World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
"Leading the Web to its full potential"
- Directed by web-inventor Tim Berners-Lee
- International, vendor-neutral consortium
- Multi-stakeholder, consensus process
- Develops open, royalty-free web standards:
- HTML, CSS, XML, SVG, SMIL, ...
- Operates from MIT, ERCIM, and Keio
Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)
WAI develops strategies, guidelines, resources to make the Web accessible:
- Accessibility support in W3C technologies
- Guidelines for implementing accessibility
- Methods for evaluating accessibility
- Conducting education and outreach
- Coordinating with Research and Development
People with Disabilities
Web accessibility is people with disabilities:
- Vision - blind, partial sight, color, ...
- Hearing - deaf, hard of hearing, ...
- Physical - missing limbs, paralysis, ...
- Cognitive - dyslexia, intellectual, ...
- Neurological - seizures, sclerosis, ...
- People with ageing-related conditions
Web Accessibility Barriers
Examples of barriers on the Web include:
- Images, videos, audio with no alternative text
- Layout and font do not expand and shrink well
- Forms and controls can not be used by keyboard
- Inconsistent and/or overly complex navigation
- Script events are device and browser dependent
- User control, natural language, ...
Relevance of Web Accessibility
The Web has become an essential medium for:
- news, information, commerce, entertainment,
- classroom education, distance learning,
- job searching, workplace interaction,
- civic participation, government services
Access to information has been recognized as human right by the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD)
Accessibility for Everyone
Web accessibility benefits many users:
- Low literacy or computer skills
- Temporal functional limitations
- Situation or external influence
- Limited bandwidth connectivity
- Legacy hardware and software
- Mobile and ambient technologies
Up to 65% benefit from accessibility (Microsoft, 2005)
Benefits of Web Accessibility
Web accessibility has business benefits:
- Increase audience reach and market share
- Increase search engine ranking (SEO)
- More usability and customer satisfaction
- Reduce maintenance and redesign costs
- Improve the access for mobile Web users
- Increase server and bandwidth efficiency
- Support older and newer technologies
Scope of Web Accessibility
Web accessibility is supported by several key components:
- Base Format - technologies such as (X)HTML, CSS, SVG, SMIL, PDF, Flash, Silverlight, ...
- Authoring Tools - code editors, CMS, blog, wiki, save-as tools, conversion tools, ...
- User Agents - Web browsers, media players, browser plug-ins, assisitive technology, ...
- Web Content - text, images, audio, video, code, markup, structure, presentation, ...
Components of Web Accessibility
Example of Accessibility
WAI Accessibility Guidelines
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) develops and maintains:
Web Accessibility Evaluation
Some quick steps to evaluate your website:
- Ask users (caution of responses)
- Use tools (caution of limitations)
- Cursory checking:
- Put the mouse away and use the keyboard alone
- Reduce the window size and increase the fonts
- Turn off the use of images in your browser, ...