Never mind the content: the importance of Authoring Tools in achieving Web Accessibility School of Computing University of...
Outline <ul><li>What do we mean by authoring tool accessibility? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>And why it’s more of a challenge no...
What’s an authoring tool? <ul><li>Software that supports web content publishing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Classic’ web devel...
Accessibility and Authoring in a Web 2.0 world <ul><li>Accessibility/web standards awareness increasing amongst  Web desig...
What do (or should) we mean by authoring tool accessibility? <ul><li>Suggested definition:  How well does the tool support...
Standards, guidelines and authoring tool accessibility <ul><li>Main reference is W3C Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelin...
ATAG 1.0 <ul><li>Support accessible authoring practices  (4 checkpoints) </li></ul><ul><li>Generate standard markup  (3 ch...
ATAG 2.0 (May 2009 draft) <ul><li>PART A: Make the authoring tool user interface accessible </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Principl...
ATAG 2.0 (May 2009 draft) <ul><li>PART B: Support the production of accessible content </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Principle B.1...
ATAG awareness <ul><li>So ATAG covers all three parts of our definition </li></ul><ul><li>BUT - ATAG awareness seems to be...
Implications of non-conformance with ATAG <ul><li>At an organisational level </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More training and suppo...
Some examples <ul><li>From recent DMAG evaluations, including CMSs, a VLE and e-assessment/survey tools </li></ul><ul><li>...
Inserting alt text - examples
Improving collective awareness of authoring tool accessibility <ul><li>W3C ATAG is the relevant accessibility standard for...
Authoring tool accessibility policy <ul><li>Customers: Use ATAG to assess authoring tools for accessibility issues </li></...
Closing thought <ul><li>Authoring tools need to be able to support  non-experts  in authoring accessible content </li></ul...
Some useful links <ul><li>W3C ATAG 1.0 (2000) http://www.w3.org/TR/ATAG10/Overview.html  </li></ul><ul><li>W3C ATAG 2.0 (M...
<ul><li>David Sloan </li></ul><ul><li>Digital Media Access Group </li></ul><ul><li>School of Computing </li></ul><ul><li>U...
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Never mind the content: the importance of Authoring Tools in achieving Web Accessibility

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Presentation on Web Authoring Tools and Accessibility, given by David Sloan at a Scottish Web Accessibility Briefing, organised by TextHelp Systems, in Glasgow on 27 May 2009.

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  • Thanks for posting about a topic that I have been trying to get across for some time now; we are being expected to develop accessible online content, but we don't have the online tools to help us do this without implementing all kinds of work-arounds, or using a plethora of tools to try to making the content work. Accessibility needs to be 'accessible' to those who are developing accessible content!
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  • Hello! I congratulate you for your excellent presentation. It’s really interesting. Here is a related presentation that you might find it to be useful. http://www.slideshare.net/CommLab/why-rapid-development-authoring-tools
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Never mind the content: the importance of Authoring Tools in achieving Web Accessibility

