Web accessibility for municipalities - How to meet compliance requirements and better engage all your citizens

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About 15% of the world's population, or 1 billion people, live with a disability. With internet penetration steadily growing at double-digit annual rates, the inclusive practice of making websites usable by people of all abilities and disabilities is becoming increasingly important. Organizations, such as the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), have set guidelines on how to create accessible websites.

Governments across the world have taken notice of web accessibility. In Ontario, Canada, the Provincial Government has created the "Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act" (AODA), which includes accessibility for websites.

This presentation was designed to help Ontario municipalities with web accessibility. Check it out if any of these questions are of interest to you:

- Why make our municipal website accessible?
- When do we have to make it accessible?
- What makes it accessible?
- How to make it accessible?

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Web accessibility for municipalities - How to meet compliance requirements and better engage all your citizens

  1. 1. Web Accessibility for Municipalities How to meet compliance requirements and better engage all your citizens July 2013
  2. 2. www.intelliware.com Overview It’s all about municipal website accessibility • Part 1: Why make your municipal website accessible? • Part 2: When do you have to make it accessible? • Part 3: What makes it accessible? • Part 4: How to make it accessible? 2
  3. 3. Part 1: Why make your municipal website accessible? 3
  4. 4. www.intelliware.com Accessible websites needed for people with disabilities • 15% of the world's population, or 1 billion people, live with a disability1 • They are the world's largest minority2 • Individuals spend on average 8 years living with a disability2 4 1 World Health Organization, World report on disability, http://whqlibdoc.who.int/hq/2011/WHO_NMH_VIP_11.01_eng.pdf 2 United Nations Factsheet on Persons with Disabilities: http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=18 Note on 2: applies to countries with life expectancies over 70 years, such as Canada
  5. 5. www.intelliware.com Canada’s disabled population: increasing with age • 56% of seniors over 75 have a disability1 • Today 1 in 7 Ontarians have a disability 5 1 Public Health Agency of Canada, The Senior Audience: Large, Growing and Diverse http://www.phac- aspc.gc.ca/seniors-aines/publications/public/various-varies/afcomm-commavecaines/3-eng.php Source: 2006 Participation and Activity Limitation Survey
  6. 6. www.intelliware.com Reach a growing and affluent group • By 2031, 6+ million Ontarians either be living with a disability or will be over age 55, accounting for 40% of all income1 6 1 Government of Ontario, Why Accessibility is good for Ontario http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/documents/en/mcss/accessibility/Ont_InfoGraph-EN.pdf
  7. 7. www.intelliware.com Why change? The case for accessibility Save money • Lower cost to serve through better access to information and services • Comply with Ontario government legislation to avoid fines of upwards of $100,000 per day1 • Savings from improved server performance and decreased site maintenance2 7 1 9th Sphere, Ontario Website Owners Must Know – Make Your Website AODA Compliant http://www.9thsphere.com/blog/aoda-compliance/ 2 Developing a Web Accessibility Business Case for Your Organization: Overview http://www.w3.org/WAI/bcase/Overview.html
  8. 8. www.intelliware.com Why change? The case for accessibility Engage your citizens • Enable persons with disabilities and older users to interact with you online instead of more costly ways (offline) Provide better information • Accessible websites have better search results1 • Make it easier to inform your citizens of community events and issues 8 1 Government of Ontario, Making your website more accessible http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/publications/accessON/accessible_websites/make.aspx
  9. 9. www.intelliware.com Legislation Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) • AODA – Ontario Regulation 429/07 Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act • Customer Service Standard came into effect January 1, 2012 • Applies to municipal websites 9
  10. 10. Part 2: When do you have to make it accessible? 10
  11. 11. www.intelliware.com Legislation timeline – when you need to comply 11 1 Ontario MEDTE, Make your website accessible, http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/accessibility/info_sheets/info_comm/website.aspx • Applies to public sector organizations, businesses and non-profit organizations with 50+ staff1 Type of Content Compliance Requirements Deadline New public websites and web content WCAG 2.0 Level A 2014 All public websites and web content posted after January 1, 2012 WCAG 2.0 Level AA Excludes captions and pre-recorded audio descriptions 2021
  12. 12. www.intelliware.com What is a “new” website? 12 1 Ontario MEDTE, Making your website accessible, http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/documents/en/mcss/accessibility/iasr_guides/website_en.pdf • A “new” website is1: o A website with a new domain name (e.g. www.newbusiness.ca) o A website undergoing a “significant refresh”: • Changing more than 50% of the content, design or technology of the website Content Design Technology Creating, rewriting or reorganizing more than 50% of the site’s content, such as graphics, text, widgets, etc. Changing more than 50% of the design elements, such as layout, navigation, placement and style. Changing more than 50% of the web publishing platform/model such as the content management system (CMS), Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) or HTML structure.
  13. 13. Part 3: What makes it accessible? 13
  14. 14. www.intelliware.com What is an accessible website? A website that is designed based on 4 principles1 1. Perceivable: Information and user interface components must be presented to users in a way that are easy to perceive 2. Operable: User interface components and navigation must be functional and useful 3. Understandable: Information and the operation of the user interface must be easy to comprehend 4. Robust: Content must be robust enough that it can be interpreted reliably by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies 14 1 W3C Web Accessibility Initiative http://www.w3.org/WAI/mobile/experiences
