Accessibility Resources

Websites

WebAIM (Web Accessibility in Mind)

WebAIM has fantastic resources related to web accessibility like useful articles & tools and they do a lot of online training related to building accessible websites. WebAIM's site also has a comprehensive list of accessibility resources. View these resources at http://www.webaim.org

World Wide Web Consortium's Web Accessibility Initiative (W3C's WAI)

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) runs this site and, as you probably know, it is the place for information on web standards and guidelines. The W3C's Web Accessibility Initiative (aka W3C's WAI) is comprised of some of the top thinkers in the world of web accessibility. There is extensive, cutting edge discussion on a number of issues. Check out their resource page for guidelines, checklists, "quick tips", etc. You'll find a web content and authoring tool and user agent guidelines. While WCAG 1.0 is W3C's official standard for web content, there is a working group designing and formalizing WCAG 2.0. WCAG has a more "pan disability" approach than WCAG 1.0 which focused primarily on low vision/blindness. Learn more about the WAI at http://www.w3.org/WAI/.

California State University Center on Disability (C-SUN COD)

C-SUN COD holds an annual conference in LA focused on Technology and Persons with Disabilities. There are presentations on every facet of web accessibility and you will find a lot of information at the C-SUN COD website. The key figures who advise on accessibility standards attend and lecture at this conference and their papers are listed here. Find out more about CSUN conferences by visiting http://www.csun.edu/cod/.

Macintosh Accessibility

A web log (blog) focused on accessibility issues for mac users; put together by Kynn Bartlett (kynn@idylmtn.com) a guy who, among other things, helped evolve the idea of CSS (cascading style sheets) - a key feature of accessible sites. Learn more about Mac accessibility at http://www.apple.com/accessibility/

Designing More Usable Websites

A subset of the Trace Center's Designing a More Usable World site, this resource provides links to a range of reference materials that focus on Web accessibility design. http://trace.wisc.edu/world/web/

Web Accessibility and Universal Design

This resource provides links to websites that emphasize Web accessibility design. Visit http://template.bsd.uchicago.edu/ for more information.

Rich Media Home

The Rich Media Accessibility Web Site is a collection of resources for website developers and users seeking ways to make rich media accessible to people with disabilities. Visit the Rich Media website at http://ncam.wgbh.org/richmedia/index.php.


Validation (Accessibility Verification) Tools

A-Prompt

A-Prompt (Accessibility Prompt) is a free software tool designed to help Web authors improve the usability of Web pages created in HTML format. The tool is available for Windows. A-Prompt was created jointly by the University of Toronto's Adaptive Technology Resource Centre (ATRC) and the Trace Center at the University of Wisconsin. For more information on A-Promt visit: http://aprompt.snow.utoronto.ca/index.html.

Bobby

This popular software formerly owned by CAST (Center for Applied Special Technology) and now owned by Watchfire allows you to scan a page of your website at a time.  There is also a desktop version for purchase which allows you to scan your entire site at once to determine your level of accessibility compliance both 508 and WCAG. Access the tool at http://bobby.watchfire.com/bobby/html/en/index.jsp.

Cynthia Says

A useful and free tool that allows you to thoroughly check your site's level of accessibility. Scroll down the page to the section called "test your site" and enter your domain. You can view your site and its components through the eyes of scores of browsers (and all of the versions of those browsers). As well you can check for the base Section 508 compliance or you can see if your site goes beyond that and complies with the more stringent regulations set forth in WCAG. Try the tool at http://www.cynthiasays.com.

Section508 OK

This tool from Deque Systems allows you to assess and correct accessibility errors. It goes into detail such as helping you determine and correct the specific percentage of color contrast that needs to exist to comply with various accessibility guidelines and regulations. It costs money, but you can download a trial version at http://www.section508ok.com.

UseableNet

UsableNet provides a variety of their LIFT software that automate website accessibility and usability testing, repair and delivery. They also have a free online accessibility tool.  For more information on UseableNet visit. http://www.usablenet.com.

WebAIM's WAVE 3.0

The WAVE 3.0 tool from WebAIM will help you determine whether or not your site or multimedia products are accessible (and to what extent) and it is free. You will have to load a page at a time. Also, there is a feature allowing you to add the tool your web browser, so you can assess any page you visit. Use the WAVE 3.0 tool at http://wave.webaim.org.


Books

Building Accessible Websites by Jim Clark

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/073571150X/ref=pd_bxgy_img_2/104-2696258-9959100?v=glance&s=books

Constructing Accessible Websites by Jim Thatcher

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1590591488/qid=1073408584/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/104-2696258-9959100?v=glance&s=books

Maximum Accessibility by John M. Slatin and Sharron Rush

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0201774224/ref=pd_sim_books_3/104-2696258-9959100?v=glance&s=books

Web Accessibility for People with Disabilities by Michael Paciello

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1929629087/ref=pd_sxp_elt_l1/104-2696258-9959100


Articles

Introduction to Web Accessibility
By Paul Bohman, Web Accessibility in Mind (WebAIM) 2003

Mr. Bohman has written a primer focused on basic issues surrounding Web accessibility for people with disabilities. He writes: "The Web offers so many new opportunities to people with disabilities that are unavailable through any other medium." The Internet, he continues, "offers independence and freedom. But this independence and freedom is only partially a reality." Too many websites, he concludes, "are not created with Web accessibility in mind." Whether purposefully or not, "they exclude the segment of the population that in many ways stands to gain the most from the Internet." To view this primer on web accessibility visit: http://www.webaim.org/intro/.

