Inclusive Online Education

Shadi Abou-Zahra, W3C/WAI

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World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)

"Leading the Web to its full potential"

W3C Structure

Operates from MIT, ERCIM, and Keio with ~350 Member Organizations from

W3C Standardization

W3C Process governs W3C development:

W3C Work Areas

W3C Technology Stack described at

Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)

WAI develops strategies, guidelines, resources to make the Web accessible:

What is Web Accessibility?

Web accessibility means that people with disabilities can use the Web.

Why is it Important?

The Web has become an essential medium for:

Access to information has been recognized as human right by the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD)

Barriers on the Web

Web accessibility barriers for people with disabilities include:

Web Accessibility Principles

Any content on the Web must be:

Additional User Benefits

Web accessibility also benefits many other users:

Up to 65% can benefit from accessibility (source: Microsoft Research)

Resulting Business Benefits

Web accessibility provides business benefits:

Scope of Web Accessibility

Web accessibility is supported by several key components:

Components of Web Accessibility

Essential Components of Web Accessibility

Example: Accessible Publishing

specific example for alternative text on images which is a requirements by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0. Web developers provide text alternatives for the images using authoring tools. The HTML specification provides a mechanism to supplement images with such text. Finally, this redundant coding is used by browsers and assistive technology to convey the information to the end users according to their preferences, for example visually, through voice synthesis, or in form of text.

WAI Accessibility Guidelines

W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) develops and maintains:

Relevance for e-Learning

Principles of Web accessibility are closely related to online learning:

Example: Accessible Content

Accessible content improves the quality of the e-Learning systems:


Inclusion of people with disabilities and older people in online education is:


Shadi Abou-Zahra, W3C/WAI
Activity Lead, WAI International Program Office