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What is accessibility?

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Accessible Web Design
Accessible Web Design
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What is accessibility?

  1. 1. and why we should care? web accessibility what is
  2. 2. Introduction
  3. 3. This talk will cover: different types of disabilities, assistive technologies, legal and ethical responsibilities as well as a range of terms such as W3C, WAI and WCAG.
  4. 4. We’ll start by defining the terms “web accessibility” and “disability”.
  5. 5. “Web accessibility” is the measure of how effectively all people, including those with disabilities, are able to access and use electronic information.
  6. 6. A “disability” is any continuing condition that restricts everyday activities.
  7. 7. According to a 2015 ABS survey: • 4,290,100 (18.3%) of Australians have some sort of disability. • 3,392,600 (14.5%) of Australians have a disability that restricts daily activities.
  8. 8. In other words: • at least 1 in 5 Australians have some sort of disability • almost 1 in 7 Australians have a disability that restricts daily activities.
  9. 9. These ratios also increase with age. • Around 2 in 5 Australians, 65 years or older, has some sort of disability.
  10. 10. Types of disability
  11. 11. Disabilities are often broken down into four broad categories: • visual • auditory • motor skill • cognitive
  12. 12. 1. Visual
  13. 13. Vision disabilities include:
  14. 14. Low Vision (vision loss that cannot be corrected with glasses) • Macular degeneration • Glaucoma • Diabetic retinopathy • Cataract
  15. 15. Colour-blindness • Protanopia (red deficiencies) • Deuteranopia (green deficiencies) • Tritanopia (blue deficiencies) • Rod monochromacy (no colour)
  16. 16. Blindness Which includes very little to no vision.
  17. 17. 2. Auditory
  18. 18. Auditory disabilities include:
  19. 19. Inability to hear: • sounds below 30 decibels • sounds below 50 decibels • sounds below 80 decibels • sounds below 95 decibels • any sound in some cases Hearing loss Mild Moderate Severe Profound
  20. 20. For people with mild hearing loss, speech can be difficult to understand, especially if background noises are present.
  21. 21. For people with moderate hearing loss, a hearing aid may be required.
  22. 22. For people with severe hearing or profound loss, communication may be done through sign language; others rely on lip-reading techniques.
  23. 23. 3. Motor skill
  24. 24. Motor-skill disabilities include:
  25. 25. Traumatic Injuries • Spinal cord injury • Loss or permanent damage to limb(s)
  26. 26. Diseases & Congenital Conditions • Cerebral palsy • Muscular dystrophy • Multiple sclerosis • Spina bifida • ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) • Arthritis • Parkinson’s disease
  27. 27. 4. Cognitive
  28. 28. Cognitive disabilities include various intellectual or cognitive deficits.
  29. 29. In simple terms, a person who has a cognitive disability has trouble performing mental tasks that the average person would be able to do.
  30. 30. This category includes: • intellectual disability • developmental delay • developmental disability • learning disabilities such as Dyslexia and ADHD.
  31. 31. It can also include conditions that cause cognitive impairment: • acquired brain injuries • genetic disability such as Down syndrome, Autism, and Dementia
  32. 32. Assistive technologies
  33. 33. Assistive technologies are products, equipment and systems that enhance activities for people with disabilities.
  34. 34. For digital accessibility, Assistive Technologies are often broken down into two categories: • Input devices • Output devices
  35. 35. Input devices
  36. 36. Input devices aid people when interacting with websites and applications.
  37. 37. An example would be where a user has to fill in a form.
  38. 38. However, it also includes simple activities such as using keyboard functions to navigate around a web page or web application.
  39. 39. Input devices include: Accessible keyboards, Track pads, Head wands, Mouth pieces, Puffers, Switches, Touch screens, Eye- trackers, Voice activation software, etc.
  40. 40. Judith: Cerebral Palsy
  41. 41. Rocky: Tetraplegic due to spinal injury
  42. 42. Output devices
  43. 43. Output devices aid people when presenting information from websites and applications.
  44. 44. Output devices include: Magnifiers, Screen Readers, Refreshable Braille Devices etc.
  45. 45. Bruce: Blind/Partially deaf
  46. 46. Other barriers
  47. 47. As well as long-term disabilities, people can experience situational or short-term barriers that affect their ability to interact with websites and web content.
  48. 48. Vision barriers could include eye fatigue, blurred vision or even trying to look at a mobile screen in bright sunlight.
  49. 49. Auditory barriers could include hearing issues while in a room with loud music, or short-term hearing loss from exposure to loud noise.
  50. 50. Motor-skill barriers could include trying to perform a task while holding a baby, or with a broken arm
  51. 51. Cognitive barriers could including suffering from concussion or recovering from short-term memory loss.
