Accessibility is a general term used to describe the degree to which a product (e.g., device, service, environment) is accessible by as many people as possible, and the ventures to produce accessible products and services. Accessibility is often used to focus on people with disabilities and their right of access to entities, often through use of assistive technology.
The paper focuses on how some of the W3C Accessibility Guidelines are currently used in optimising web sites for search engines and how the rest will be or should be used in the near future for the same purpose. The paper studies the influence search engines have over marketers and optimisers and how they have a moral responsibility to their users to make web content more accessible. There have been papers before pointing out various benefits of web accessibility. This particular paper targets search engine optimisers and site owners, in fact, a large percentage of people who have influence over how accessible content is. It gives them the right incentive to use the W3C guidelines more widely.
This presentation describes how creating an accessible website takes care of its (organic) search engine optimization to a very appreciable extent taking reference from the WCAG 2.0 working draft and the Google webmaster guidelines.This presentation was created and presented by Abhay Rautela to the Sapient creative community at the New Delhi office in February 2007.
This progression round-table discussion explores the role of secondary disabilities that can magnify the effects of primary disabilities, triggering a downward spiral that leads to greater impairment, depression, and even total surrender--a classic vicious circle. The objective is to share personal experiences and look for ways to break the vicious circle early-- before the secondary disability compounds the effects of the primary disability. The strategy to combat this insidious syndrome is three-fold: (1) optimal medical treatment of the primary disability to minimize its effects, (2) maximum technological accommodations to compensate for the remaining deficit after medical options have been exhausted, and (3) psychological intervention to interrupt and reverse the secondary disability pattern before it creates the downward spiral--in essence, 'blasting a hole' in the vicious circle.
One of the lesser-known benefits of web accessibility is the fact that a website more accessible to people is also more accessible to search engines. This article outlines the ways the two areas overlap.
Web accessibility has so many benefits that I really do wonder why such a large number of Websites have such diabolically bad accessibility. One of the main benefits is increased usability, which, according to usability guru, Jakob Nielsen, can increase the sales/conversion rate of a Website by 100%, and traffic by 150%.
One of the main benefits of Web accessibility is that a Website that's more accessible to people is also usually more accessible to search engines. The more accessible your site is to search engines, the more confidently they can guess what the site's about, giving your site a better chance at the top spot in the search engine rankings.
The Center's resources are intended to inform and advise graphic designers, document authors, content managers and policy makers who need to understand how Section 508 and WCAG 2.0 apply to PDF documents, and what they can do about it.
The following standards are excerpted from Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, §1194.22. Everything in the left hand column is a direct quote from Section 508. The other two columns are only meant to serve as helpful guidelines to comply with Section 508.
Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended in 1998, requires federal departments and agencies, including the United States Postal Service, to comply with accessibility requirements when procuring, developing, using or maintaining electronic and information technology (E&IT), unless doing so causes an undue burden (significant difficulty or expense). E&IT with accessibility requirements pertinent to people with hearing disabilities include: telephones; televisions; videotapes and DVDs; multimedia web sites; interactive voice response systems, and information kiosks. Where steps and physical barriers kept people with physical disabilities out of the workforce and out of government buildings three decades ago, videos and web pages without captioning; telephones without amplification; interactive voice response systems that do not support TTY signals; phone configurations that do not support VCO (voice carry over); and phone systems with no TTY jacks are examples of barriers today. Congress identified the federal government as the proper place to begin tackling these problems. Through the Section 508 amendment, the federal government has been given the responsibility to set an example for the rest of the country by being a model employer and providing exemplary service to its customers with disabilities by showing that access can be achieved in a reasonable way and that information technology access will benefit all people. The Section 508 statute directed the U.S. Access Board to develop access standards for this technology. The process began with a report presented to the board by an advisory committee it convened and ended with the 508 Standards being incorporated in their entirety into the federal procurement regulations.
A website containing templates for producing accessible design using Adobe software products. These documents detail the accessibility features of Adobe products in the context of U.S. government regulations as contained in Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.
