Maximum Accessibility: Making Your Web Site More Usable for Everyone

Maximum Accessibility: Making Your Web Site More Usable for Everyone

by John M. Slatin Ph.D., Sharron Rush
     
 

ISBN-10: 0201774224

ISBN-13: 9780201774221

Pub. Date: 09/28/2002

Publisher: Addison-Wesley

Accessibility is now a legal requirement for all national government Web sites in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and the European Union. Throughout the world, many other organizations--universities, schools, and private companies--are recognizing that accessibility is a moral and business imperative; many are adopting policies aimed at making Web resources accessible

Overview

Accessibility is now a legal requirement for all national government Web sites in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and the European Union. Throughout the world, many other organizations--universities, schools, and private companies--are recognizing that accessibility is a moral and business imperative; many are adopting policies aimed at making Web resources accessible to the more than six hundred million people with disabilities worldwide.

Maximum Accessibility is a comprehensive resource for creating Web sites that comply with new U.S. accessibility standards and conform to the World Wide Web Consortium's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0. This book offers an overview of key issues, discusses the standards in depth, and presents practical design techniques, up-to-date technologies, and testing methods to implement these standards for maximum accessibility. You will learn how to:

  • Write effective text equivalents for images and audio files
  • Caption soundtracks and describe the action of videos and animation
  • Set up data and layout tables that make sense to the ear and eye
  • Design Web forms that people can interact with via the keyboard and other input devices
  • Label forms so that people who use talking browsers can give the right information at the right time
  • Make scripts accessible to people who don't use a mouse
  • Create simple PDF files that are accessible to people with disabilities
  • Use cascading style sheets to make your thoroughly accessible pages look great

Throughout the book, case studies illustrate how inadvertent accessibility barriers on major Web sites affect the ability of people with disabilities to locate information, participate in e-commerce, and explore the richness of the Web. These case studies demonstrate how certain design features can make access much harder, and how other features can greatly ease the use of a page or site.

Most of all, this leading-edge guide reveals that a little extra design consideration up front can help you create a site that is not only a pleasure for people with disabilities, but attractive and pleasing for all interested users. In short, Maximum Accessibility shows why good design is accessible design.

0201774224B08282002

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780201774221
Publisher:
Addison-Wesley
Publication date:
09/28/2002
Pages:
588
Product dimensions:
7.30(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.40(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword.

Preface.

Acknowledgments.

A Word about Screen Readers.

SECTION 1: ACCESSIBILITY AND WHY IT MATTERS.

1. Introduction.

What Is Web Accessibility?

Accessibility Guidelines and Standards.

Beyond Compliance.

Accessibility Is an Aspect of the User Experience.

Accessibility Is Environmental.

The Scale of the Problem.

Accessibility from the Developer's Point of View: You Can Make a Difference.

Accessibility Guidelines and Standards Are Resources for Design.

Good Design Is Accessible Design.

Overview of Maximum Accessibility.

Why Are So Many Sites Inaccessible?

Beyond the Standards, Beyond the Tools: The Human Element.

2. User Experience: Born to Shop.

Adventures in E-commerce.

HTML Elements and Attributes Addressed in This Chapter.

Accessibility Checkpoints and Standards Addressed in This Chapter.

User Experience Narrative: Listening to Amazon.com.

Closing the Sale.

3. Accessibility in Law and Policy.

Accessibility: It's the Law!

The Disability Rights Movement in the United States.

The Rehabilitation Act.

The Evolution of Section 504.

Educational Mandates.

An IDEA Whose Time Has Come.

Expanding Rights to Public Education.

The Evolution of Law in Changing Society.

The Americans with Disabilities Act.

Discrimination Defined and Prohibited.

The Telecommunications Act.

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.

The U.S. Access Board.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.

Setting Global Standards.

The W3C's Process for Producing Recommendations.

Accessibility Is a Global Concern.

Accessibility Is Good Business in Australia.

European Union Incorporates Accessibility into eEurope Action Plan.

Canada Raises the Bar.

Policy Implementation in the United Kingdom.

Is the Internet Public Space?

Olympics Case Has International Consequences.

National Federation of the Blind Sues America Online for Access.

Who Needs Accommodation?

What Is Accessible Information Technology?

Remedies Outside of the Courts.

The Power of the Purse.

The Good ….

…And the Challenge.

Now Things Get Really Interesting.

4. Grassroots Efforts Support Maximum Accessibility.

Building Community through Technology.

Roots Rock! The Power of Grassroots Efforts.

Government Services Online.

Accessibility Efforts by the City of San Jose and Others.

Public Responsibility.

Community Technology Centers.

Addressing Access Barriers in Community Technology Centers.

The Alliance for Technology Access.

The Accessibility Internet Rally.

