A Fresh Way to Introduce
Web Accessibility to Web Developers:
A Train-the-Trainer Session

Cath Stager-Kilcommons

Craig Spooner

ACCESS Project

Colorado State University

What can be fresh about it?

What we want to tell web developers is that they can and should use modern design techniques!

Today, web sites can be modern, efficient and accessible. If web developers use modern design techniques, and test whether their alternatives are working, then they can create Universally designed usable content that accommodates people with disabilities, older people, children, people for whom English is a second language, people with old technology, novice technology users, people with low bandwidth and other many other people in ways that benefit all users.

Craig Spooner and Cath Stager-Kilcommons

ACCESS Project (http://accessproject.colostate.edu/)
Department of Occupational Therapy
Colorado State University

What can you do?

Topics to be Covered

A Brief History of Web Standards

Web Standards and Accessibility

Accessibility is…

the freedom or ability of an individual to obtain or make full use of a product or environment.

A product is accessible to an individual with disabilities only if he or she is able to use it to carry out all of the same functions and to achieve the same results as individuals with similar skills and training who do not have disabilities.

Universal Design is…

“the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design.”

– Ron Mace

Examples of Universal Design used by all...

Universal Web for the Internet is…

“…making sure that the presentation of content on the Internet and the design of Internet technology is flexible enough to accommodate the needs of the broadest range of users possible, regardless of age, language, or disability.”

Michael Burks and Cynthia Wadell (http://www.isoc.org/briefings/002/)

Universal design = good, usable web design.

Why Use Universal Design?

Universal Design - General Page Hints

Understand What the Rules are Asking

Universal Design is often about Alternatives

Provide alternatives so your web visitor will not lose information if...

Know the Tools Available

Nationally

ACCESS project

The Mozilla Firefox Browser

"Mozilla is not a traditional software company. We are a global community and public benefit organization dedicated to improving the Internet experience for people everywhere." ( http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/about/)

Available in more than 35 languages, and for multiple platforms, Firefox has been developed to be a standards-based alternative for browsing the internet. It is stable and many people find it easier to use than Internet Explorer.

Why Firefox

Firefox - rediscover the web.

The Firefox Test

Web Accessibility Tests Using Firefox and WAVE

(http://www.accessproject.colostate.edu/presentations/firefox/firefox_tests.htm)

WAVE Accessibility Review Summary

Tools and Resources to Share

Evaluating Web Sites for Accessibility: Overview from the WAI

Complete overview site covers everything about evaluation from types of evaluations to all the tools available which includes searchable lists of where to find all the available tools.

Additional tools worth noting:

Web Accessibility Checker (http://checker.atrc.utoronto.ca/)
New tool from ATRC at University of Toronto uses WCAG 1, WCAG 2, 508 standards and others.
Acc - an Accessibility Evaluator http://appro.mit.jyu.fi/tools/acc/
Firefox Extension for evaluating and reporting some accessibility criteria.
Web Accessibility Overview (RTF)
ACCESS Project overview of standards, barriers, and planning for web accessibility.

Session Summary

  • Challenge your web developers to write standards-compliant code with organized content written in (X)HTML.
  • Challenge them to control the presentation of their pages through cascading style sheets (CSS).
  • Promote the benefits of universal design for reaching the widest audiences.
  • Offer a hands-on class where they take the Firefox Test, and see the Firefox Add-ins that can make their job easier.
    • Offer them opportunities and time to know what information their pages are giving out to the world!
    • Ask them to make sure their options and alternatives work.
  • Provide them with summaries such as the "Web Accessibility Overview."
  • Show them where and how to check their pages for accessibility.