  1. 1. Never mind the content: the importance of Authoring Tools in achieving Web Accessibility School of Computing University of Dundee David Sloan Glasgow, May 27 th 2009
  2. 2. Outline <ul><li>What do we mean by authoring tool accessibility? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>And why it’s more of a challenge now than ever before </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Defining good support for Authoring Tool Accessibility </li></ul><ul><li>Authoring tool accessibility in the real world: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Common problems </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What we need to do </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If you are an authoring tool developer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If you are responsible for procuring or using a web authoring tool </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. What’s an authoring tool? <ul><li>Software that supports web content publishing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Classic’ web development environments: from Dreamweaver to Frontpage to Notepad </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Software with ‘Publish as HTML’ functionality - Word, Powerpoint </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Web based publishing systems </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Corporate tools: content/information management systems (CMSs) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>E-learning tools: e-assessment/survey tools, VLEs, e-portfolios </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal/collaborative tools: blogging tools, wikis (Wordpress, Wikipedia…) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Web 2’: Facebook, MySpace, Flickr, Youtube, Twitter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Second-hand publishing - e.g. email archives; newsfeed aggregators </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Accessibility and Authoring in a Web 2.0 world <ul><li>Accessibility/web standards awareness increasing amongst Web design professionals </li></ul><ul><li>But more tools, more diversity in type of authoring tools means more non-experts are authoring web content </li></ul><ul><li>Do these authors know (or care) about the accessibility of the content they create? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Are they aware of ‘accessibility’ as an issue? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>And can the tools actually support accessible authoring? </li></ul>
  5. 5. What do (or should) we mean by authoring tool accessibility? <ul><li>Suggested definition: How well does the tool support the creation of accessible web content amongst authors, regardless of ability? </li></ul><ul><li>This covers: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Accessibility of the tool’s output </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accessibility of the tool’s interface </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ease with which authors can create accessible content </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Standards, guidelines and authoring tool accessibility <ul><li>Main reference is W3C Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Version 1 published 2000 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Version 2 in draft </li></ul></ul><ul><li>ATAG mentioned in PAS 78 and in-draft BS8878 </li></ul><ul><li>Close relationship between ATAG and W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Especially for web-based authoring tools </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. ATAG 1.0 <ul><li>Support accessible authoring practices (4 checkpoints) </li></ul><ul><li>Generate standard markup (3 checkpoints) </li></ul><ul><li>Support the creation of accessible content (5 checkpoints) </li></ul><ul><li>Provide ways of checking and correcting inaccessible content (5 checkpoints) </li></ul><ul><li>Integrate accessibility solutions into the overall look and feel (2 checkpoints) </li></ul><ul><li>Promote accessibility in help and documentation (3 checkpoints) </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure the authoring tool is accessible to disabled people (6 checkpoints) </li></ul>
  8. 8. ATAG 2.0 (May 2009 draft) <ul><li>PART A: Make the authoring tool user interface accessible </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Principle A.1: Authoring tool user interfaces must follow applicable accessibility guidelines (2 guidelines) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Principle A.2: Editing views must be perceivable (3 guidelines) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Principle A.3: Editing views must be operable (7 guidelines) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Principle A.4: Editing views must be understandable (1 guideline) </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. ATAG 2.0 (May 2009 draft) <ul><li>PART B: Support the production of accessible content </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Principle B.1: Production of accessible content must be enabled (3 guidelines) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Principle B.2: Authors must be supported in the production of accessible content (5 guidelines) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Principle B.3: Accessibility solutions must be promoted and integrated (5 guidelines) </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. ATAG awareness <ul><li>So ATAG covers all three parts of our definition </li></ul><ul><li>BUT - ATAG awareness seems to be very low, in comparison to WCAG </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Amongst tool developers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Amongst tool commissioners </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Amongst accessibility experts (??) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Why? </li></ul>
  11. 11. Implications of non-conformance with ATAG <ul><li>At an organisational level </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More training and support required </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technical work-arounds (e.g. locking down functionality, developing ‘accessible’ templates) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More monitoring of output </li></ul></ul><ul><li>For individuals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Authors have to take more time to check their work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>And consider how to manage accessibility limitations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Or they may not… </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Some examples <ul><li>From recent DMAG evaluations, including CMSs, a VLE and e-assessment/survey tools </li></ul><ul><li>Challenges for authors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Difficulty in adding suitable text alternatives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No encouragement in adding structural HTML </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Difficult to check for accessibility, or find help </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Accessibility issues with the authoring interface and the output </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Keyboard inaccessibility - of interface and output </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Invalid HTML generated </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Inserting alt text - examples
  14. 14. Improving collective awareness of authoring tool accessibility <ul><li>W3C ATAG is the relevant accessibility standard for authoring tools - not the DDA, not WCAG… </li></ul><ul><li>So awareness needs to be raised amongst authoring tool customers of: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Problems caused by ATAG non-conformance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Benefits of ATAG conformance </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Leading to increased incentivisation for tool developers to improve ATAG conformance </li></ul>
  15. 15. Authoring tool accessibility policy <ul><li>Customers: Use ATAG to assess authoring tools for accessibility issues </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How easy is it for a non-expert to inadvertently create inaccessible content? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ATAG conformance should influence procurement, selection, implementation and management/support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Findings should influence strategy for dealing with shortcomings </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Developers/vendors: Work towards ATAG conformance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Express authoring tool accessibility support in terms of ATAG conformance </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Closing thought <ul><li>Authoring tools need to be able to support non-experts in authoring accessible content </li></ul><ul><ul><li>So evaluation and selection mustn’t focus only on the quality of the tool’s output or interface </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… but also the quality of the process in creating that output </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Some useful links <ul><li>W3C ATAG 1.0 (2000) http://www.w3.org/TR/ATAG10/Overview.html </li></ul><ul><li>W3C ATAG 2.0 (May 2009 draft) http://www.w3.org/TR/ATAG20/Overview.html </li></ul><ul><li>Joe Clark’s ATAG evaluation of Word Press (2006): http://joeclark.org/access/webaccess/WordPress-ATAG-evaluation.html </li></ul><ul><li>Making TinyMCE an accessible text editor: http://wiki.moxiecode.com/index.php/TinyMCE:Accessibility </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>David Sloan </li></ul><ul><li>Digital Media Access Group </li></ul><ul><li>School of Computing </li></ul><ul><li>University of Dundee </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>www.twitter.com/sloandr </li></ul><ul><li>01382 385598 </li></ul>

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