Better Web:
Accessible and Standards Compliant

Shadi Abou-Zahra, W3C/WAI

(alternate presentation format available)

World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)

"Leading the Web to its full potential"

Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)

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

Relevance of Web Accessibility

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)

Accessibility and Innovation

Accessibility is a major driver of innovation and invention:

Braille Code, E-Mail, Headphone, Keyboard, Microphone, Personal Digital Assistant (PDA), Printer, Punchcard, Scanner/OCR, Speech Recognition, Speech Synthesis, Spectogram, Subtitling, Talking Books, Telephone, Teletype, Transistor, Voice Indexing, ...

Source: Accessibility and Disability - A History of Innovation by Artur Ortega, Yahoo!

Accessibility and Technology

People with disabilities are early adopters of technology:

Access and Opportunities

Video: Computer Access: In Our Own Words (University of Washington)

People with Disabilities

Web accessibility is people with disabilities:

Web Accessibility Barriers

Examples of barriers on the Web include:

Accessibility for Everyone

Web accessibility benefits many users:

Up to 65% benefit from accessibility (Microsoft, 2005)

Benefits for Businesses

Web accessibility has business benefits:

Scope of Web Accessibility

Web accessibility is supported by several key components:

Components of Web Accessibility

Essential Components of Web Accessibility

Example of Accessibility

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:

Also: WAI-ARIA for accessible web applications.

Web Accessibility Evaluation

For optimal web accessibility evaluation, developers need to:

Skills for Evaluation

Web accessibility evaluation can be done by people with different skills:

Motivations for Evaluation

Evaluation should be carried out throughout the development process:

Sampling Web Pages

Representative samples should include pages developed by different people and that include different features (such as lists, tables, forms, etc.); in particular:

Prioritizing Repairs

After evaluation, prioritization becomes a key question:

Note on Evaluation Tools

Web accessibility evaluation tools can:

Types of Evaluation Tools

There are many different types of web accessibility evaluation tools:

List of Web Accessibility Evaluation Tools

Limitation of Tools

Web accessibility evaluation tools have substantial limitations:

Selecting Web Accessibility Evaluation Tools


Thank You

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