  15. 15. www.intelliware.com Principle #1: Perceivable Information and user interface components must be presented to users in a way that is easy to perceive.1 • Barriers common to mobile device users and people with disabilities: o Information conveyed solely with color o Large pages or large images o Multimedia with no captions o Audio-only prompts (beeps) for important information (warnings, errors) o Non-text objects (images, sound, video) with no text alternative o Text entry o Content formatted using tables or CSS, and reading order not correct when linearized (for example when CSS or tables not rendered) o Information conveyed only using CSS (visual formatting) 15 1 W3C Web Accessibility Initiative http://www.w3.org/WAI/mobile/experiences
  16. 16. www.intelliware.com Principle #2: Operable User interface components and navigation must be functional and useful.1 • Barriers common to mobile device users and people with disabilities: o Mouse required for interaction and navigation o Scripting required to operate content o Special plug-in required o Missing or inappropriate page title o Inconsistency between focus (tab) order and logical document content sequence o Non descriptive link label 16 1 W3C Web Accessibility Initiative http://www.w3.org/WAI/mobile/experiences
  17. 17. www.intelliware.com Principle #3: Understandable Information and the operation of the user interface must be easy to comprehend. 1 • Barriers common to mobile device users and people with disabilities: o Long words, long and complex sentences, jargon o Content spawning new windows without warning user o Blinking, moving, scrolling or auto-updating content 17 1 W3C Web Accessibility Initiative http://www.w3.org/WAI/mobile/experiences
  18. 18. www.intelliware.com Principle #4: Robust Content must be robust enough that it can be interpreted reliably by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies.1 • Barriers common to mobile device users and people with disabilities: o Invalid or unsupported markup o Scripting required to generate content 18 1 W3C Web Accessibility Initiative http://www.w3.org/WAI/mobile/experiences
  19. 19. www.intelliware.com Examples of conformance • A school board has posted a video on its website to explain their adult learning programs; the video is captioned for people with hearing loss1 • Textual equivalents provided for images – used for screen readers • Label, underline or differentiate hyperlinks for those who are colour-blind 19 1 Government of Ontario, The Accessibility Standard for Information and Communications http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/accessibility/info_comm/index.aspx
  20. 20. www.intelliware.com Examples of conformance • Larger text and images, or the ability to enlarge text and images (screen magnification) • Clickable areas made larger to assist those who cannot maneuver a mouse easily • For content pages with time limits, users should be able to turn off, adjust or extend the time limit unless the limit is essential and would invalidate the activity 20 1 Government of Ontario, The Accessibility Standard for Information and Communications http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/accessibility/info_comm/index.aspx
  21. 21. www.intelliware.com Examples of conformance • Include a mechanism to allow users to identify definitions of idioms, jargon and abbreviations • Use consistent navigational mechanisms on web pages – content appears and operates in predictable ways • Website content should be “conversion ready” – content must be readily convertible into an accessible format More information can be found here: WCAG 2.0 21
  22. 22. Part 4: How to make it accessible 22
  23. 23. www.intelliware.com AODA Compliance Wizard • This Government of Ontario tool helps you determine your municipality’s compliance requirements • Free to use • Takes less than 5 minutes to complete • AODA Compliance Wizard 23 AODA Compliance Wizard
  24. 24. www.intelliware.com Accessibility compliance tips 24 1 Government of Ontario, Make your website accessible http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/accessibility/info_sheets/info_comm/website.aspx Tips from the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Trade And Employment (MEDTE), the ministry responsible for the implementation of AODA1: • Talk to your organization’s web developer about complying with the requirements • Use MEDTE’s Making your website more accessible guide to help you work with web developers, whether they are in-house staff or external contractors
  25. 25. www.intelliware.com Accessibility compliance tips • Review the software used to support accessibility on your website • You may need to repair the software to meet the WCAG 2.0 requirements • Make your web content accessible at Level AA now • Reduces the amount of changes you’ll have to make to your website down the road • May reduce requests you receive for accessible formats or communications supports 25 1 Government of Ontario, Make your website accessible http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/accessibility/info_sheets/info_comm/website.aspx
  26. 26. www.intelliware.com Resources to help you comply • The Government of Ontario: o Accessibility Standard for Customer Service: employer handbook o A Guide to the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation, Section 14, Accessible Websites and Web Content • W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0: o 12 guidelines that are organized under 4 principles: perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust • Free Tools: o Achecker: checks single HTML pages for conformance with accessibility standards o ChromaNope: simulates how a website looks to one with a form of colour- blindness o WC3’s markup validator: checks Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and (X)HTML documents o Juicy Studio: tests the readability of a website o Complete list of web accessibility evaluation tools from WC3 26
  27. 27. www.intelliware.com Want to learn how the City of Kingston improved its municipal website with the help of Intelliware? 27 Check out: www.intelliware.com /intelliware- launches-hosted- portal-solution-for- municipalities/

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