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1 Accessible Accessibility David Sloan, Peter Gregor, Murray Rowan, Paul Booth University of Dundee, Scotland.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Accessible Accessibility David Sloan, Peter Gregor, Murray Rowan, Paul Booth University of Dundee, Scotland."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Accessible Accessibility David Sloan, Peter Gregor, Murray Rowan, Paul Booth University of Dundee, Scotland digital media access group

2 2 Accessible Accessibility The importance of web accessibility The need for a new accessibility evaluation methodology – which is accessible to non experts The methodology developed The methodology in practice Future improvements

3 3 The Importance of Accessibility Legal Requirements –UKs Disability Discrimination legislation –Americans with Disabilities legislation Changing browsing technology More people accessing the web... …yet e-commerce ventures spectacularly failing

4 4 Existing profile of Web accessibility Could be improved! Lack of knowledge amongst designers Urban myths still persist Connection between accessible design and usable design requires promotion Current information has its drawbacks

5 5 Current Accessibility Evaluation Resources Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Bobby W3C HTML Validator, HTML Tidy Other accessibility tools: –The WAVE –Check your Page –InSight Web accessibility resources: –AWARE Center, Alertbox, DISinHE

6 6 The need for a meta- method Drawbacks of current accessibility evaluation methods: Can only uncover some problems Excessively technical Overly prescriptive

7 7 Background to our research Applied Computing at the University of Dundee – heavily involved in disability/technology research –Including Disability and Information Systems in Higher Education (DISinHE) Summer 1999 – asked to carry out accessibility audits of 15 web sites in UK Higher Education Sector How to carry out this project? Develop a meta- method for assessing accessibility

8 8 Our Methodology (1) Initial Impressions of the subject site Bobby evaluation Further evaluation of a selection of representative pages –W3C HTML validation –Testing against Web content Accessibility Guidelines

9 9 Our Methodology (2) General Inspection of the site Detailed Exploration Viewing with various browsers and assistive technologies Usability valuations –Heuristic Evaluation –User testing (sighted/blind groups of users)

10 10 Output A comprehensive audit containing –Detailed, prioritised (and clear!) recommendations for raising accessibility levels –Findings of the various stages of the audit Continuing support in implementing the recommendations

11 11 Feedback Questionnaires –Generally very positive Revisiting of sites –Some sites, major accessibility barriers addressed immediately –Others incorporated accessibility features during redesign –Some have done nothing at all…

12 12 Points for Improvement Timing of audits –Need to coincide with site redesign projects Presentation of recommendations Better liaison with site administrators –Identifying purpose of site –User groups, likely tasks –Current Constraints

13 13 The next steps Incorporating the methodology into an auditing tool –Automatic evaluations –Prompts for manual evaluation –Automatically generated recommendations and recovery plan Study the results – how do people react to the audits… …and can we make them more effective?

14 14 Summary Current accessibility evaluation tools have positive features and drawbacks So pool them together into a meta-method Result – a methodology which uncovers accessibility and usability problems …and may be possible to use to create a semi-automatic evaluation tool


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