How People with Disabilities Use the Web
Edited by Judy Brewer, World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) 2001

This document, a working draft, is a general introduction to the way that individuals with various disabilities navigate the Web. It provides a background to assist in understanding how those with disabilities benefit from provisions described in several W3C documents, including Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0, Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines 1.0, and User Agent Accessibility Guidelines 1.0. Specifically, this working draft describes: 1.) Scenarios of people with disabilities using accessibility features of websites and Web-based applications; 2.) General requirements for Web access by individuals with physical, visual, hearing and cognitive disabilities; and 3.) Various types of assistive technologies and adaptive strategies used by individuals with disabilities when accessing the Web. You can find this article at http://www.w3.org/WAI/EO/Drafts/PWD-Use-Web/Overview.html

Accessible Web Design: A Definition
By Chuck Letourneau, Startling Access Services 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003

According to the author, web accessibility means "that anyone using any kind of Web browsing technology must be able to visit any site and get a full and complete understanding of the information contained there, as well as have the full and complete ability to interact with the site." He concedes that "there are circumstances under which meeting these conditions would be difficult and perhaps even seemingly impossible. But difficulty shouldn't preclude effort and a barrier that seems impassable when viewed from one perspective might be reduced or eliminated when seen from another." Read Accessible Web Design: A Definition at http://www.starlingweb.com/webac.htm.

Visual vs. Cognitive Disabilities: Graphics for the Blind?
By Paul Bohman, Web Accessibility in Mind (WebAIM) October 2003

Individuals who are blind access Web content by using software that converts text into synthesized speech. The software, known as a "screen reader," reads the test in the Web content out loud but cannot automatically interpret graphics. At most, writes the author, "[the screen reader] can read the text description of the graphic (alternative text, or 'alt' text) provided by the person who created the Web content. With this in mind, some people advocate creating a text-only version of websites. These people often assume that 'text-only' and 'accessible' is the same thing. In the case of blind users, this may be true, but the problem with this assumption is that it ignores other types of disabilities." Read about these issues at http://www.webaim.org/techniques/articles/vis_vs_cog

Making Your Website Accessible to the Blind
By Curtis Chong National Federation for the Blind 2003

Written by the National Federation of the Blind's (NFB) Director of Technology, this article supplies guidance to website designers who want to ensure Web page accessibility and usability by the blind. The author focuses strictly on aspects of non-visual access. A highlight of the article is the author's description of the processes blind computer users go through as they negotiate their way around the Web. Learn more about making your site accessible to the blind at http://www.nfb.org/tech/webacc.htm.


Fact Sheets

Designing and Understanding World Wide Web Pages

This resource provides links for those who design and construct Web pages. Learn more accessible design at http://www.ataccess.org/rresources/webaccess.html

The Rehabilitation Act Amendments (Sec. 508)

On August 7, 1998, President Clinton signed into law the Rehabilitation Act amendments of 1998. These amendments cover access to federally funded programs and services.   They formed the bedrock for many Web accessibility initiatives and guidelines that have emerged in the ensuing years. Learn more about Section 508 legislation at http://www.access-board.gov/sec508/guide/act.htm.

WAI Quick Tips reference Card

The Web Accessibility Initiative has produced a thumbnail guide to the concepts of accessible Web design. The editors caution that these tips "are not complete guidelines but only a memory prompt" for concepts from the W3C Recommendation Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 that include information vital to understanding and implementing the Quick Tips. This resource features an easy-to-use checklist, a detailed document describing techniques for implementing the guidelines and a curriculum that explains how to use the guidelines. Find the Web Accessibility Initiative's quick tips at http://www.w3.org/WAI/References/QuickTips/.

Web Accessibility Issues

This fact sheet stresses the Web usage characteristics of blind and deaf computer users and enumerates their difficulties in achieving Web accessibility.  It provides basic guidelines for designers to follow in order to meet the needs of users who are blind and deaf. View this web accessibility fact sheet at http://www2.ucsc.edu/ada/accessibleweb.html.


Videos

Keeping Web Accessibility in Mind

This 11 ½-minute video from WebAIM provides a user perspective on Web accessibility. The video is an overview of the difficulties faced by users with disabilities and can be found at http://www.webaim.org/info/asdvideo/.

Introduction to the Screen Reader

Featuring instrumentation specialist Neal Ewers of the Trace Center, this video is a six-minute short demonstrating how screen readers can assist the blind in navigating the Web and in accessing electronic documents. You can find Introduction to the Screen Reader online at http://www.doit.wisc.edu/accessibility/video/intro.asp.

Screen Magnification and the Web

Also featuring the Trace Center's Neal Ewers along with John Klatt, a University of Wisconsin grad student, this video illustrates how screen magnification software works and discusses ways that Web designers can increase Web access for a variety of users. Learn more about Screen Magnification for the Web at http://www.doit.wisc.edu/accessibility/video/screen_magnification.asp.


Learning Modules

 Web Accessibility Learning Modules

California State University/ Fresno's Center for Distributed Learning has produced a series of teaching modules geared to provide training for university faculty and staff Web authors in the creation of accessible Web pages. Topics covered include the following: "What is Web Accessibility?" "Legislative and Legal Issues," "Assistive Technologies," "Tips and Techniques," and "Checkers and Validators." View this web accessibility learning module at http://www.csufresno.edu/webaccess/learningmodules/

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