Module 4: Principles, Standards, and Checks

Introduction

Courses based on this module:

Learning Outcomes for Module

Students should be able to:

Competencies

Skills required for this module.

Students:

Instructors:

Topics to Teach

Optional topics to achieve the learning outcomes.

Topic: Principles of Web Accessibility

Introduce the web accessibility concepts Perceivable, Operable, Understandable, and Robust (POUR). For an explanation of these concepts, see Understanding the Four Principles of Accessibility. For an introduction to some web accessibility requirements belonging to each principle, refer to Accessibility Principles.

Introduce the web accessibility concepts Perceivable, Operable, Understandable, and Robust (POUR). Refer to Accessibility Principles.

Learning Outcomes for Topic

Students should be able to:

  • Explain the concepts of Perceivable, Operable, Understandable, and Robust as principles of web accessibility.
  • List requirements of each of the principles.

Teaching Ideas for Topic

Optional ideas to teach the learning outcomes:

  • Explain the web accessibility concepts: Perceivable information and user interface, Operable user interface and navigation, Understandable information and user interface, and Robust content and reliable interpretation.
  • Provide examples of each of the principles.
  • Introduce how different design and development roles have responsibility for different parts of each principle.

Ideas to Assess Knowledge for Topic

Optional ideas to support assessment:

  • Report — Students write a summary describing the four principles of web accessibility. Assess students’ capacity to provide examples, such as Captions and Other Alternatives for Multimedia under the principle Perceivable.
  • Debate — Students provide and discuss with others further examples of each principle (beyond what is in the W3C “Accessibility Principles” resource). Assess students’ capacity to expand the applicability of the principles.
  • Presentation — Students choose a principle and explain why it is essential for people with disabilities, and how it benefits many people. Assess students’ capacity to relate the accessibility principles to specific examples of how people with disabilities use the web.

Topic: W3C Accessibility Standards

Introduce the scope of the W3C accessibility standards. It includes desktop and mobile websites and applications, authoring tools (like Content Management Systems, CMS), and user agents (like web browsers). Refer to W3C Accessibility Standards Overview.

Learning Outcomes

Students should be able to:

  • List the W3C accessibility standards: WCAG, ATAG, UAAG, and WAI-ARIA.
  • Describe their structure, principles, guidelines, success criteria, and the type of audience and components they address.
  • Explain how these standards, web technologies, and accessibility components are related.
  • Explain the role that consistent standards play in increasing the accessibility of the Web for people with disabilities.
  • Describe how and why the public approach of standards development involves people with disabilities, industry, public bodies, and other individuals.

Teaching Ideas

Optional ideas to teach the learning outcomes:

  • Explain the overall structure and sections of the standards. Relate them to web technologies and components such as HTML, authoring tools, web browsers, assistive tools, and media players. Refer to Essential Components of Web Accessibility.
  • Highlight that W3C updates standards periodically. Underline that updates respond to changes in technologies, components, and user needs.
  • Refer to the inclusion of W3C accessibility standards in different policies and standards internationally.
  • Explain that WAI develops these standards following the W3C process, with involvement of people with disabilities, industry, public, and research bodies, and individual experts. Refer to How WAI Develops Accessibility Standards through the W3C Process: Milestones and Opportunities to Contribute page, Community Collaboration section.
  • Discuss with students the specific role of each of the standards mentioned and compare them with other relevant technical guidelines (if any). Refer to Why Standards Harmonization is Essential to Web Accessibility

Ideas to Assess Knowledge

Optional ideas to support assessment:

  • Report — Students write a short report about each standard, focusing on their scope and overall structure. Assess students’ capacity to elaborate on the web technologies and components these standards address.
  • Debate — From a given set of accessibility issues, students discuss and decide which standard and specific section covers each issue. Assess students’ capacity to apply knowledge of accessibility standards to real accessibility issues.
  • Presentation — Students present accessibility laws and policies in their region, if any. Students specify if they have been adopted from W3C standards. If not, students give a brief overview of similarities and differences to the W3C accessibility standards. Assess students’ capacity to identify aspects of accessibility standards such as scope, applicability, normative / non-normative sections, etc.
  • Portfolio — Students research if there are further technical guidelines for accessibility in a given organization. Students specify if they diverge from W3C accessibility standards. Assess student’s capacity to outline overall differences and similarities between the chosen guidelines.

Topic: Hands-on Experience of Standards

Give students hands-on experience checking how web pages have implemented accessibility principles and WCAG standards, or not. Use examples from Easy Checks - A First Review of Web Accessibility.

NOTE: In this topic, students can try their knowledge of accessibility principles and standards. Accessibility evaluation is beyond the scope of this module. It requires more skills and accessibility knowledge than has been taught so far.

Learning Outcomes

Students should be able to:

  • Identify potential accessibility barriers.
  • Relate their findings to the relevant WCAG success criteria.

Teaching Ideas

Optional ideas to teach the learning outcomes.

  • Introduce students to basic accessibility checks. Anyone using the web can perform these checks. Note that the tools listed in Easy Checks are advisable but not required to perform the checks.
  • Ask students to check different types of web pages and relate their findings to the accessibility principles and standards.

Ideas to Assess Knowledge

Optional ideas to support assessment:

  • Guided Quiz — From a given set of accessibility checks, students explain which principle(s) and success criteria they belong to. For example, students select the check Page Titles and attach it to the principle Operable. Assess students’ capacity to relate some checks with their corresponding principle(s).
  • Practice — Students choose three accessibility checks from Easy Checks. Students try the checks on several web pages and report results. Assess students’ capacity to relate the checks to specific groups of users and point to solutions for the problems they found in the analyzed websites.

Ideas to Assess Knowledge

Optional ideas to support assessment:

Teaching Resources

Suggested resources to support your teaching:

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