What is Web Accessibility?
Web accessibility means that websites, tools, and technologies are designed and developed so that people with disabilities can use them. More specifically, people can:
- perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the Web.
- contribute to the Web.
Web accessibility encompasses all disabilities that affect access to the Web, including:
Web accessibility also benefits people without disabilities, for example:
- people using mobile phones, smartwatches, smart TVs, and other devices with small screens, different input modes, etc.
- older people with changing abilities due to aging
- people with “temporary disabilities” such as a broken arm or lost glasses
- people with “situational limitations” such as in bright sunlight or in an environment where they cannot listen to audio
- people using a slow Internet connection, or who have limited or expensive bandwidth
What is UAMS Doing for Web Accessibility?
- Using Monsido for accessibility monitoring and testing.
- Standardization on one WordPress theme that sets the UAMS brand.
- Building custom blocks for web editors that meet accessibility guidelines.
- Training site editors on the importance of web accessibility.
- Keeping to up-to-date knowledge base resource for editors
Why does Web Accessibility Matter?
If you’re federally funded: Section 508 (with new rules enforced Jan 2018)
Your Customers, Your Staff, Your Students, Your Self…
- 20% of Americans have or will have a disability
- An aging population has increasing accessibility needs
- Accessibility and usability go hand-in-hand
- America Online
- Priceline & Ramada.com
- State of Arkansas, State of Pennsylvania
- Penn State & Northwestern
What are the benefits of website accessible coding standards?
There are quite a few benefits to coding accessibility into your website that go beyond just meeting the minimum accessibility laws:
- It’s time to act socially responsible. Accessibility is about allowing people with and without disabilities to have access to the information they want and need. As our population changes, we need to educate the people responsible for generating communication channels to be aware of ALL of our different users.
A Larger Customer Base
- With reports of one in five people in the US claiming some sort of disability, 20% of the population is just too large of a group to ignore. If you go the extra steps to accommodate this group, you will be certain of a loyal group of customers.
Once you’ve developed a clean, accessible code base, you will be amazed at the benefits. Efficient code can help improve:
- Website maintenance
- Device compatibility
- Faster page loading
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
Fact: In web lingo, accessibility is referred to as a11y.
Accessibility Standards We Follow
- Section 508 Standards section508.gov
- Web Content Accessibility Guidelines www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20
- Act 308 of 2013 – An Act Concerning Information Technology Access for the Blind or Visually Impaired
- Act 750 of 2011 – An Act Concerning Information Technology Access for the Blind or Visually Impaired
- Act 1301 of 2003 – An Act to Exempt Inherently Visual Technologies from the Nonvisual Access Standards Under Arkansas Code 25-26-204
- Act 1227 of 1999 – An Act to Secure the Benefits of Access to Information Technology for Individuals Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired Through the Procurement of Such Technology in Accordance with the Standards for Equivalent Access by Both Visual and Nonvisual Means
The Biggest Issue We Have With Editors and Accessible Design
- Alternative Text This is our biggest issue with editors.
Additional Issues to Watch Out For
- Table Headers
- Form Completion
- Sufficient Link Text
- Well Written Content
How do we know if a website is accessible?
- Quick Test Checklist
- Automated Testing
- Testing with Assistive Technologies
- Alt Decision Tree – This decision tree describes how to use the alt attribute of the <img> element in various situations. For some types of images, there are alternative approaches, such as using CSS background images for decorative images or web fonts instead of images of text.
Testing with Assistive Technology
- Shoud be done at the end
- Should be used to confirm success
- Should be done by experienced testers
Keys to Success
- Be Proactive
- Find the Right Resources
- Don’t be Overwhelmed