Hello I Am Waiting words on a nametag sticker to illustrate being patient, late, tardy or delayed for a trip, appointment, meeting or event

FAIL: Do not use the META tag to automatically refresh a page as this can be disorientating for users.

PASS: If the time interval is too short, people who are blind will not have enough time to make their screen readers read the page before the page refreshes unexpectedly and causes the screen reader to begin reading at the top.

Section 508 (2000) 1194.22 (p)
WCAG 2.0 F58 (Success Criteria: 2.2.1 level A)
Section 508 (2017) F58 (Success Criteria: 2.2.1 level A)

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FAIL: Do not use META REFRESH with a non-zero timeout to automatically refresh the page, since it causes an unexpected interruption for screen reader users.

PASS: If you cannot avoid using META REFRESH, change the refresh time to zero, since the redirect is instant and will not be perceived as a change of context.

Section 508 (2000) 1194.22 (p)
WCAG 1.0 7.5
WCAG 2.0 F40 (Success Criteria: 2.2.1 level A, 2.2.4 level AAA, 3.2.5 level AAA)
Section 508 (2017) F40 (Success Criteria: 2.2.1 level A, 2.2.4 level AAA, 3.2.5 level AAA)

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FAIL: Do not use the Refresh HTTP header to automatically refresh a page as this can be disorientating for users.

People who are blind will not have enough time to make their screen readers read the page before the page refreshes unexpectedly and causes the screen reader to begin reading at the top.

Section 508 (2000) 1194.22 (p)
WCAG 2.0 F58 (Success Criteria: 2.2.1 level A)
Section 508 (2017) F58 (Success Criteria: 2.2.1 level A)

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WEBSITE ACCESSIBILITY TESTING & REMEDIATION SERVICES: Mary Gillen is an experienced Website Accessibility Compliance Auditor and Remediator. She can test your website to determine if it meets accessibility standards:

WCAG 2.0: 110 checkpoints covering A, AA and AAA W3 accessibility guidelines
Section 508: 15 US federal guidelines covered by 47 accessibility checkpoints

Find out more about Mary Gillen's Accessibility Testing and Remediation Services

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Powerpoint Presentation Background

Making content accessible to people with disabilities online begins with making all types of files compliant from the start. Do you have links to PowerPoint presentations on your website? If so, be sure these documents are compliant.

Here are 32 items to test:

1. Does the document file name not contain spaces and/or special characters?

2. Is the document file name concise, generally limited to 20–30 characters, and does it make the contents of the file clear?

3. Have the Document Properties for Title, Author, Subject (AKA Description), Keywords, Language, and Copyright Status been applied?

4. Does the document utilize recommended fonts (i.e., Times New Roman, Verdana, Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, or Calibri)?

5. Have track changes been accepted or rejected and turned off?

6. Have comments been removed and formatting marks been turned off?

7. Does the document refrain from using flashing/flickering text and/or animated text?

8. Is the document free of background images or watermarks?

9. Do all images, grouped images, and non-text elements that convey information have meaningful alternative-text descriptions?

10. Do complex images (i.e., charts and graphs) have descriptive text near the image (perhaps as a caption)?

11. Do all URLs contain descriptive hyperlinks (i.e., avoid generic phrases like “Click here” and, instead, use phrases that let users know about the content of the linked page prior to selecting it

12. Are all URLs linked to correct Web destinations?

13. Are e-mail links accessible?

14. Has a separate accessible version of the document been provided when there is no other way to make the content accessible?

15. If there are tables, are blank cells avoided?

16. Is all of the text easy to read in comparison to the background of the document (i.e., has a color-contrast ratio of 4.5:1)?

17. Can all slide text be viewed in the Outline View?

18. Do all of the slides avoid using flickering/flashing text and/or animated text?

19. Do all of the slides avoid using text boxes or graphics with text within them?

20. Is the list style being used as opposed to manually typed characters (e.g. Hyphens, numbers, or graphics)?

21. If multimedia is present, did the multimedia pass the Multimedia Checklist?

22. Is the presentation free of SmartArt?

23. Are multiple associated images on the same page (e.g., boxes in an organizational chart) grouped as one object?

24. Have all multilayered objects been flattened into one image and does that image use one alternative text description for the image?

25. Do images/graphics appear crisp and legible?

26. If the document (or a section of the document) has a tabular appearance, is the tabular structure made using the table option (as opposed to manual tabs and/or spaces)?

27. Do all tables have a logical reading order from left to right, top to bottom?

28. Do data tables have the entire first row designated as a ‘Header Row’ in table properties?

29. Is the table free of merged cells?

30. Are all tables described and labeled (where appropriate)? Note: In some cases naming/numbering of tables may not be appropriate. For example, a small data table in a presentation may not need a reference.

