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Re: evaluating Web accessibility software


From: Jon Gunderson
Date: Jul 25, 2003 8:39AM

I will be developing some on-online tutorials next month and will send the
URL to the list when available.

But basically with Opera you can do the following things:

1. Select a high contrast style sheet from the View/Style menu to see what
changes to high contrast. All text should be in high contrast.

2. If you change the window size does the content wrap to the new window
size so that the user does not need to horizontally scroll.

3. As you change font size (- and + key on numeric keypad) does text reflow
to the change in font sizes

4. Do links make sense in isolation. Use Control+J to bring up a list of
just link text.

5. Is there proper use of headers, Use the W and S keys to navigate the
headers of the document. it should move focus to the major topics or areas
of the web resource.

6. Select the ignore tables style option in View/Styles menu to see if the
document makes sense linearized. This is important for screen reader
compatibility and also from people with learning disabilities to simplify
the layout of the document.

7. have you uses any images to style text. These should be changed to text
and sylized with CSS.

8. Turn off images (G key) to test if ALT text is present for
images. Note: ALT for AREA element is not rendered by any major browser,
so should be considered and inaccessible technique, unless there are
redundant text links in the document.

9. Test ACCESSKEY bindings (Press ESCape key and then press ACCESSKEY)

The beauty of Opera is that all these things can be done in one or two
keystrokes or mouse clicks. making it easily to go between the authors
preferred styling and styling a user needs. These types of tests really
strain pages that use out of date graphical tesign techniques for styling
content and therefore leads to designs that are better for everyone.


At 10:35 AM 7/21/2003 -0400, you wrote:
> > ...leads to web designs that may technically meet the requirements of
> > a particular accessibility specification (508 or WCAG), but are not
> > functionally accessible to people with disabilities.
>Jon, while I believe the best test of online materials being accessible
>is whether the user can access them, could you give some examples of
>what you mean here? I do agree with you accessibility needs to be about
>people's skills and needs rather than programs.
>On a side note we invested in RAMP, from Deque. We're waiting for their
>version 2.5, but based on what I've seen so far I wouldn't recommend it.
>It does an ok job with individual pages but crashes when asked to
>perform repair tests of root directories or sites. To Wendy Mullin: If
>you are buying an enterprise version of some accessibility tool, make
>sure you see how it actually works on sites rather than trusting to the
>wow effect of a demo version run from a laptop.
>To subscribe, unsubscribe, or view list archives,
>visit http://www.webaim.org/discussion/

Jon Gunderson, Ph.D., ATP
Coordinator of Assistive Communication and Information Technology
Division of Rehabilitation - Education Services
College of Applied Life Studies
University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign
1207 S. Oak Street, Champaign, IL 61820

Voice: (217) 244-5870
Fax: (217) 333-0248


WWW: http://cita.rehab.uiuc.edu/
WWW: http://www.staff.uiuc.edu/~jongund

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