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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Business leadership concept with red paper plane leading white airplanes above clouds in the sky. Success, winner abstract illustration. Eps10 vector illustration.

Mark this date on your calendar. On January 18, 2018, the U.S. Access Board, a federal agency that promotes equality for people with disabilities will issue a final rule that updates accessibility guidelines and standards covered by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. This includes accessibility guidelines and standards for communication and information technology.

What does this mean to website developers and designers?

You can make these legislative changes pay off for your career or development/design business. There's an increasing demand for experienced web developers and designers who can offer web accessibility auditing and remediation services.

Why learn web accessibility?

According to Dr. James Logan, quality assurance manager for Georgia Institute of Technology’s Enterprise Information Systems, "The web accessibility compliance auditor is a field that every computer science and information systems student should think of pursing. It really is just an extension of information systems. The field has so many opportunities for web developers." [SOURCE]

Section 508

In order to assure that websites and web applications are accessible to and usable by everyone, Web designers and developers need to understand and follow the Section 508 law (29 U.S.C. § 794 (d)) that applies to all federal agencies and their vendors when they develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology.

"If you’re going to sell products or services to federal agencies or state schools, you have to be an accessible vendor," Logan says. "We test the compliance of an information and communication technology (ICT), test with the JAWS screen reader, a color contrast checker, and check if a PDF is accessible." [SOURCE]

WCAG 2.0 A, AA & AAA

It is also important to understand and know how to implement the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0) published by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the main international standards organization for the Internet. These guidelines are especially important to implement if you are creating websites that sell to consumers via a "public-facing" website. Just as the areas of a "brick and mortar" business need to be accessible, commercial website structure and content are also subject to ADA accessibility requirements. This includes page content, apps, pdfs, videos, podcasts and more.

Web accessibility is not just for government websites

Goodwill, smart business, and pending governmental regulation should compel organizations to make websites accessible to all potential customers.

If the websites you create or maintain are designed to generate revenue, obtain email addresses for newsletter subscriptions, and invite prospects to fill out forms, accessibility compliance is important.

Until now, website accessibility hasn’t been a big concern for most website developers and designers. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has put off rolling out official compliance guidelines concerning online accessibility for the disabled as part of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). However, waiting until it's the law may make the commercial websites you create legally vulnerable in the meantime if the websites aren’t in compliance, as organizations such as Winn Dixie, Chick-fil-A, Peapod, Target, Reebok, and the NBA have already found out.

The DOJ is urging businesses to follow voluntary Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, or WCAG, version 2.0, rules that are expected to shape the ADA's website-access regulations in development. The guidelines address sensory issues, navigation, graphics, fonts, images, multi-media, coding and more. The guidelines urge website developers and designers to be aware of website features that may interfere with screen-reader technology and other assistive devices.

Take action now

If you are just hearing about website accessibility for the first time or you have determined that this is an issue that can help you bring better website development services to your clients, it’s not too late.

Your next steps:

1) Learn the Section 508 and WCAG 2.0 A, AA & AAA rules
2) Learn how to test your existing websites and create audit reports necessary to determine remediation plans.
3) Learn how to implement the changes necessary to make a website and its content accessible.

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ABOUT MARY GILLEN: Mary Gillen is an experienced website developer, creating and maintaining responsive accessible websites for government, commercial and non-profit organizations since 1995. She is an experienced Website Accessibility Compliance Auditor, testing and remediating websites to meet Section 508 and WCAG 2.0 A, AA & AAA standards and guidelines.

She is also an experienced technical trainer, having taught 8500 students in classroom and online environments since 1995. Her latest instructor-lead 2-day online class Website Accessibility Auditor: Learn How to Test Websites for Accessibility helps website developers and designers get up to speed quickly on Section 508 and WCAG 2.0 A, AA & AAA standards and guidelines. Visit Mary's website at http://accessiblewebsiteservices.com or call her at 508-768-8418.

 

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

===

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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