  52. 52. More severe barriers
  53. 53. Other barriers that are not technically disabilities but can have a major impact on peoples lives include literacy and language.
  54. 54. According to a 2009 ABS survey: • 7.3 million (44%) of Australians had literacy skills at Levels 1 or 2 • 6.4 million (39%) at Level 3 • 2.7 million (17%) at Level 4/5
  55. 55. A large percentage of Australians with lower levels of literally are non- native English speakers. This group is often referred to as “English as a Second Language” (ESL).
  56. 56. For example, 17% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who speak an Indigenous language do not speak English well or at all.
  57. 57. This is why it is vital for web content writers to consider reading levels, keyword density and the avoidance of technical “jargon”.
  58. 58. These levels can be measured using algorithms such as Flesch Kincaid and the Gunning Fox Index.
  59. 59. Anyone involved in writing content should avoid terms like “dumbing down” as this is not only insulting, it is a fundamental misunderstanding of effective communication.
  60. 60. Why is it important to be aware of these barriers?
  61. 61. 1. We need to be aware of how our users interact with our products in all sorts of situations and different environments.
  62. 62. 2. Solving problems for situational and short-term barriers often benefits disabled audiences as well.
  63. 63. 3. Some groups, such as ESL, even though not classed as a disability, need special attention.
  64. 64. Legal vs ethical responsibility
  65. 65. All Australian websites and mobile applications must comply with the World Wide Web Access: Disability Discrimination Act 1992
  66. 66. The relevant Advisory Note states: “All existing non-government websites and web content should comply with WCAG 2.0 to a minimum level of AA conformance by December 31, 2013.”
  67. 67. This means more than just websites and apps; it means all content that is presented to users - including Word files, PDF files and much more.
  68. 68. We’ll look at what “WCAG 2.0” means soon, but before we do…
  69. 69. It is important that we look beyond our “legal responsibilities”.
  70. 70. We should aim to make our websites and content accessible because we care!
  71. 71. What is WCAG?
  72. 72. The World Wide Web Consortium or the W3C is an international community that develops the open standards for the Web.
  73. 73. The W3C produces specifications on a wide range of web-related topics including HTML, CSS and Accessibility.
  74. 74. Within the W3C, there is a sub-group called the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) Working Group.
  75. 75. The WAI Working Group has been responsible for developing the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
  76. 76. The WCAG guidelines provide a standard for web content accessibility.
  77. 77. WCAG 1.0 became a W3C Recommendation in May 1999.
  78. 78. WCAG 2.0 became a W3C Recommendation in December 2008.
  79. 79. WCAG 2.1 became a Candidate Recommendation in January 2018. It is not yet a W3C Recommendation.
  80. 80. Website owners should be aware of changes in this latest version and prepare for when it becomes a full recommendation.
  81. 81. WCAG 2.0 has the following overall structure.
  82. 82. - 4 Principles - 12 Guidelines - 61 Success Criteria - Sufficient Techniques - Advisory Techniques - Failures
  83. 83. The 61 Success Criteria are a checklist that can be used to determine if a website/application conforms to WCAG 2.0 guidelines.
  84. 84. Each of the 61 success criteria is defined as either A, AA or AAA compliance.
  85. 85. Level A: satisfies all the Level A Success Criteria.
  86. 86. Level AA: satisfies all the Level A & Level AA Success Criteria.
  87. 87. Level AAA: satisfies all the Level A, Level AA & Level AAA Success Criteria.
  88. 88. If we go back to the DDA Advisory Note mentioned earlier:
  89. 89. “All existing non-government websites and web content should comply with WCAG 2.0 to a minimum level of AA conformance by December 31, 2013.”
  90. 90. This means that websites should aim to pass all of the WCAG 2.0 Success Criteria classified as A and AA.
  91. 91. Accessibility in large organisations
  92. 92. A lot of people focus on Accessibility testing tools and Expert accessibility audits as solutions.
  93. 93. The problem is that almost all tools and audits only focus on the end result - such as the final code. This is far too late in the process!
  94. 94. It is critical that accessibility becomes understood, appreciated, and an integral part of all disciplines and processes.
  95. 95. This includes (but isn’t limited to) processes such as:
  96. 96. 1. Making inclusive design a core principle.
  97. 97. 2. Including diverse audiences as part of testing processes wherever possible.
  98. 98. 3. For all public-facing content, consider reading levels, the use of technical jargon and keyword density as mentioned earlier.
  99. 99. 4. For front-end teams, include regular testing processes to emulate keyboard-only users as well as running tests using a range of different screen readers.
  100. 100. Russ Weakley Twitter: Slideshare: