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WAI: Strategies, guidelines, resources to make the Web accessible to people with disabilities

WAI Resources

Page Contents

This page lists the primary resources from WAI. For a complete list, see the WAI Site Map.

Getting Started with Web Accessibility

The Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) develops strategies, guidelines, and resources to help make the Web accessible to people with disabilities. Please look around the WAI website and let us know if you can't find what you're looking for or have any suggestions.

For People who Use the Web

Better Web Browsing: Tips for Customizing Your Computer
Provides references to help you customize your particular web browser and computer setup, including links to detailed documentation and step-by-step guides.
Contacting Organizations about Inaccessible Websites
Encourages telling organizations about accessibility barriers on their website. Provides guidance on identifying key contacts, describing the problem, and following up as needed. Includes tips and sample e-mails.

Accessibility Basics

Accessibility - W3C W3C page
The first place to start for a short introduction to Web accessibility.
Introduction to Web Accessibility
Introduces Web accessibility and links to additional resources.
Essential Components of Web Accessibility
Shows how Web accessibility depends on several components of Web development and interaction working together and shows the relationship between the WAI guidelines: Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG), and User Agent Accessibility Guidelines (UAAG).
Developing a Web Accessibility Business Case for Your Organization
Presents benefits and costs of Web accessibility and includes guidance on incorporating these aspects into a specific organization's business case. Includes separate pages for Social Factors, Technical Factors, Financial Factors, and Legal & Policy Factors, and a collection of supporting Resources.

Designing for Inclusion

Inclusive design, design for all, digital inclusion, universal usability, and similar efforts address a broad range of issues in making technology available to and usable by all people whatever their abilities, age, economic situation, education, geographic location, language, etc. Accessibility focuses on people with disabilities — people with auditory, cognitive, neurological, physical, speech, and visual impairments. The documents below explore some of the overlaps between inclusive design and web accessibility, and help managers, designers, developers, policy makers, researchers, and others optimize their efforts in these overlapping areas.

How People with Disabilities Use the Web
Introduces detailed examples of people with different disabilities using websites, applications, browsers, and authoring tools.
Web Accessibility and Older People: Meeting the Needs of Ageing Web Users
Introduces how the accessibility needs of older people with age-related impairments are similar to the accessibility needs of people with disabilities, and how existing international guidelines address them. Links to resources for developers, managers, researchers, advocates, and others, such as:
Web Content Accessibility and Mobile Web: Making a Web Site Accessible Both for People with Disabilities and for Mobile Devices
Introduces the significant overlap between making a website accessible for a mobile device and for people with disabilities. Links to:

Guidelines & Techniques

WAI develops a series of accessibility standards and guidelines that are introduced in Essential Components of Web Accessibility and listed below:

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Overview, WCAG 2.0
How to Meet WCAG 2.0 (Quick Reference)
Addresses the information in a Web site, including text, images, forms, sounds, and such.
Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA) Suite Overview
Addresses dynamic Web content and Web applications developed with Ajax, DHTML, and other Web technologies.
Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG) Overview, ATAG 1.0
Addresses software that creates Web sites.
User Agent Accessibility Guidelines (UAAG) Overview, UAAG 1.0
Addresses Web browsers and media players, and relates to assistive technologies.
Evaluation and Report Language (EARL) Overview
Addresses the expression of Web site evaluation test results in a platform independent format.
WAI Technical Papers
Links to technical papers, including the W3C Note on Inaccessible Captcha the letters 'captcha' difficult to read on complex background and proceedings from research and development events.
Referencing and Linking to WAI Guidelines and Technical Documents
Provides guidance on references and links, along with WCAG links for policies, tools support, and others.
How WAI Develops Accessibility Guidelines through the W3C Process: Milestones and Opportunities to Contribute
Introduces how WAI works through a process designed to ensure broad community input and encourage consensus development.

Planning & Implementing Web Accessibility

Policy Resources

Developing Organizational Policies on Web Accessibility
Describes considerations when making simple or comprehensive policies for organizations.
Why Standards Harmonization is Essential to Web Accessibility
Explains the key role that harmonization of standards plays in increasing the accessibility of the Web for people with disabilities.
International Policies Relating to Web Accessibility
Links to information on government policies relating to Web accessibility in different countries around the world.

Managing Accessibility

Implementation Plan for Web Accessibility
Outlines considerations for planning a process for implementing accessibility.
Improving the Accessibility of Your Web Site
Provides approaches and tips for fixing accessibility barriers in existing Web sites; in other words, repairing accessibility problems, or retrofitting a site to improve accessibility.
Involving Users in Web Projects for Better, Easier Accessibility
Describes how project managers, designers, and developers can better understand accessibility issues and implement more effective accessibility solutions in their websites and web applications; browsers, media players, and assistive technologies; authoring tools such as content management systems (CMS), blog software, and WYSIWYG editors; standards and policies on accessibility; web technologies and technical specifications.
Selecting and Using Authoring Tools for Web Accessibility
Provides information to help find authoring tools that support accessibility and work around the gaps in existing authoring tools.

Evaluating Web Accessibility Overview

"Evaluating Websites for Accessibility" is a multi-page resource suite that outlines different approaches for evaluating websites for accessibility. While it does not provide checkpoint-by-checkpoint testing techniques, it does provide general procedures and tips for evaluation in different situations, from evaluation during website development to ongoing monitoring of existing sites. The approaches in these pages are intended to supplement other content management and quality assurance procedures.

The "Evaluating Websites for Accessibility" resource suite includes the following documents:

Preliminary Review of Websites for Accessibility
Describes an approach to quickly identify some potential accessibility problems on a website.
Conformance Evaluation of Websites for Accessibility
Describes an approach for determining if a website meets accessibility standards, such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
Evaluation Approaches for Specific Contexts
Describes evaluation during the development process, ongoing monitoring, evaluation of legacy sites, and evaluation of dynamically generated Web pages.
Involving Users in Web Accessibility Evaluation
Provides guidance on including people with disabilities ("users") in accessibility evaluation throughout Web development.
Selecting Web Accessibility Evaluation Tools
Provides guidance on choosing which Web accessibility evaluation tools to use to help evaluate Web accessibility.
Web Accessibility Evaluation Tools List Search
Provides a comprehensive list of Web accessibility evaluation tools that is searchable and sortable.
Using Combined Expertise to Evaluate Web Accessibility
Describes the composition, training, and operation of teams of reviewers evaluating accessibility of websites.
Template for Accessibility Evaluation Reports
Presents a format for communicating results of a Web accessibility evaluation.

Web Accessibility Presentations and Tutorials

Most of the material linked from this section is primarily for trainers; however, the presentations and Before-After Demo are also useful for self-study. Other parts of the WAI website provide specific guidance on topics such as improving the accessibility of your website, understanding WCAG 2.0, and how to meet WCAG 2.0.

How to Make Your Presentations Accessible to All
Provides guidance on ensuring that your presentations are accessible to all of your audience, including participants with disabilities.
Before and After Demonstration (BAD) different format
Shows an inaccessible website and a retrofitted version of the same website. Includes annotations that highlight key accessibility barriers and repairs, and evaluation reports for WCAG 2.0.
Web Accessibility Presentations
Links to materials designed for anyone to use in their own presentations, and material from recent WAI presentations — including presentations on the business case for web accessibility, web accessibility and older users, and the benefits of WCAG 2.
Developing Web Accessibility Presentations and Training
Helps you develop presentations and training on web accessibility. Includes Accessibility Topics, Presentation Outlines, and a Workshop Outline.
Handouts
Links to handouts for you to print and distribute at conferences, presentations, and other outreach opportunities.

Getting Involved with WAI

The Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) brings together individuals and organizations from around the world to develop strategies, guidelines, and resources to help make the Web accessible to people with disabilities. We welcome participants from industry, disability organizations, education, government, research, and others interested in accessibility. We invite you (yes, you!) to get involved in WAI work; see Participating in WAI.

Participating in WAI
Describes opportunities ranging from volunteering to implement, promote, and review guidelines; to occasional participation in an interest group; to dedicated participation in a working group.
About WAI
Introduces the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) mission and organizational structure. Links to information on WAI-AGE and other past projects. Links to:
  • Translating WAI Documents - Provides information on the W3C translation policy, how to coordinate with W3C and WAI when translating documents, priorities for translations of WAI documents, and links to existing translations.
  • Contacting WAI
  • Sponsoring WAI - Lists current sponsors and provides contacts for getting information on becoming a WAI sponsor.
Using WAI Material
Describes permissions to use WAI material under two conditions.
Getting WAI Announcements
Links to tweets, RSS feeds, e-mail lists; and archives of:
WAI Groups
Links to the Working Groups that develop accessibility guidelines and related work, and Interest Groups that provide a forum for discussing web accessibility issues:

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