Saturday 20 July 2002

Accessibility

This is the official accessibility statement for weblog.delacour.net. It is based largely upon the accessibility statement for Mark Pilgrim’s diveintomark.org weblog. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me.

Access keys

Most browsers support jumping to specific links by typing keys defined on the web site. On Windows, you can press ALT+accesskey; on Macintosh, you can press CONTROL+accesskey.

The home page and all archive pages can be reached by using the following access keys:

Access key 1
Home page
Access key 4
Search box
Access key 9
Feedback
Access key 0
Accessibility statement

Standards compliance

  1. The home page and archives would be Bobby AAA approved, complying with all priority 1, 2, and 3 guidelines of the W3 Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, if the same link phrase was not used more than once when the links point to different URLs (unavoidable in a weblog that has comments enabled).
  2. The home page and archives are Section 508 approved, complying with all guidelines of the U.S. Federal Government Section 508 Guidelines.
  3. The home page and archives validate as XHTML 1.0 Transitional.
  4. The home page and archives use structured semantic markup. For example, on pages with more than one day’s posts, H2 tags are used for day titles, H3 tags for individual post titles, and H4 for subheadings within posts. JAWS users can skip to the next day using ALT+INSERT+2, or the next post with ALT+INSERT+3.

Navigation aids

  1. All archive pages have rel=previous, next, up, and home links to aid navigation in text-only browsers and screen readers. Netscape 6 and Mozilla users can also take advantage of this feature by selecting the View menu, Show/Hide, Site Navigation Bar, Show Only As Needed (or Show Always).
  2. Full access to monthly and category archives is also available through the archive page.
  3. The home page and all archive pages include a search box (access key 4).

Links

  1. Many links have title attributes which describe the link in greater detail, unless the text of the link already fully describes the target (such as the headline of an article).
  2. Whever possible, links are written to make sense out of context. Many browsers (such as JAWS, Home Page Reader, Lynx, and Opera) can extract the list of links on a page and allow the user to browse the list, separately from the page.
  3. Link text is never duplicated (except, as noted above, in the case of comments); apart from this exception, two links with the same link text always point to the same address.
  4. There are no javascript: pseudo-links. All links can be followed in any browser, even if scripting is turned off.
  5. On the index and monthly archive pages, clicking on a Comments link opens a new window. On the individual archive pages (the default for archives) the comments are inline with the rest of the page content.

Images

  1. All content images used in the home page and all archives include descriptive ALT tags.
  2. Purely decorative graphics include null ALT tags.

Visual design

This site and all its archives use cascading style sheets for visual layout.

  1. A default stylesheet is used that does not depend on JavaScript.
  2. The default stylesheet uses only relative font sizes, compatible with the user-specified text size option in visual browsers.
  3. If your browser or browsing device does not support stylesheets at all, the content of each page is still readable.

Accessibility references

  1. W3 accessibility guidelines, which explains the reasons behind each guideline.
  2. W3 accessibility techniques, which explains how to implement each guideline.
  3. W3 accessibility checklist, a busy developer’s guide to accessibility.
  4. U.S. Federal Government Section 508 accessibility guidelines.
  5. 30 days to a more accessible weblog, Mark Pilgrim’s tutorial that explains these guidelines and how to implement them. It’s best to start at the beginning.

Accessibility software and services

  1. Bobby, a free service to analyze web pages for compliance to accessibility guidelines.
  2. HTML Validator, a free service for checking that web pages conform to published HTML standards.
  3. Web Page Backward Compatibility Viewer, a tool for viewing your web pages without a variety of modern browser features.
  4. JAWS, a screen reader for Windows. A time-limited demo is available.
  5. Lynx, a free text-only web browser.

Related resources

  1. WebAIM, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving accessibility to online learning materials.
  2. Designing More Usable Web Sites, a large list of additional resources.

Accessibility books recommended by Mark Pilgrim

  1. Joe Clark: Building Accessible Websites. Mark tech-edited this book and says that it’s excellent—comprehensive but not overwhelming.
  2. Jim Thatcher and others: Constructing Accessible Web Sites. Mark says that this book is

    less comprehensive than Joe’s book, but goes into greater depth in the topics it covers. Gives screenshots of how various screen readers and alternative browsers interpret various tags and markup. Also has an amazing chapter on the current state of legal accessibility requirements.

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© Copyright 2007 Jonathon Delacour