Policies
  • California Community College system
  • Section 508 standards
  • Southwest Missouri State University
  • SMSU Web Policy
  • SMSU Web Access Action Plan
  • Ohio State University
  • Web Accessibility Policy and Minimum Web
    Accessibility Standards
  • OSU Web Accessibility Center

Web Accessibility Designing for Everyone
  • People using different web browsers
  • People using different screen resolutions
  • People using phone web services
  • People using handheld display units
  • People using car computing systems
  • People using screen readers
  • People who are deaf or hard of hearing
  • People who cant use a mouse
  • People who are color blind
  • People with differences in attention/perception

  • AccessIT (National Center on Accessible
    Information Technology in Education)
  • www.washington.edu/accessit
  • ITTATC (Information Technology Technical
    Assistance and Training Center)
  • www.ittatc.org
  • WebAIM (Web Accessibility in Mind)
  • www.webaim.org
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