Accessibility

Accessible Web Design allows people with Visual, Hearing or Motor disabilities to navigate the content of the pages without any constraints, making sure that all Internet users can perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the Web.

Accessibility Issues

In order to ensure a web page is accessible to any visitor, the following issues must be addressed:
  • Check for all elements used to format the page text:
    • The page must still make sense without using the associated cascading style sheet.
    • Increasing the font size to the largest option mustn't make the text unreadable.
    • Check the high-contrast settings to make sure that after changing all font and background colors the page is still readable.
    • There must exist "Alt" text for every image or multimedia object that conveys content.
  • Test for linearization:
    • Copy all text and paste it into a word processing document to ensure that still makes sense linearized and without graphics.
    • Print each page on a black and white printer to see if the absence of color hides any content or creates confusion.
  • Test the Navigation:
    • Test if you can navigate the entire site using only the keyboard.
    • Test that the logical tab order for the page follows the page structure.
The foundation of accessible Web design is the concept that all pages must be accessible by just using the keyboard.
Taking this limitation into account, the following issues should be addressed:
  • Create an interface and navigation scheme that is intuitive and consistent.
  • If needed, create a logical tab order for the page using the "tabindex" attribute.
  • Place navigation elements at top and bottom of pages.
  • Provide methods that permits users to skip repetitive navigation links.
  • Create keyboard shortcuts using the AccessKeys attribute.

Accessibility Resources

  • Section 508
    Resources for understanding and implementing the requirements that make information technology accessible to people with disabilities.
  • AWARE
    Instructions on how to create accessible web design, written by the HTML Writers Guild.
  • Bobby
    Free web-based program that checks web sites for adherence to international accessibility guidelines and provides specific recommendations to correct access problems.
  • UIAccess
    Resources for developing and implementing universal interface design and usable accessibility.
  • Usable Web
    A collection of links about information architecture, human factors, user interface issues, and usable design specific to the World Wide Web.
  • Web Accessibility Initiative
    Guidelines for accessibility in technology, accessible websites, tools, education, research and development for Internet accessibility from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
  • Accessible Web
    An initiative that aims at making the Internet more accessible to everyone. In English, Español, Français, Italiano and Deutsch.
  • Web Accessibility In Mind
    Articles, resources and tutorials concerning Web Accessibility.
  • International Center for Disability Resources on the Internet in Spanish and Portuguese
    Web Accessibility and Disability Resources in Español and Português.