My intention today was to complete the first Deque course within the WAS certification prep program. I did do that, but not without being led to more resources that I need to read through. I’ve done a little research into US laws, but I need to read them again, plus read other laws mentioned in what I reviewed today. Looks like tomorrow’s study session is laid out for me.
Thing I accomplished
Completed guidelines, laws, and myths sections of Deque’s Accessibility Fundamentals.
What I reviewed today
Principles, guidelines, and authoring practices help create an accessible interaction between user and website or application. These guidelines and practices ensure that a variety of disabilities are taken into consideration.
- Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG): principles, guidelines, and success criteria to make websites accessible to many different disabilities
- Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG): principles and guidelines to make content management systems, WYSIWYG text editors, and other web author tools accessible to authors, as well as outputted code
- Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA): additional HTML and practices to make web applications more accessible to screen reader users that are blind or have low vision
I covered these more in detail on my own, which I’ve journalled on this site, but Deque does a decent job of getting the learner started with the basic principles and guidelines, and points them to official specifications. I’ll admit, I need to go back and spend some serious review time to go over all these.
Web accessibility laws usually fit into one of the following categories:
- civil rights: discrimination against disabilities (Americans with Disabilities Act)
- procurement: purchasing accessible IT products (Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act)
- industry-specific: regulations for private industries (21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act, Air Carrier Access Act)
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
- Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act
- 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA)
- Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA)
- Web Standards for the Government of Canada
- Ontario: The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)
- Quebec: Standards sur l’accessibilité du Web
- European Union: EN 301 549 “Accessibility requirements suitable for public procurement of ICT products and services in Europe”
- United Kingdom: Equality Act of 2010
- France: Référentiel Général d’Accessibilité pour les Administrations (RGAA) (Translated: General Accessibility Repository for Administrations)
- Germany: Barrierefreie-Informationstechnik-Verordnung (BITV 2) (Translated: Accessible Information Technology Regulation)
- Ireland: Code of Practice on Accessibility of Public Services and Information provided by Public Bodies
- Italy: Law 4/2004 (“Stanca” Law)
- Netherlands: Netherlands: Web Accessibility Laws and Policies
- Spain: Law 34/2002, Law 51/2003
- Australia: Disability Discrimination Act
- Hong Kong: Guidelines on Dissemination of Information through Government Websites [PDF] (WCAG, Level AA)
- India: Indian Web Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG, Level AA)
- Japan: Japanese Industrial Standard (JIS) X 8341, Act on the Elimination of Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities
- New Zealand: Human Rights Amendment Act 2001, Web Accessibility Standard 1.0, Web Usability Standard 1.2
Myths and Misconceptions about Accessibility
- It benefits only a small minority. Truth: It actually benefits everyone.
- It’s a short-term project. Truth: It’s on-going.
- It should be the last step. Truth: It needs to start at the beginning of the project and last throughout the project’s life cycle.
- It’s hard & expensive. Truth: Remediation is harder and more expensive than considering it throughout the life cycle.
- It’s ugly. Truth: Most accessibility features are not visible to everyone.
“Inaccessible web sites are not just inconvenient for people with disabilities, they are blocking.”