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WCAG 2.0 for writers

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You may have accessible web templates, but what happens when your content authors add or update content? This enduring problem now has broader implications because the Web Content Accessibility ...

You may have accessible web templates, but what happens when your content authors add or update content? This enduring problem now has broader implications because the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines have expanded to allow the use of non-HTML technologies.

This is a presentation given at a Web Accessiblity for Australian Universities (WANAU) forum in Melbourne in September, 2009. It provides an overview of the issues web writers will need to be aware of as organisations move to adopt WCAG 2.0.

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WCAG 2.0 for writers WCAG 2.0 for writers Presentation Transcript

  • WCAG 2.0 for writers A brief overview of accessible content WANAU Melbourne September 2009
  • Accessibility? What’s that?
  • … but that’s for blind people and we don’t have any here
  • I thought the web team did all that stuff
  • … and so it came to pass that their new accessible website was ruined by their web writers!
  • Potential impact of web writers
      • Document file types
        • Accessibility supported technologies
      • Writing style
      • Structure and formatting
      • Design elements
      • Link text
      • Page titles
  • Document file types
    • WCAG 2.0 is technology neutral
    • PDF, Word, RTF, PowerPoint files heavily used online
    • If used as the only format, they must:
      • Be ‘accessibility supported’
      • Meet the WCAG 2.0 success criteria
  • ‘ Accessibility supported’ means
    • a) Format can be made accessible, AND
    • b) Content in the format can be accessed by:
      • Assistive technologies
      • Accessibility features of user agents (browsers and plug-ins)
    • No one has yet done the work to test (a)
    • What level of AT/UA support is needed for (b)?
  • Is PDF ‘accessibility supported’?
    • Older versions of Acrobat not capable of making accessible PDF documents; newer versions better
    • Only newer versions of screen readers can make use of this support
    • Is PDF accessibility supported? No definitive answer yet
    • Even if it is, PDFs must meet WCAG 2.0 requirements (so must Word, RTF, PowerPoint) if use as only format
  • Potential impact of web writers
      • Document file types
      • Writing style
        • Readability, shortened forms, instructions, non-literal use of words, foreign language, pronunciation
      • Structure and formatting
      • Design elements
      • Link text
      • Page titles
  • Readability
    • SC 3.1.5 (AAA)
    • Content is written at lower secondary level or has supplementary content or an alternative
    • Techniques for 3.1.5 Understanding 3.1.5
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  • Shortened forms
    • SC 3.1.4 (AAA)
    • Abbreviations, acronyms or initialisms are expanded
    • Techniques for 3.1.4 Understanding 3.1.4
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  • Instructions
    • SC 1.3.3 (A)
    • Instructions for using/understanding content do not rely on shape, size, location, orientation or sound
    • Techniques for 1.3.3 Understanding 1.3.3
  •  
  • Non-literal or specialised use of words
    • SC 3.1.3 (AAA)
    • Idioms, metaphors, jargon are explained
    • Techniques for 3.1.3 Understanding 3.1.3
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  • Foreign language
    • SC 3.1.2 (AA)
    • Foreign language terms are able to be understood by different UAs and ATs
    • Techniques for 3.1.2 Understanding 3.1.2
  • Pronunciation
    • SC 3.1.6 (AA)
    • A pronunciation is provided for words where the meaning would otherwise be ambiguous
    • Techniques for 3.1.6 Understanding 3.1.6
  • Potential impact of web writers
      • Document file types
      • Writing style
      • Structure and formatting
      • Headings, tables, lists, special text elements
      • Design elements
      • Link text
      • Page titles
  • Headings (1 of 3)
    • SC 2.4.10 (AAA)
    • Headings are used to organise the content
    • Techniques for 2.4.10 Understanding 2.4.10
    • SC 2.4.6 (AA)
    • Headings are descriptive
    • Techniques for 2.4.6 Understanding 2.4.6
    Headings (2 of 3)
  • How descriptive is this heading?
    • “ Important information”
    • Your clues:
    • On a page from the University of Canberra
    • Page is in the “Students with disabilities” section
    • It is the main heading on the page (H1)
  •  
  • Headings (3 of 3)
    • SC 1.3.1 (A)
    • Headings can be recognised as such by different UAs and ATs
    • Techniques for 1.3.1 Understanding 1.3.1
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  • Tables, lists, quotations, citations …
    • SC 1.3.1 (A)
    • Special elements marked up so they can be recognised by different UAs and ATs
    • Techniques for 1.3.1 Understanding 1.3.1
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  • Potential impact of web writers
      • Document file types
      • Writing style
      • Structure and formatting
      • Design elements
        • Images, text as images, colour, contrast
      • Link text
      • Page titles
  • Images (1 of 2) SC 1.1.1 (A) Images have an equivalent text alternative Techniques for 1.1.1 Understanding 1.1.1
  • Equivalent text alternatives
    • Role of the image
      • Decorative or informative?
      • Use in context of the page?
      • Used as a link? (next topic)
    • Techniques
      • Blank text alternative
      • Short text alternative
      • Short and long text alternative
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  • Images (2 of 2)
    • SC 1.4.5 (AA)
    • Text is not presented as an image (except in logos)
    • Techniques for 1.4.5 Understanding 1.4.5
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  • Colour
    • SC 1.4.1 (A)
    • Colour is not used on its own to show meaning
    • Techniques for 1.4.1 Understanding 1.4.4
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  • Contrast (1 of 2)
    • SC 1.4.3 (AA)
    • Text and background colours have a contrast ratio of 4.5:1 or 3:1 for large text ( also applies to images of text)
    • Techniques for 1.4.3 Understanding 1.4.3
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  • Contrast (2 of 2)
    • SC 1.4.6 (AAA)
    • Text and background colours have a contrast ratio of 7:1 (also applies to images of text)
    • Techniques for 1.4.6 Understanding 1.4.6
  • Potential impact of web writers
      • Document file types
      • Writing style
      • Structure and formatting
      • Design elements
      • Link text
      • Page titles
  • Link text (1 of 2)
    • SC 2.4.4 (A)
    • Link purpose can be understood from the link and context
    • Techniques for 2.4.4 Understanding 2.4.4
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  • Link text (2 of 2)
    • SC 2.4.9 (AAA)
    • Link purpose can be understood from the link text alone
    • Techniques for 2.4.9 Understanding 2.4.9
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  • Potential impact of web writers
      • Document file types
      • Writing style
      • Structure and formatting
      • Design elements
      • Link text
      • Page titles
  • Page titles
    • SC 2.4.2 (A)
    • Page title describes the content or purpose
    • Techniques for 2.4.2 Understanding 2.4.2
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  • Some final thoughts on WCAG 2.0
    • Some techniques better than others
      • Need to use good judgement
    • Some guidelines lower the standards
      • Readability (was level A, now level AAA)
      • Clear link text (was level A, now level AAA)
      • Headings (was level AA, now level AAA)
      • Note that AAA is now ‘optional’!