Making the Web Work for People with Disabilities
Illinois Department of Innovation & Technology
Office of Information Accessibility
What is accessibility?
Usable by people with disabilities:
- Low vision, blindness, color blindness
- Limited use of hands
- Deafness or hardness of hearing
- Cognitive or learning disabilities
Compatible with assistive technologies:
- Screen magnifiers (ZoomText)
- Screen readers (JAWS, NVDA, VoiceOver)
- Alternate keyboard & mouse devices
- Speech recognition (Dragon, WSR)
- Reading aids (Kurzweil, Read&Write)
Why is accessibility important?
- 10-20% of Illinoisans have or will have a disability
- An aging population has increasing accessibility needs
- Accessibility, usability, and mobility often go hand-in-hand
How do we make web sites accessible?
- Automated Testing
- "Quick Tests"
- Assistive Technologies
- No software can test everything
- Accessibility requires manual tests
- You need to recognize when they makes mistakes...
- "The absence of errors DOES NOT mean your page is accessible or compliant."
- "We never indicate that your page is accessible or if it has 'passed'."
- "Only a human can determine true accessibility."
- Turn on High Contrast (Alt + Shift + Print Screen) & Zoom to 200%
- Check that nothing important disappears
- Turn off High Contrast
- Use the Colour Contrast Analyzer
- "Tab" through links, form fields, custom controls
- Check that:
- All interactive elements receive visible focus
- Focus moves between elements in a logical order, and
- All elements can be operated using standard keyboard commands.
- Plus: "Skip to Main Content"
- Using a screen reader is very different
- Put down the mouse, turn off your monitor
- "Cheating" invalidates your tests (and wastes everyone's time...)
Keys to Success
- Test early! (during prototyping, when picking libraries...)
- Know what your tools can/can't do! (manual checks, false positives)
- Know when to ask for help!