31. In table properties, is “Allow row to break across pages” unchecked?

32. Has the document been reviewed in Print Preview for a final visual check?

[SOURCE]

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WEBSITE ACCESSIBILITY TESTING & REMEDIATION SERVICES: Mary Gillen is an experienced Website Accessibility Compliance Auditor and Remediator. She can test your website to determine if it meets accessibility standards:

WCAG 2.0: 110 checkpoints covering A, AA and AAA W3 accessibility guidelines
Section 508: 15 US federal guidelines covered by 47 accessibility checkpoints

Find out more about Mary Gillen's Accessibility Testing and Remediation Services

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Microsift Excel Logo

Making content accessible to people with disabilities online begins with making all types of files compliant from the start. Do you have links to Excel worksheets or spreadsheets on your website? If so, be sure your these documents are compliant.

To get you started, here are eight items to test:

FAIL: Excel worksheet images, charts and graphics are published without ALT text. PASS: To add alternative text (Alt text) to an image, chart or graphic: Right Click (Shift+F10) on the image, click Format, choose Alt Text. Type a descriptive name that describes the content of the image, chart or graphic.

FAIL: Excel file name contains spaces.
PASS: Use dashes (-) to separate words in your Excel file name. Keep the total number of characters in the file name between 20-30.

FAIL: Excel file info is not complete.
PASS: Fill in the Document Properties for Title, Author, Subject (AKA Description), Keywords, Language, and Copyright Status.

FAIL: Document contains background images and watermarks.
PASS: Be sure the document is free of background images or watermarks.

FAIL: Tables contain blank spaces.
PASS: If there are tables, avoid using blank cells.

FAIL: If there are merged or split cells contained in a data table, these will not be correctly interpreted by assistive technology.
PASS: Do not use merged or split cells.

FAIL: Track changes have not been accepted or rejected and turned off.
PASS: Turn track changes off before publishing your Excel document to the Web.

FAIL: Sheet tabs do not have unique names.
PASS: Sheet names in an Excel file should be unique and provide information about what can be found on the worksheet.
To rename a sheet: Right-click (Shift+F10) the sheet tab, and then click Rename. Type a brief, unique name that is descriptive of the sheet contents.

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WEBSITE ACCESSIBILITY TESTING & REMEDIATION SERVICES: Mary Gillen can test your website to determine if it meets accessibility standards:

WCAG 2.0: 110 checkpoints covering A, AA and AAA W3 accessibility guidelines
Section 508: 15 US federal guidelines covered by 47 accessibility checkpoints

Find out more about Mary Gillen's Accessibility Testing and Remediation Services

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Mathematics background with formulas

In order to create semantically accurate math equations that are accessible to all, check out MathML, the markup language that provides semantic understanding and proper syntax to assistive technologies like screen readers.

Why Not Use an Image With Alt Text?

According to info included in Princeton University's MathML for Accessible Math Markup Tutorial, there is a good reason not to use images to display math equations:

"Whereas an alternative text description on an image of a math equation is better than nothing, it still a violation of Success Criterion 1.4.5 Images of Text. Presenting an equation as an image denies the ability of the non-sighted user to derive the understanding through semantics in an equivalent fashion to a sighted user."

MathML Tutorials

W3C MathML Guide
Mozilla Guide to MathML
Princeton University's MathML for Accessible Math Markup Tutorial
Daniel Scully's Beginner's Guide to MathML
The Connexions Guide to MathML.

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WEBSITE ACCESSIBILITY TESTING & REMEDIATION SERVICES: Mary Gillen can test your website to determine if it meets accessibility standards:

WCAG 2.0: 110 checkpoints covering A, AA and AAA W3 accessibility guidelines
Section 508: 15 US federal guidelines covered by 47 accessibility checkpoints

Find out more about Mary Gillen's Accessibility Testing and Remediation Services

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Blue html Code BackgroundFACT: Web pages that contain duplicate IDs can cause problems in screen readers.

If two or more elements on the same page share the same ID, this can cause problems in screen readers which use IDs for labeling controls and table headings.

It can also cause problems in JavaScript methods like getElementById and querySelector, which behave inconsistently when duplicate IDs are present.

Change the IDs so all are unique for each element.

Click Here Buttons. 4 icons shownWhen you use generic text like "Click Here" or "Read More" as instructions in link text, it is confusing because it says nothing about the content that will appear once the link is clicked. Remember: link targets are read out loud by screen readers.

Another thing to note: screen readers often tab from one link to the next.

Tabbing between links labeled "click here" sounds like "click here, tab, click here, tab, click here".

REMEDIATION: Change the link text so it is an explanation of the target content. This will make more sense when read by a screen reader.

EXAMPLE

Original Instruction Text: Click here
Revised Instruction Text: Click here to read the latest news

scary Jack-in-the-box toy isolated on a white backgroundDo you have a survey popup on your home page that automatically opens?

WCAG 2.0 bans all popup windows without explicit alert beforehand (WCAG 2.0 through Level AAA - 3.2.1 On Focus). New windows take the focus away from what the user is reading or doing. This is fine when the user has interacted with a piece of user interface and expects to get a new window, such as an options dialogue. The failure comes when pop-ups appear unexpectedly.

icon of Word documentMaking content accessible to people with disabilities online begins with making all types of files compliant from the start. Do you have links to Word documents on your website? If so, be sure your Word documents are compliant.

