WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

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Accessible Art Web site


From: Adam Alonzo
Date: Dec 18, 2001 3:11PM

Dear List Members,

I'd like to introduce Access Art, a new Web site produced by The
Dayton Art Institute in collaboration with Wright State University.
Though it includes a great deal of visual and aural content, it was
designed to be as accessible as possible to everyone. A summary of
its accessibility features is included below.

I encourage you to visit the site at:


Please feel free to contact me with suggestions on ways to improve
the accessibility of the site. You can respond to me directly at:


Please note that Access Art is a new addition to the Art Institute's
overall Web site, and that the general site does not yet conform to
the same accessibility standards.

I look forward to your feedback,

Adam Alonzo
Accessible Arts! Coordinator
Office of Disability Services
Wright State University
3640 Colonel Glenn Highway
Dayton, Ohio 45435-0001
(937) 775-5806


From its initial planning stages, Access Art was designed to be as
accessible as possible to everyone, particularly people with
disabilities using adaptive computer equipment. This commitment to
accessibility has been implemented throughout the site in many ways,
some obvious and some subtle. This section contains details about these
accessibility features in order to provide guidelines for other museum
Web sites to follow.

Accessibility Standards
Access Art was developed using the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
as its standard for accessible design. These guidelines are provided by
the Web Accessibility Initiative of the World Wide Web Consortium.

Image Alternatives
All images within Access Art are accompanied by a brief text phrase that
serves as an alternative for visitors who cannot see the image. This is
suitable for logos, icons and other simple graphics.

Image Descriptions
In addition to the brief text alternatives for simple graphics, all
works of art are accompanied by a lengthy text paragraph that describes
the appearance of the object for visitors who cannot see it. Also, all
icons and graphics used within Access Art are described on the Graphic
Descriptions page.

Keyboard Access
Access Art is designed to be fully accessible to individuals who use a
keyboard or similar device instead of a mouse. The EyeSpy image
enlargement system allows visitors to view works of art in detail
without having to use a mouse.

Text Transcripts
There are many audio segments included in Access Art, so text
transcripts are provided for the benefit of those who cannot hear the

Cascading Style Sheets
Certain design elements of this site, such as text size and color, are
implemented with Cascading Style Sheets, a flexible system that can be
changed by users to make text easier to read.

Language Specification
While the primary language of Access Art is English, there are many
instances of other languages throughout the site. For the benefit of
those using screen readers to vocalize the Web pages to them, such
changes in language are clearly identified.

Hyperlink Text and Titles
Hyperlinks within Access Art avoid ambiguous phrases such as "Click
Here," and they include embedded titles to further amplify their

Navigation Menus
Access Art provides a dynamic menu at the top of each page that makes
navigation easier and informs users of their position within the site.
It also includes a "hidden" link that allows people using adaptive
equipment to skip the navigation menu and move to the main content of
the page.

Table Layout and Markup
While tables are used for layout on this site, they are never used to
place sections of text side by side, avoiding potential problems for
visitors using screen readers. Also, tables use embedded titles and
summaries to explain their purpose and layout.

JavaScript Alternative
There is only one usage of JavaScript within Access Art, and it is
accompanied by a script-free alternative for visitors whose Web browsers
do not support JavaScript.

Accessibility Testing
The design of Access Art was evaluated using alternative browsers,
adaptive technology and accessibility testing tools such as Bobby, an
online service provided by CAST.

Accessibility Review
The accessibility of Access Art was also tested by a panel of advisors
with a variety of disabilities, and by experts in the field of Web