352 Inc. / Digital Marketing / December 22nd, 2008

Great Accessibility article on the BBC "New guidelines boost web access"


New guidelines boost web access
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7789622.stm.

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has announced a new standard to make sites more accessible to older and disabled people.

Version 2.0 of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) will apply to text, images, audio and video. It also covers web applications and is said to give developers more flexibility than the old guidelines. According to the consortium, WCAG 2.0 should also be easier to understand and use. The guidance is designed to address barriers encountered by people with visual, hearing, physical, cognitive and neurological disabilities and older people with access needs.

WCAG 2.0 explains how to make content:

  • Perceivable – including descriptive text for images, audio captions, flexibility of layout and color contrast
  • Operable – making sites usable with keyboards and improving navigation
  • Understandable – making content easier to read and input more logical
  • Robust – ensuring that content and applications are compatible with assistive technology such as screen readers and magnifiers


The videos are very interesting as they show how people with different types of disabilites navigate the sites we build, along with the issues they have trying to access information.

Video 1 (Shopping online for blind people)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7792662.stm

Visually impaired tester Hazel Dudley uses the Jaws voice system to find out how easy it is to surf price comparison sites. Her ratings are personal and do not represent a scientific appraisal of the site.

Video 2 (How dyslexia affects e-shopping)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7792667.stm

Tester Chris Markley shows how his dyslexia inhibits his ability to use price comparison sites. His ratings are personal and do not represent a scientific appraisal of the sites.

Video 3 (How limb pain limits web surfing)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7792671.stm

Tester Nicola Keary’s non-specific arm pain (formerly known as repetitive strain injury), reduces her ability to use some price comparison sites. Her ratings are personal and do not represent a scientific appraisal of the sites. Since this trial was filmed, confused.com has redesigned its website to cater more for people with disabilities.