To get you started, here are seven items to test:

FAIL: Word document contains a graphic without ALT text.
PASS: Use the 'Format Picture' command in Word to add ALT text

FAIL: Document file name contains spaces.
PASS: Use dashes (-) to separate words in your Word file name. Keep the total number of characters in the file name between 20-30.

FAIL: Word file info is not complete.
PASS: Fill in the Document Properties for Title, Author, Subject (AKA Description), Keywords, Language, and Copyright Status.

FAIL: Document contains background images and watermarks.
PASS: Be sure the document is free of background images or watermarks.

FAIL: Color is used as a way to instruct. Colorblind visitors may not able to follow the instructions when reading your Word document.
PASS: Use an instruction description that does not depend on color.

FAIL: Table data created using manual tabs and/or spaces.
PASS: Use the Insert Table option to create tables.

FAIL: Track changes have not been accepted or rejected and turned off.
PASS: Turn track changes off before publishing your Word document to the Web.

closed-captionAdding captions to videos definitely adds a bit of time on to a project, and is so important for accessibility. But remember that captions can also help other folks who may not be deaf or hard of hearing.

According to Penn State University's Accessibility Website, non-deaf beneficiaries of captions include:

  • anyone with defective computer audio
  • students needing to learn new terminology or
  • those whose first language is not English
  • viewers in a noisy room or with a sleeping roommate

Free Video Captioning Tools

Here are some free tools that can help you get the video captioning job done:

Amara >> Free, open source, online captioning tool

YouTube Captioning

MovieCaptioner >> Free 14-day, fully-functional demo version available - closed captioning software for Mac and Windows (works offline)

Caption Format Converter Tool >> Free tool that converts SRT or SBV to various caption formats

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Instructor-led, Online Course: How to Create Accessible Websites

This instructor-led, hands-on course covers essential design, coding, and testing procedures for Web designers and developers who want to be sure the sites they create are accessible to as many people as possible. Class participants will build an accessible web site based on the WCAG 2.0 Standards...Levels A, AA & AAA.

2 Days Online | 9 AM - 4 PM EDT
Instructor: Mary Gillen
Tuition: $950 per person

Find out more and register for How to Create Accessible Websites online course

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It's common for web developers to use CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) functionality for anti-spam verification to make sure HTML form responses are being generated by humans and not computer "bots".

Example of a visual CAPTCHA

The most commonly used CAPTCHA presents a visual of distorted text for the website visitor to interpret. Another alternative is the audio CAPTCHA, offering human verification to the blind and other visually impaired people. Unfortunately, both types of CAPTCHAS offer accessibility issues:

  1. People with visual disabilities use screen readers that cannot read a CAPTCHA.
  2. You cannot add ALT text to a CAPTCHA image, because then a bot would be able to read it, defeating the purpose of using it.
  3. Audio CAPTCHAs present difficulties for people with hearing disabilities.

SOLUTION: Use Text-based Logic Questions or Math Equations CAPTCHAs

Use a question rather than an image or audio to create CAPTCHA functionality.

A sample CAPTCHA question might be "Which animal is larger—an ant or a elephant?"or "What state is Boston located in?"

Another way to challenge: use math questions (e.g. "What is one plus three?").

Example of a math question challenge question that can replace a CAPTCHA

PHP Script Solution: All CAPS vs lowercase

For those of you who use PHP, here's a simple coding trick that enables you to create an accessible CAPTCHA on an HTML form. I have used this for years on client websites, and it works great.

At the bottom of your form, create a text field named Validate. Above the field, add a validation text code of capital letters and numbers (in this case GHW53405) that the user will need to enter in order to submit the form. Also let the user know that the validation code is case-sensitive.

validate1b

Once the user enters the validation text code and submits the form, add the following condition at the top of the PHP processing page:

<?php
if (strtolower($_POST['Validate']) != 'ghw53405') {
die('Sorry...you forgot to enter the special code in the form...hit your back key and try again. Please note that the special code is case-sensitive');
} else {

rest of script

}

Note that in the PHP condition you need to change the values of the capital letters used in the validation text code to lowercase (see bold above). The PHP function strtolower converts all the text characters of the submitted Validate string to lowercase. If the validation text code has been entered correctly, the rest of the script will process with no problem. If the validation code has been entered incorrectly, the submission will fail and the user will be directed back to the form.

Check Out This Additional Resource: The TextCaptcha service provides access to textual CAPTCHA challenges via a simple JSON or XML API over HTTP. http://textcaptcha.com

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IS YOUR WEBSITE ACCESSIBLE?

By 2018, The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) will roll out official compliance guidelines concerning online accessibility for the disabled as part of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

DOJ will soon be expecting all websites to accommodate people with disabilities.

Whether DOJ will implement web accessibility standards is not a matter of "if", but "when."

Mary can test your website to determine if it meets these accessibility standards:

WCAG 2.0: 110 checkpoints covering A, AA and AAA W3 accessibility guidelines
Section 508: 15 US federal guidelines covered by 47 accessibility checkpoints

You will receive a full report and checklists of items on your website that need to be fixed in order to be compliant.

As a web developer since 1995, Mary can also make the coding changes to your website so it is compliant.

Contact Mary at mary@accessiblewebsiteservices.com or 508-768-8418 to find out more.

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