More on Accessibility
Accessible Web Form Creation
There are more than 50 million Americans with disabilities - 18% of our population. By the year 2030, 71.5 million Baby Boomers will be over the age of 65 and demanding products, services, and environments that address their age-related physical changes, be they visual, auditory, cognitive or motor skill-related.
There are multiple coding requirements online web forms must incorporate to ensure they adequately allow ALL individuals equal access. These techniques were “good practices” in the past but are no longer optional.
Having gone through some training on making an online form pass these requirements, Beth Watson will demonstrate:
Everyone is welcome to attend this UTHealth seminar which will be held February 1, 2011 in the School of Nursing building, room 390.
----------------------------beginning of notes from Jennifer Canup, CIW, Director for University Web Communications--------------------------------------
UTHealth Web Authors:
Those of you who attended the 5-week course “Designing Accessible Web Forms” received a brief introduction to WAI-ARIA. Others of you may have never heard this terminology. Below is brief introduction into what its, what it does, and why it’s important.
As website accessibility initiatives ramp up this year, web professionals across campus will be expected to ensure all public-facing content meets the State of Texas guidelines. The University Web Communications team is always happy to consult on questions you might have in this area. Feel free to contact us.
Introduction to WAI-ARIA: it’s accessibility, but not as we know Source: Media Access Australia
As the W3C makes its last call for input on the WAI-ARIA working draft, people often ask why WAI-ARIA was created, how it relates to WCAG 2.0 and why it’s so important. This post will look at the history of WAI-AIRA, and why it can make such a big difference to the accessibility of the Internet.
Why is WAI-ARIA so important?
When the W3C first created the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), its aim was to make sure that people with disabilities could access online content. This was achieved in 1999 with the creation of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 1.0), giving developers specific information on how to create HTML code in an accessible way.
Initially this worked well as in the 1990s a website was often viewed as something that was created once, put online and, aside from a few tweaks, generally left alone. Over time however, Internet users wanted more information and quickly.
The problem for people with disabilities is that while these technologies are impressive in terms of speed and content, they’re not generally very accessible, especially for screen readers. The updated WCAG 2.0 released in 2008 assisted in providing general guidance on the issues, but unlike WCAG 1.0, the guidelines aimed to be more technology-neutral so they could apply to more situations.
As a result, the W3C created a guide specifically for Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) so that developers can make use of the latest cutting-edge web technologies and make sure that people using assistive technology products are able to access the content.
What makes WAI-ARIA so different? Source: Media Access Australia
Unlike traditional accessibility guidelines which focus on design principles, WAI-ARIA uses various commands and metadata to tell the assistive technology products what’s going on. For example, if an event happens on a web page such as an updated sports score, the assistive technology program being used to help a person with a disability will notice the change and provides the user with access to the new content.
WAI-ARIA is different in that it allows a partnership of sorts between the developer and the end user in delivering new information. In addition, WAI-ARIA doesn't have to help with dramatic changes: even just being able to expand a menu and seeing the new options can make a profound difference to accessibility.
In the next post I will go into more detail about the specifics, the promise and the pitfalls of WAI-ARIA as there’s a lot to cover on this topic. In the meantime, the W3C have produced a great WAI-ARIA Primer to assist developers in making a start.
TAC 206.70 is the State of Texas rule that governs us. The State of Texas rule is pretty much the same as the US Government’s Section 508. Some good references are for accessibility are:
Here are the detail for TAC 206:
(a) Effective September 1, 2006, unless an exception is approved by the president or chancellor of an institution of higher education or an exemption has been made for specific technologies pursuant to §213.37 of this title, all new or changed Web pages and Web content shall comply with the standards described in this subchapter. Each institution of higher education shall include in its accessibility policy the following standards/specifications:
(b) Effective September 1, 2006, unless an exception is approved by the president or chancellor of an institution of higher education or an exemption has been made for specific technologies pursuant to §213.37 of this title, all new Web page/site designs shall be tested by the institution of higher education using one or more §508 compliance tools in conjunction with manual procedures to validate compliance with this chapter. Institutions of higher education shall establish policies to monitor their Web site for compliance with this chapter. Additional information about testing tools and resources are available from the department's Web site.
(c) Each state Web site shall avoid vendor specific "non-standard" extensions and shall comply with applicable standards (e.g., IEFT (if using secure socket layer (SSL) connections), W3C (if using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and validated using the W3C CSS Validation Service), etc. For guidance regarding "non-standard" extensions, emerging technologies and applicable standards, state agencies shall refer to the department's guidelines.
(d) The policy should cover testing and validation of Web pages.
(e) Each state Web site should be designed with consideration for the types of Internet connections available to the citizens of Texas, and undergo accessibility and usability testing.
(f) The policy should cover the testing/validation tools and manual procedures used for validating compliance with Chapter 2054, Subchapter M, Texas Government Code.
Source Note: The provisions of this §206.70 adopted to be effective November 28, 2004, 29 TexReg 10712; amended to be effective April 24, 2006, 31 TexReg 3374; amended to be effective September 16, 2008, 33 TexReg 7737
----------------------------end of notes from Jennifer Canup, CIW,
Director for University Web Communications--------------------------------------