Posts Tagged ‘Websites’

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Websites and Accessibility

March 18, 2009

I have just been to a workshop on accessibility lead by two persons with different sight handicaps. One that are working and using dayly readspeakers and one that uses zoom tool at work to be able to read and navigate the content of a website. They told us alot about what to take into consideration when creating a site and also what to stop doing. It was only a 2 hour workshop but it was very insightfull and told alot. The readspeaker that they used was JAWS and the zoom tool was Dolphin.

Some information from the meeting

Spending time on a website for functionality that reads the content automatically without using a readspeaker tool like JAWS is a big waste of time for their targetgroup. If the have disability, they have their own tools and if they are on a computer without their tools they wont be able to get to the browser or go the the webpage anyways. There might be other uses for such a tool like targetgroups that are weak in the language of the webpage and might benefit for hearing it instead of reading it, but most likly are not worth the developing time.

There are however alot to think about when building a webpage that have  abig beneficial effect towards readspeakers and I will lise some of them here.

Use  headings in a good structured way. Many sightdisabled persons navigate webpages using headings. Headings give a good structured overview of the page and what content it contains. Readspeakers have good tools for jumping between headings and this is the primary way they navigate a page. Also FireFox, Opera (and maybe more browsers) have toosl for testing this by only displaying a index of all headings on a page, try this to see that the page looks good and understandable (where to get what information) with only headings.

Another good thing is bringing back Anchor links to part of the page and have a index in the top (remember to have good titles on the links). That way  they can find what information or section of the page they need easily.

For zooming tools the website should not have too much empty spaces, flash/silverlight applications and such. If flash/silverlight is needed onthe page try different zoom tools on the page so that the applications zoom good. (sometimes they can even crash the zoom tool).

For more advanced help with accessibility you should really look inteo WAI-ARIA. Their comment on WAI-ARIA was that they ahd not had any experience with it but they said it sounded great, and a thing they really look forward too in the future. WAI-ARIA is still a very new technology to use and as such might be hard to find examples on how to, but it is worth looking in to if you want an accessible website.

Links

General information

W3C information on all WAI standards

WAI-ARIA information

Here is a link on for figuring out which browsers today have support for WAI-ARIA. Im not sure though on which rate this page is updated.

WAI-ARIA browser support

Video: Todd Kloots: “Developing Accessible Widgets Using ARIA”

EPiServerdagen 2009

EPiServerday 2009 had some seminaries with accessibility in swedish. So if you understand swedish here are some links for these:

PDF: Presentationerna för seminariet dag 2 accessibility i och med EPiServer

Video: Tillgänglihet 2010 – så skapar du webbplatsen alla kan använda

Video: Checklista inför de nya kraven på tillgänglighet 2010

Video: 2000-talet tillgänglighet på webben (With: Olle Ohlsson, W3C)

Video: EPiServer CMS och Tillgänglighet (With: Peter Sunna, EPiServer )

I hope that information will be usefull to you also, and please ask any questions you have and I might be able to help. I might continue and post more about this in the future.