A11yLDN 2011 - Introduction to Web Accessibility


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  • Used to work for large financial organisationBuilding accessible sitesAdvising and training others in accessibilityTesting or auditing accessibilityBut left and formed my own company
  • Limited time so brief consideration for each
  • Maybe a problem with your internet connection?Do people with disabilities actually call it that?Do you only know the term ‘web accessibility’ if you have a disability or it’s part of your work?
  • Knowledge – research, learning, events, locationsInteraction – communication, sharing, email, photosCommerce – buying things, finance (eBanking)Immediacy and relevance
  • Maybe idealistic Should be for everyoneSharing of ideasHaving fun with games or communicationBut everyone likes to belong
  • Less reliance on costly human interactionEye on the bottom line
  • Assumptions made about about people’s abilitiesDesigned for non-disabled audienceBusinesses have to make it easy for us to engage with them online if they want to make us go there.Financial gains or discounts for online-only services – eg savings accounts, online statements
  • An ageing population brings challenges to websites - some overlap with accessibility challenges.David Sloan – more perspectives on this at 11:10
  • Equality act: a person with disabilities must not be put at a "substantial disadvantage", compared to a non-disabled user. Further: web hosts could also now be in breach of the Act, where the host has any knowledge that a website does not comply with the accessibility requirements.Web accessibility still doesn’t seem to excite many peopleIgnorance – don’t know how to, doesn’t affect me Visibility – secrecy of mediation process and any legal actionThere is no heat under the issueEven with initiatives like Fix the Web some companies still completely ignore the issue – Gail update later
  • Procuring a site – accessibility needs to be in the specBudgets – financial people need to understand the benefitsDesigners/developers – actually building the websites and web apps, templates, tab order, etc. Sometimes don’t have the space for manoeuvre even if they understand accessibility.Content authors – using CMS frameworks like WordPress, use of semantic elements - eg headings, lists + alt text for images
  • How do you learn? Where to go to?WCAG 2.0 Web Accessibility Initiative Web Content Accessibility Guidelines From December 2008 – some think they’re impenetrable but work being done to make it easier to understandGrant Broome will be covering some aspects of WCAG2.0 and cognitive impairment in his presentation at 2pmBS8878 Web Accessibility: Code of Practice – Issued late 2010. Introduction to digital accessibility for non-technical professionals. Explains different user needs. Provides digital accessibility framework for development and testing, as well as information that can be included in your accessibility statement. Jonathan Hassell will be talking more about how BS8878 affects you at 11:10Extra cost of accessibility is seen as an issue by some. But retrofitting accessibility can be very expensive – it needs to be designed in.Accessibility and usability are not exactly the same thing. Some companies spend a lot on usability but little on accessibility.
  • Visual – blindness, colour blindness, partial sight
  • Last year a11yLDN focused on motor impairments, and the a11yLDN organisation team feel that since then there has been evidence that people are now considering motor impairments moreThis year Cognitive impairments because it’s feltthey are under represented in accessibility research, practice and policy - most of which centre on visual impairments.Web can provide independence, information and reduce community-related isolation and alienation
  • ADHD - Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder
  • Memory – more meaningful content gets into the functional brain quicker. Some users might not remember how they got to this particular page.Solving Problems – resilience may be low, people are apt to leave sites if they can’t work out what to do. Triggered by arriving somewhere they didn’t expect (confusing links or navigation) or a 404 error (bad links).Attention – Eg ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). Blinking adverts, scrolling text or any content that moves. It’s usually the distraction that causes the problem – not an inability to process information.Reading and linguistic – Estimates that 15-20% of population has some form of language or text comprehension difficulty. Many will not even be aware or admit to it.Also, non-literal text – sarcasm, irony, slang, colloquialisms, metaphors – all may be misunderstood.
  • Media players – including their icons
  • Links – overt focus + maybe use border rather than text underlineParagraphs – add hover background or lower border – technique helps some people with readability
  • How can the diverse needs of different disabled groups be incorporated into one websiteIt can be argued that it is not possible to present web content in ways that suit everyone.
  • A small selectionJuicy Studio – Article from 2005 covers items from the previous page in more detailWebAIM – Also a good reference about the types of cognitive impairmentWave – many people may be familiar with the WAVE accessibility tool. This provides a useful checklist for improving accessibility for the cognitive impaired.
