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1 Accessibility 101 Dr. John Slatin, Director Accessibility Institute University of Texas at Austin.

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1 1 Accessibility 101 Dr. John Slatin, Director Accessibility Institute University of Texas at Austin

2 2 Objectives Participants will learn: n A working definition of accessibility n Accessibility guidelines and standards, including Section 508 federal standards n Specific techniques for improving Web accessibility n Specific things to avoid n Tools and resources for testing accessibility

3 3 Points to take away n Good design is accessible design n The goal is to support full participation in learning for all n Separate is not equal: text-only is a last resort n Accessibility is good for learners and for you

4 4 Benefits to learners n Instructional resources are accessible to learners and faculty with disabilities n Instructional resources are better suited to multiple learning styles and multiple intelligences n Improved design makes instructional resources more engaging and effective for all participants

5 5 JAWS Demo n Screen reader n Reads top to bottom, left to right n Reads on screen text; also parses HTML source, and for some applications relies on MS Active Accessibility API n Demo at

6 6 What is accessibility? n Accessibility is not “in” the Web page n Accessibility is experiential: User is able to use data, information, and services as effectively as someone without a disability n Accessibility is environmental: it depends on the interaction of the page with browsers, assistive technologies--and people

7 7 Types of disability n Cognitive/learning n Auditory n Visual n Motor/physical n Speech

8 8 Some working numbers n 54,000,000 Americans have disabilities u 1 in 5 (1 in 2 for people over 65) n 5.9 million children with disabilities in U.S. schools (462,000 in Texas) n Only 428,000 in all higher ed (1998-99)

9 9 Accessibility in law and policy n Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 n Americans with Disabilities Act (1990) n Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (rev. 1998)

10 10 Section 504 and Section 508 n Section 504 of the Rehab. Act (1973): u all programs and activities of educational institutions receiving federal funds must be accessible to otherwise-qualified individuals with disabilities n Complying with Section 508 accessibility standards is best way to meet 504 requirements where IT is concerned

11 11 Section 508 Web Standards n 16 specific provisions, (a) – (p) n Effective date: June 21, 2001 n We’ll concentrate on the most important provisions of Section 508

12 12 508 Standards in 3 Categories n Every page accessibility (3 provisions) u Apply to virtually every Web page u We’ll add a few more n Accessible technologies (9 provisions) u Appear on specific pages for specific purposes n Precautions/things to avoid (4 provisions)

13 13 Every Page Accessibility n Text equivalents (a) n Skip navigation (o) n Cascading Style Sheets (d) n Plus… u Relative sizes for fonts, etc. u Clear, informative link text

14 14 Alt Text: Provision n (a) A text equivalent for every non-text element shall be provided(e.g., via alt, longdesc, or in element content) n The issue: Imagine listening to all pages or using a browser that shows only text. Without text equivalents (alt text), people using these would be lost.

15 15 Alt Text Requirements n Every image element must have an alt attribute n Images that don’t convey meaning should have empty alt attributes (alt=“”) n Image links must have meaningful alt text n Graphical buttons and image map hotspots also need meaningful alt

16 16 Alt Text Examples & No-Nos n Accessibility Institute How-Tos and Demos at n bility/resource/how_to/index.html bility/resource/how_to/index.html

17 17 Alt Text Exercise n What should the alt text be for the following: u A blue arrow that links to the next page; u A blue arrow repeated around the borders of a page u Thumbnail photo of of blind woman that links to home page from every page on site about blindness u Same image linked to information about the woman In the photo

18 18 Skip Navigation Links n (o) A method shall be provided that permits users to skip repeated navigation links. n The issue: Because screen readers read left to right and top to bottom, users often have to listen to all navigation links before getting to the main content on every page.

19 19 Skip Navigation Examples n UT Home Page at

20 20 Style Sheets n (d) Documents shall be organized so they are readable without requiring an associated style sheet. n The issue: Style sheets are best for Web layout. But the visual order can be different from the order for reading aloud, so authors must take care to preserve readability.

