Accessibility in the Online Environment

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


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Presentation: Accessibility in the Online Environment
Presenter: Dawn Hunziker, Disability Resource Center

  • Why is Web Accessibility important?
  • Section 508
  • JAWS
  • Making your site accessible
  • Text equivalents
  • Color
  • Q: What about font-weight?
    A: Font-weight is the same as color; it cannot be used to convey information.
  • Q: Can links have the title attribute set to avoid cluttering the site for sighted users?
    A: Yes, depending on the screen reader settings.
  • Q: Does the screen reader pull these links out of context?
    A: Yes, it can depending on how the user chooses to browse.
  • Q: Do screen readers ignore CSS?
    A: Yes, except for Fire Vox.
  • Only put Skip Navigation links on lower-level pages (not front page).
  • Form elements need to have label tags.
  • Q: How well do the screen readers deal with AJAX-based forms?
    A: As long as what was changed is below the current location, it should work.
  • PDF accessibility
    To check the structure of a PDF (in Adobe Reader), go to View -> Zoom -> Reflow.
    To structure a PDF (in Adobe Acrobat Professional), go to Advanced -> Accessibility.
  • Q: How does this technology impact distance learning?
    A: If there is a disabled student in the course, captioning should be done. If the content will not change often or is popular, let DRC know.
  • If you are considering converting textbooks to an e-reader format, be sure the e-books are accessible.
  • Q: Do blind students use search?
    A: Rarely.
  • Q: Do access keys work?
    A: Yes.
  • Q: Is there anything else to think about other than visual and color impairments?
    A: Hearing, usability in general.
  • Q: Which CMSs tend to be more accessible?
    A: Unknown, check options, esp. Drupal. Anything used by California Universities / Community Colleges is generally better, because of regulatory issues.