Archive for February 21st, 2011

What to Look for when Trying to Author Accessible Content: My List

Monday, February 21st, 2011

A picture of the HTML source of this blog post.I’ve assembled my list of things to look for when preparing content for the web with an eye to accessibility. I would like to add to this advice that I’ve always found that accessible web pages are the easiest way to create content that is well indexed by a search engine – as both serve the goal of helping a machine interpret the content better.

This list is written assuming that most modern tools that help construct content directly for the web help individuals create accessible content by default, and that this is the primary way content makes its way to the web. Tools like WordPress for blogs, or Learning Management Systems (LMSs).

Multimedia content is particularly challenging, as it can require the use multiple senses, and unless accommodations such as transcription or description are added, some individuals may not be able to access multimedia content.

Evan more than with most posts; I’d love to read your comments and suggestions about this list and these practices.

My Checklist for Preparing Accessible Content

This list was created by Matt Clare with resources from World Wide Web Consortium. [1] The W3C has a simular checklist document: www.w3.org/TR/2006/WD-WCAG20-20060427/appendixB.html [2]


Simple Formatting

Web Accessibility, in the context of the AODA

Monday, February 21st, 2011

The draft of the AODA Integrated Accessibility Standards is currently posted on the Ministry of Community and Social Services web site. The section on “Accessible websites and web content” subsection 4 was what I was most interested in. There were only minor changes from what was in the last draft that I saw, but the changes were significant.


Update: Friday April 1, 2011

Looks like the link is dead, but Google still has a copy: webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:W2_8OUCWcYAJ:www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/publications/accessibility/standards_iar/part2_iar.aspx

Running key phrases through the Ministry’s search tool yields some really interesting results. Here is an example search.


What is the same is that it references the WWW Consortium’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/

The draft AODA Integrated Accessibility Standards document applies to Ontario public web sites on the internet and in intranets (university LMS’ would be in either definition) and outlines targets for NEW content to be WCAG Level A accessible and then level AA and eventually ALL content to being Level AA.

The change is that there will be exceptions for online audio and video content. That is, content that would require Captions (Live) and Audio Descriptions (Pre-recorded) as outlined in the WCAG2 specification here www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/#media-equiv

The WCAG2′s Captions (Live) and Audio Descriptions (Pre-recorded) requirements are unlike other content formatting previsions in the WCAG2 in that these are not items that content authors can simply modify how they format their content to achieve this high standard of accessibility. The Captions (Live) and Audio Descriptions (Pre-recorded) require many orders of magnitude more hours of labour to comply with than is often needed to produce the original artifact. To quote Stuart Robertson, webmaster, UofGuelph.ca and contributor to alistapart.com at the 2009 Aiming for Accessibility conference at Guelph University “[the] Transcription requirement represent a serious disincentive to publish audio/video content to the web”.