21 21 Style Sheet Essentials n Style sheets are an asset to accessibility but are ignored by ssistive technology (screen readers, etc..). So: u Don’t use style sheets to convey essential information! n Pages shouldn’t depend onstyle sheets for content n Be careful with color and positioning n Check pages with style sheets turned off

22 22 Accessible Technologies n Forms (n) n Tables (g, h) n Multimedia (b) n Applets and plug-ins/media players (m) n Image Maps (e, f) n Scripts (l) n Frames (i)

23 23 Data Tables: Provisions n (g) Row and column headers shall be identified for data tables. n (h) Markup shall be used to associate data cells and header cells for data tables that have two or more logical levels of row or column headers. n Issue: Tables are meant for the eye, not the ear

24 24 Table Examples: Simple Table n Identifying row and column headers n bility/resource/how_to/table/headers/he aders.html bility/resource/how_to/table/headers/he aders.html

25 25 Table Example: Complex Table n Associating data cells and header cells n bility/resource/how_to/table/complex/co mplex.html bility/resource/how_to/table/complex/co mplex.html

26 26 Forms: The Provision n When electronic forms are designed to be completed online, the form shall allow people using assistive technologies to access the information, field elements, and and functionality required for completion and submission of the form, including all directions and cues.

27 27 Forms: The Issue n “”What am I supposed to do here?” People using screen reders and other assistive technology need to know what information is required, what’s optional, and what choices are available.

28 28 Form Requirements: Position Prompts n Position prompts immediately adjacent to form controls: u To the left of text boxes and select menus u To the right of radio buttons and checkboxes

29 29 Form Requirements: Associate Prompts with Controls n Use the element to associate prompts with form controls (,,, etc.) n Use the title attribute if there isn’t room for a on the screen n Use and to associate groups of radio buttons with questions/prompts

30 30 Form Examples n Bad form n Labeling input fields with n Labeling input fields with the title attribute n Radio buttons using,, and n bility/resource/how_to/index.html

31 31 Multimedia: The Provision n (b) Equivalent alternatives for any multimedia presentation shall be synchronized with the presentation. n The issue: people with impaired hearing can’t follow soundtrack; people with impaired vision can’t follow video track

32 32 Transcripts, captions, and descriptions n Transcripts and captions benefit people who… u Can’t hear the soundtrack u Aren’t native speakers u Are learning to read or have reading difficulties n Audio description benefits people who can’t see the video

33 33 Transcripts n Word-for-word transcription of speech and other significant sounds, e.g., laughter, applause, song lyrics; indicate speaker changes n Required for audio-only spoken word materials n Display on screen with link to audio or vice versa n Transcript is basis for captions

34 34 Captions u Word-for-word text representation of speech and other significant sound in video or Flash movies that include soundtracks Synchronize with video so captions appear as words are spoken Show speaker changes, significant sounds such as laughter, applause, song lyrics, ringing telephones, off-screen speech May be open (everyone sees) or closed (user chooses)

35 35 Audio description n Brief narrative description of significant onscreen events that can’t be inferred or understood from the soundtrack alone n Synchronized with video u Audio descriptions are inserted into natural pauses in the dialogue so as not to interfere with primary audio track n Not all video requires audio description

36 36 Multimedia Examples n Captioned and described video n Sextet video clip at gen/research/accessibility/video/real/rea l_sextet_short.smil gen/research/accessibility/video/real/rea l_sextet_short.smil n National Center for Accessible Media n

37 37 Other Multimedia Issues n Flash and Shockwave pose severe accessibility problems n SMIL (Syncrhonized Multimedia Integration Language) is a good solution n MAGpie (Media Access Generator from National Center for Accessible Media)

38 38 Testing and Evaluating n Types of testing u Automated testing u Compliance checking u Expert review u User testing

39 39 Automated Testing: Bobby n Bobby Worldwide n Bobby Client n Automated check detects about 28% of potential problems n Reports items that require user check

40 40 Compliance Checking: Bobby’s User Checks n Bobby and other automated tools report items that require informed manual review n User checks are listed even if the item is OK n Compliance does not equal accessibility!

41 41 Expert Review n Performed by someone who is experienced with assistive technology, Web design, plus accessiblity standards and usability practices

42 42 User Testing n Include people with disabilities in user tests n Design test scenarios n Evaluate results n Go back to drawing board…

43 43 Participate in AIR-Austin! n A one-day “rally” for accessible design n Donate your expertise to help an Austin- area nonprofit put up an accessible Web site n Win recognition for your work n Info at http://www.knowbility.org

44 44 Participate in AIR-UT! n Accessibility Internet Rally for UT n Kick-off in May n Deadline Fall n Produced by Knowbility in conjunction with annual AIR-Austin competition n See last year’s event info at

45 45 Contact Information John Slatin Accessibility Institute, FAC 248C 495-4288 (ph), 495-4524 (fax)

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