Support from MEAF Lays the Foundation.

Adapting AIR to Other Settings.

Where Do We Go from Here? Building National Consensus.

5. User Experience: On the Bus.

Getting There Is Half the Fun.

HTML Elements and Attributes Addressed in This Chapter.

Accessibility Checkpoints and Standards Addressed in This Chapter.

Getting Information about Getting Around Town.

The Trouble with Tables.

User Experience Narrative: Austin's Capital Metro.

Dazed and Confused.

Viewing the Source: The Route 7 Schedule for People with Visual Impairments.

We Have to Stop Meeting Like This.

Other Examples.

You'd Have to Be an Acrobat: Bus Schedules in New York City.

On Board: The Long Island Rail Road Schedule.

Problem Solving: Designing a New Bus Schedule.

Applicable Section 508 Standards.

Other Applicable WCAG 1.0 Checkpoints.

Partway Home: The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority.

Looking at a Typical Schedule: Route 12, Eastbound, Saturdays.

An Unusual Approach: Tri-Met Public Transportation for Portland, Oregon.

6. The Business Case for Accessibility.

Improve Access and Improve Return on Investment.

Accessibility Is Good Business.

Tools Created for One Group Can Serve Everyone.

Growing Markets.

Accessibility as a Component of Usability.

Selling Accessibility.

The Business Benefits of Accessibility.

Making the Case.

Accessibility Increases Employee Productivity.

Delivering Accessibility.

Catapult Systems: Building Accessibility into Your Corporate Culture.

Testing for Accessibility.

Evaluation Tools Cannot Replace Human Judgment.

Soliciting Feedback.

Including People with Disabilities in User Testing.

Can You Satisfy Everyone?

Sustaining Accessibility.

Assembling an Accessibility Team.

Developing a Plan.

Time Well spent.

7. User Experience: Museums on the Web.

Accessing Culture and History.

HTML Elements and Attributes Addressed in This Chapter.

Accessibility Checkpoints and Standards Addressed in This Chapter.

Museums in the United States.

Museums and Accessibility, Offline.

Museums and the Web.

A Whirlwind Tour of Museum Web Sites.

The Smithsonian Institution.

World Museums on the Web.

User Experience Narrative: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Automatic Refreshes and Redirects Are Accessibility Barriers.

Visiting the Collection.

Exploring the Collection.

Server-Side Image Maps Are Accessibility Barriers.

The Web Page as an Experience in Time: The Problem of Reading Order.

Text Equivalents Can Open the Doors of Perception.

8. User Experience: Text-Only Alternatives.

Text-Only: Just Say “No”.

HTML Elements and Attributes Addressed in This Chapter.

Accessibility Checkpoints and Standards Addressed in This Chapter.

Isn't Text-Only a Common Practice?

User Experience Narrative 1: The National Public Radio Site.

Listening to NPR's Home Page.

Visiting NPR's Text-Only Page.

Problems at the Source.

User Experience Narrative 2: A Return to Amazon.com.

Generating the Text-Only Version Automatically.

Amazon Access: Been There, Couldn't Do That.

Progress Report.

Amazon Access Was Not Designed for the Visually Impaired.

The Saga Continues.

Finding Solutions: Toward Maximum Accessibility.

SECTION 2: STRATEGIES AND TECHNIQUES FOR MAXIMUM ACCESSIBILITY.

9. Equivalent Alternatives.

The Prime Directive: Equivalent Alternatives for Maximum Accessibility.

HTML Elements and Attributes Addressed in This Chapter.

Accessibility Checkpoints and Standards Addressed in This Chapter.

An Alternative to Images: ALT Text.

Sample HTML for ALT Text.

Characteristics of Effective ALT Text.

When ALT Text Should Be "Silent".

Considerations of Reading Order.

When ALT Text Isn't Enough: Extended Descriptions.

An Example: The Institute for Technology and Learning.

Text Description as a Design Element.

Leon's Guidelines for Describing Works of Art.

Sight and Sound: Equivalent Alternatives for Auditory Elements.

Turning the Telescope Around: Equivalent Alternatives for Text.

10. Forms of Participation: Designing HTML Forms for Maximum Accessibility.

Interactivity and the Use of Forms.

HTML Elements and Attributes Addressed in This Chapter.

Accessibility Checkpoints and Standards Addressed in This Chapter.

Accessibility Problems and HTML Forms.

Using the Keyboard to Interact with Forms.

Working through an Example: The AIR Judging Form.

The Old Form.

Design Goals.

The New Form.

Looking Ahead.

11. Creating Accessible Tables.

The Trouble with Tables.

HTML Elements and Attributes Addressed in This Chapter.

Accessibility Checkpoints and Standards Addressed in This Chapter.

What Is a Table?

Accessibility Issues for Layout Tables.