  • A11yLDN 2011 - Introduction to Web Accessibility

    1. 1. Introduction to Web Accessibility<br />Graham Armfield<br />
    2. 2. Introduction to web accessibility<br />Graham Armfield<br />Who am I?<br />Web developer <br />Accessibility consultant<br />Accessibility tester<br />Fix the Web partner<br />
    3. 3. What this presentation will cover<br />What does web accessibility mean?<br />Why web accessibility is important?<br />Who can deliver web accessibility and how?<br />Types of disability<br />Cognitive impairment<br />What that means<br />Difficulties faced with websites<br />Some solutions for websites<br />Providing accessible versions for all?<br />
    4. 4. What is web accessibility?<br />What does it mean to the population at large?<br />Do you only know if it affects you?<br />One definition:<br />“Enabling the web so that everyone can access its content when they want to and how they need to”<br />
    5. 5. Why is web accessibility important?<br />The web is for knowledge<br />The web is for interaction<br />The web is for commerce<br />Increasingly the world’s preferred channel<br />
    6. 6. Web accessibility and social inclusion <br />Web should be for everyone<br />Sharing of ideas/concepts<br />Having fun<br />Wanting to belong<br />
    7. 7. Web accessibility and profit<br />The web is increasingly businesses’ preferred channel<br />Financial savings<br />Banking transactions, e-statements<br />eCommerce - eg Amazon, eBay<br />Engaging users in online solutions<br />But are businesses engaging or coercing?<br />
    8. 8. Web accessibility – the reality<br />Not everyone’s preferred channel<br />To some it’s a barrier<br />Poorly designed website and web applications<br />People’s abilities taken for granted<br />Businesses have a responsibility to make their online offerings accessible.<br />
    9. 9. Some statistics<br />Approx. 10 million people in the UK are officially viewed as disabled. <br />The disabled represent a market worth £80bn per year<br />7 million people in UK have some form of literacy problem<br />52% of those who meet legal definition of disability prefer not to describe themselves that way.<br />Elderly – half of Japan’s population is over 50<br />UK 15 million over 55<br />People aged 50+ have combined annual income of more than £160bn<br />
    10. 10. Web accessibility can increase profit<br />Because it makes financial sense<br />Tesco – Redesigned site including accessible version yielded £1.6m extra turnover a year from disabled people for a cost of £35k<br />If a company’s website is hard to use, people will visit a competitor’s site which is easier to use.<br />Why shut out revenue?<br />
    11. 11. Web accessibility is the law<br />Equality Act 2010 (DDA in N Ireland)<br />Laws specifically refer to websites<br />Why web accessibility…<br />The question surely is: <br />“Why isn’t web accessibility important to more people?”<br />
    12. 12. Who influences web accessibility?<br /><ul><li>Those who procure sites/applications?
    13. 13. Web designers/developers?
    14. 14. Those who control the budgets?
    15. 15. Content authors</li></li></ul><li>Issues with building accessible sites?<br />Knowledge/training<br />Need some kind of pocket guide?<br />http://tinyurl.com/a11yga01 <br />http://tinyurl.com/a11yga02<br />Need a structure/framework? <br />BS8878 http://tinyurl.com/a11yga03<br />Perception of cost<br />Extra testing - accessibility as well as usability<br />
    16. 16. Types of Impairment<br />Visual impairments<br />Hearing impairments<br />Motor impairments<br />Epilepsy<br />Ageing-related impairments<br />Cognitive impairments<br />
    17. 17. Cognitive Impairment – Theme of Accessibility London 2011<br />Why chosen?<br />Maybe a little overlooked<br />Maybe not as well understood<br />Needs and challenges can be very diverse<br />What does it mean? - One definition: <br />“Something which affects the ability to think, concentrate, formulate ideas, reason and remember. It is distinct from a learning disability insofar as it may have been acquired later in life as a result of an accident or illness.”<br />
    18. 18. Some types of cognitive impairment<br />Language based difficulties - eg Dyslexia<br />Intellectual difficulties<br />Autism<br />ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder)<br />Most cognitive disabilities have some sort of basis in the biology or physiology of the individual<br />
    19. 19. Cognitive Impairment<br />Common difficulties that people experience<br />Memory difficulties<br />Solving problems – can be easily put off<br />Attention – can be easily distracted<br />Reading and linguistic comprehension<br />Maths comprehension<br />Visual Comprehension<br />Often there may be an overlap of conditions<br />
    20. 20. Cognitive Impairment<br />Common difficulties experienced with websites<br />Language too complex<br />Insufficient instructions<br />Page styling – font size, justification, contrast<br />Inconsistent page layout or navigation<br />Non-logical tab order<br />Sites that change frequently – eg Facebook<br />Scrolling and blinking content , popup panels and windows<br />Embedded functionality – eg media players, flash<br />Use of icons – eg on media players<br />For some people any content may be too complicated<br />
    21. 21. Cognitive Impairment<br />Needs and solutions (a selection)<br />Present content in small chunks – one idea per paragraph<br />Use bullet lists rather than long sentences<br />Provide meaningful signposts – headings and summaries<br />Design for optimum line lengths – about 12 words (around 500px)<br />Use larger fonts, increased line height and white space separation<br />Include overt hover/focus highlight on links<br />Hover highlight on paragraphs<br />Too much background white – offer reversed/alternate colours<br />Videos rather than still images may aid understanding<br />Not all in WCAG2.0<br />
    22. 22. How can all accessibility needs be incorporated into one website?<br />Some solutions are not popular with other users<br />Alternate versions<br />Switching<br />Parallel with mobile<br />
    23. 23. Cognitive impairment<br />Resources ( a small selection)<br />Juicy Studio (from 2005) <br />http://juicystudio.com/article/cognitive-impairment.php<br />WebAIM – Cognitive Disabilities<br />http://webaim.org/articles/cognitive/<br />Wave - Cognitive Accessibility Checklist<br />http://wave.webaim.org/cognitive<br />
    24. 24. A side effect<br />Making a website easier for those with cognitive impairments can make a website easier for everyone to use…<br />…but not always<br />
    25. 25. Any questions?<br />