Web design at Federal departments and agencies just got orders of magnitude more complex. In 1998, President Clinton signed into law Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The law, aimed at making government technology accessible to 120,000 disabled federal employees and 50 million other disabled Americans, went into effect June 21, 2001. Unlike the OSHA Ergonomic Program that was universally reviled by the Republican Administration and was immediately repealed upon President Bush taking office, Section 508 has been widely endorsed by President Bush and his Cabinet. This rule is here to stay. Commended by disability groups throughout the nation, Section 508 is an important step in making technology accessible to everyone. With hundreds of government agencies rethinking their technology investments, the effects of Section 508 will be felt throughout the public and private sectors. Section 508 marks the beginning of a new era in technology development. For the first time disabled employees and users of government-sponsored technology are in the driver's seat. And the controls they need are no small matter.
Section 508 requires that Federal agencies' electronic and information technology is accessible to people with disabilities. The Center for Information Technology Accommodation (CITA), in the U.S. General Services Administration's Office of Governmentwide Policy, has been charged with the task of educating Federal employees and building the infrastructure necessary to support Section 508 implementation. Using this web site, Federal employees and the public can access resources for understanding and implementing the requirements of Section 508.
To test your sites in VoiceOver you obviously need to know how to use it to navigate the Web. There are many, many keyboard shortcuts that can be used to control VoiceOver – way too many for me to learn them all by heart. So I’ve looked through Apple’s VoiceOver Getting Started guide and VoiceOver key-command chart (PDF file) and picked the commands I find most useful.
Sighted people are able to quickly scan over an entire Web page. They can visually skip past the advertisements, past the main navigation and go directly to the main content. They can ignore the extraneous information all around the main content, without ever having to pay attention to it. Those who use screen readers experience Web sites a little differently. They are not able to immediately zero in on the main content of a Web page. They must find it by listening to the advertisements and the main navigation system. They can speed up the process by tabbing from link to link, but they risk missing an important piece of information this way. The experience is definitely different.
With the rapid spread of the Internet across society, government institutions are taking advantage of digital technology to distribute materials to citizens. Is merely having a website enough, or are there certain usability considerations site creators must keep in mind to assure efficient public access to online materials? This project looked at typical people's ability to locate various types of content online, in particular, their ability to find tax forms on the web. Findings suggest that people look for content in a myriad of ways, and there is considerable variance in how long people take to complete this online task. Users are often confused by the ways in which content is presented to them. In this paper, two common sources of confusion in users' online experiences with locating tax forms online are distinguished: (1) URL confusion and (2) page design layout. Ways are also suggested to decrease these two sources of frustration, yielding less exasperating and more productive user experiences.
Some 43 million Americans have disabilities, under the definitions provided in the American Disabilities Act. Only one fourth of working-age Americans with disabilities who are capable of fully productive employment have jobs. Grim statistical realities like these prompted the Society for Technical Communication to form a Special Needs Committee (SNC) to address the needs of its members (as well as its end users) who have disabilities. This article provides a brief history of the SNC, outlines its goals and objectives, and introduces some of its members. The SNC welcomes the development of a “sister” group within the American Translators Association (ATA), and would like to pool resources to help fellow professionals whose careers—and lives—have been derailed by disabilities.
There are some things in the world of accessibility that appear, on the face of it, to be really wonderful ideas… until you scratch slightly below the service. What may seem feasible when putting together some guidelines on accessibility might not ultimately translate well to a real-world application. Hands up who can remember the last time they felt compelled to use a longdesc attribute? And what about the accesskey attribute? Oh, you have used them you say. OK, let’s back up a little and find out what went wrong here.
While pursuing my undergraduate degree in business education, I took an entire semester-long course on writing good learner goals and objectives. Though I won't pass on everything I learned, I do want to stress the importance of establishing goals and objectives for your learners (as well as for yourself) and provide some tips for establishing effective, measurable goals and objectives.
We describe the challenges of understanding and setting usability requirements for a web site containing a form. We define 'usability requirements.' Ideally, usability requirements should be defined early in a project. In practice, we often find that the first opportunity we have is when we are asked to undertake an evaluation. Collecting the users' opinions of the requirements as part of the evaluation can often prompt the organization into investigating the users, leading to a better set of requirements and, eventually, a better web site.
There are several reasons inaccessible Web products get published. One we discussed in my last article is that some clients just don’t care about accessibility. Their reasons make a lot of sense if you put yourself in their shoes. Another reason is developer mistakes. Making mistakes is natural, and suffering the consequences and learning from them is what makes us better developers and better people.