Accessibility Issues for Data Tables.

Design Goals for Accessible Tables.

Creating a More Accessible Bus Schedule.

HTML Resources for Creating the Schedule.

HTML Techniques for Accessible Tables.

Another Look at the Bus Schedule Using the Complex Table Model.

Using Additional WCAG Checkpoints to Enhance Accessibility and Usability.

The Whole Enchilada, One More Time.

Looking Beyond HTML.

12. Toward More Accessible PDFs.

PDF: So Near and Yet So Far.

HTML Elements and Attributes Addressed in This Chapter.

Accessibility Checkpoints and Standards Addressed in This Chapter.

Providing an Accessible Plug-In.

Creating Accessible PDF Documents.

Structuring the Word Document.

Selecting the Acrobat Conversion Settings.

Converting the Word File to a PDF Document.

Experimenting with Tables in PDF.

Acrobat's Accessibility Checker.

Acrobat's Tags Palette.

Burdens of the Past: Legacy PDFs and the Challenge of Accessibility.

13. Enhancing Accessibility through Multimedia.

Put Multi- in Your Media!

HTML Elements and Attributes Addressed in This Chapter.

Accessibility Checkpoints and Standards Addressed in This Chapter.

A Real-World Example: The ATSTAR Project.

ATSTAR Accessibility Requirements.

Multimedia Expands Accessibility Options.

Choosing Delivery Modes.

Letting Users Select the Content Delivery Mode.

Providing Accessible Video.

Accessible Video Content Requires Closed Captioning.

Guidelines for Closed Captioning.

When Captioning Is Not Enough: Providing Signed Interpretation.

Captioning on the Web.

MAGpie: The Media Access Generator from NCAM.

Comparing the Popular Media Players.

More about SMIL Attributes.

Enhance User Experience with Audio Description.

Why Describe?

Differences between Audio Descriptions and Closed Captions.

Deciding What to Describe.

An Example of Audio Description: The TX2K Video.

When to Use Audio Description.

Using Transcripts as Equivalent Alternatives.

Alternatives for Stand-alone and Other Audio.

Alternative Audio Examples.

Meeting the Accessibility Challenges of Animation.

Blinking, Flashing, and Seizures.

Animated GIFs.

Animation through JavaScript.

Flash Animation.

Go Forth and Multi!

14. Accessible Use of Scripts, Applets, and Plug-ins.

Plug and Play? Not Yet.

HTML Elements and Attributes Addressed in This Chapter.

Accessibility Checkpoints and Standards Addressed in This Chapter.

Scripts.

Scripting Rollovers for Accessibility.

Alternatives to Scripts.

Look, Ma, No Scripts! (And No Images, Either).

Using the <noscript> Element.

The Olympics Committee Leaves Out Millions—Again!

Applets.

ALT Text for Java Applets.

Plug-ins.

The User Agent Accessibility Guidelines.

The Section 508 Software Applications and Operating Systems Standards.

Media Players.

Caution: Captions Are Not Text Alternatives.

RealNetworks' RealOne.

Apple's QuickTime.

Microsoft's Windows Media Player.

Macromedia's Flash.

Adobe's Acrobat Reader.

Use the Right Tool for the Job.

15. Supporting Accessibility with Cascading Style Sheets.

Stylin' for Maximum Accessibility.

HTML Elements and Attributes Addressed in This Chapter.

Accessibility Checkpoints and Standards Addressed in This Chapter.

Beneath the Visual Aspects of the Web.

Content and Structure versus Presentation and Layout.

The Advantages of Using Style Sheets.

A Different Approach to Design.

Shortcut Techniques to Avoid.

How These Shortcut Techniques Create Accessibility Barriers.

Using HTML Headings Correctly.

Beyond Headings.

Methods of Associating Style Sheets with Documents.

External Style Sheets.

Embedded Style Sheets.

Inline Style Attributes.

Using Style Sheets to Enhance Accessibility for People with Low Vision or Cognitive Disabilities.

Low Vision.

Cognitive Disabilities.

Style Sheets and Conflicting Needs.

Styling the AIR Judging Form.

Reviewing the AIR Judging Form.

Determining the Design Goals and Strategy for the New Form.

Using Font Selection and Spacing to Improve Legibility.

Using Color and Contrast to Enhance Legibility.

CSS Positioning, Reading Order, and Navigation Links.

Once More, with Feeling: Good Design Is Accessible Design.

Appendix A: Resources and Tools for Accessible Design.

Information Resources.

Validation and Repair Tools.

Authoring Tools Reported to Provide Some Support for Creating Accessible Content.

Tools for Captioning and Descriptive Video.

Appendix B: Why Is Accessibility on the Internet Important?

Appendix C: Linearized Tables.

Bibliography.

Index.

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