Web Accessibility Promotion and Advocacy:
Approaches and Resources
[ATIA 2010 Handout]

Shawn Lawton Henry

W3CWeb Accessibility initiative

WAI Home page: www.w3.org/WAI/
A more comprehensive version of this information is online at www.w3.org/WAI/Resources/

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.

Introducing Accessibility

The Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) develops strategies, guidelines, and resources to help make the Web accessible to people with disabilities. The following WAI resources are intended to provide basic information for people who are new to Web accessibility.

Accessibility - W3C
Briefly introduces Web accessibility and links to additional resources.
Introduction to Web Accessibility
Briefly 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.
Introduction to "How People with Disabilities Use the Web"
Introduces detailed examples of people with different disabilities using Web sites, applications, browsers, and authoring tools.
Links to handouts for you to print and distribute at conferences, presentations, and other outreach opportunities.

Guidelines & Techniques

WAI develops a series of accessibility standards and guidelines that are introduced in
Essential Components of Web Accessibility ( www.w3.org/WAI/intro/components ) and listed below:

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Overview
Addresses the information in a Web site, including text, images, forms, sounds, and such.
Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA) Overview
Addresses dynamic Web content and Web applications developed with Ajax, DHTML, and other Web technologies.
Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG) Overview
Addresses software that creates Web sites.
User Agent Accessibility Guidelines (UAAG) Overview
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.
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.

Managing Accessibility

Policy Resources
Links to:
  • Why Standards Harmonization is Essential to Web Accessibility
  • International Policies Relating to Web Accessibility
  • Developing Organizational Policies on Web Accessibility
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.
Implementing 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.
  • Mobile Resources:
    • Web Content Accessibility and Mobile Web: Making a Web Site Accessible Both for People with Disabilities and for Mobile Devices
    • Experiences Shared by People with Disabilities and by People Using Mobile Devices
  • Selecting and Using Authoring Tools for Web Accessibility
Technical Papers
Links to WAI technical papers and and proceedings from research and development events, including
  • Overview of "Web Accessibility for Older Users: A Literature Review"
  • Inaccessibility of CAPTCHA

Evaluating Accessibility

"Evaluating Web Sites for Accessibility" is a multi-page resource suite that outlines different approaches for evaluating Web sites 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 Web site 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 Web Sites for Accessibility" resource suite covers different aspects of evaluation, including:

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.

About WAI

WAI works with organizations around the world to develop guidelines and resources to help make the Web accessible to people with disabilities.

Participating in WAI
Describes participation opportunities ranging from volunteering to implement, promote, and review guidelines, to occasional participation in an interest group, to dedicated participation in a working group.
WAI Projects
Links to information on projects such as the Web Accessibility Initiative: Ageing Education and Harmonisation (WAI-AGE) Project ( www.w3.org/WAI/WAI-AGE ).

Usable Accessibility Resources, uiAccess

Just Ask: Integrating Accessibility Throughout Design
A book that helps designers and developers create websites, software, hardware, and consumer products that are accessible to people with disabilities, provide a better user experience for all, and realize the additional benefits of accessibility. Available online.
Videos of How People with Disabilities use ICT
Lists videos of people with disabilities using information and communications technology (ICT), especially with assistive technologies (AT).
Transcripts on the Web: Getting people to your podcasts and videos
Summary: It's easy and relatively inexpensive for website developers to provide transcripts for multimedia. It many cases transcripts are required by law to provide access to information for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Transcripts are an SEO silver bullet for audio and video, and bring more people to your podcast, videos, and website.