WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

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Re: Validation equals Accessibility?


From: Jukka K. Korpela
Date: Apr 16, 2007 12:00PM

On Mon, 16 Apr 2007, tedd wrote:

> Validation simply means that your web page meets with the W3C guide
> lines,

Not even that. The W3C has issued several guidelines (including old
accessibility guidelines), and most of them do not affect validity at all.

Validating an HTML document does not even check all the W3C guidelines on
HTML - only the part that has been _formalized_ in a Document Type
Definition. More on this:

> Of course the W3C wants to promote accessible web sites, but their
> main intent is to get everyone on board with compliance to standards,
> hence, no accessibility validation (yet).

I wouldn't say anything like that about W3C aims.

> Whereas, accessibility has different concerns AND those concerns are
> widespread and diverse. No single test will tell you if your web page
> is accessible or not. But you can try to solve problems via links
> like these:

Unfortunately, many accessibility checkers just obfuscate things. There's
actually very little that can be checked automatically in the area of
accessibility. Software purported to do such things may issue silly
warnings that just tell _you_ to check for accessibility.

You need real people to evaluate accessibility. But you can start from
learning about accessibility yourself and using your own judgement then.
Using "different" browsers or common browsers with "different" settings is
a good way to make some quick evaluations. For example, you could install
the Web Developer Extension on Firefox and thereby get nice tools for
switching off stylesheets, JavaScript, images, etc., with simple commands,
to see whether a page degrades gracefully.

Jukka "Yucca" Korpela, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/