At yesterday’s free Digital Accessibility Support – Guide to Trustworthy Free Online Resources webinar hosted by The Paciello Group, Shawn Henry from the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) at the World Wide Web Consortium shared a wealth of information about the digital accessibility resources available on the WAI website.
Henry leads education and outreach promoting disability at WAI. She is the author of Just Ask, a book that helps designers, developers, and others create usable and accessible websites, software, hardware, and consumer products.
From learning what web accessibility is to guidelines for designers, developers, and writers, and more, Henry packed so much in her presentation I struggled to keep up!
Here are my notes.
- The new WAI website rolled out in 2018, with new resources. The new design has six focus areas: Accessibility Fundamentals, Planning & Policies, Design & Develop, Test & Evaluate, Teach & Advocate, and Standards/Guidelines.
- W3 standards are called “recommendations.” The WAI accessibility guidelines are actually called W3C Recommendations.
- The first place to find information about web accessibility is Accessibility Fundamentals, which provides an introduction to web accessibility.
- Accessibility is not something you add on to the end of your project; you build it in from the beginning.
- The WAI Perspectives Videos is a series of ten short videos (less than a minute to one minute) which highlight the impact of accessibility and its benefits, from keyboard compatibility to video captions to voice recognition and more. Here’s the video for customizable text:
- The business case for digital accessibility will help you convince your manager and stakeholders of the benefits of web accessibility as well as the risks for not addressing it.
- If you need to develop an accessibility statement for your website, app, or other digital content, WAI offers guidelines as well as a tool to generate your statement.
- When you design websites and web apps well, they’ll work for people with a range of abilities. When you design websites/web apps poorly, they create barriers for people.
- Easy Checks helps you start to evaluate the accessibility of a web page – gives you basic idea whether the website has been developed with accessibility in mind.
- To address accessibility issues in your current web project, check out these helpful pointers to make interim repairs.
- If you want to develop web accessibility training for your team or organization, you’ll find topics, presentation outlines, and a three-day training workshop in developing web accessibility presentations and training.
- Find stories, barriers people encounter, tools and techniques when you learn how people with disabilities use the web.
- When you include people with disabilities in your design process, you’ll create better, accessible web projects.
- The Design & Develop section on the WAI website offers specific tips and links for designers, developers, and writers on creating accessible websites.
- A tool alone, or a combination of tools, will not tell you whether a website is accessible or not. A knowledgeable person needs to evaluate the site.
- Find out how well a website conforms to accessibility standards with the W3C Website Accessibility Conformance Evaluation Methodology (WCAG-EM).
- WCAG 2 has multiple translations, and more will roll out in the coming months.
- Being able to customize text (spacing between lines, size, etc.) on a web page is crucial for people with dyslexia and low vision.
- Find actual examples of fixing accessibility barriers, with the Before and After Demo (BAD). Review the inaccessible and retrofitted versions of the same website, with inline annotations that highlight accessibility barriers and repairs.
- Two ways to make the web accessible: raise awareness and conduct training.