META TAGS: How Not to Use Them When Coding for Compliance

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 2.1: 118 checkpoints covering A, AA and AAA W3 accessibility guidelines
Section 508: 15 US federal guidelines covered by 55 accessibility checkpoints

Find out more about Mary Gillen’s Accessibility Testing & Remediation Services: Websites, PDFs, Office Docs & Videos

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32 Ways to Test PowerPoint Presentations for Compliance

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 2.1: 118 checkpoints covering A, AA and AAA W3 accessibility guidelines
Section 508: 15 US federal guidelines covered by 55 accessibility checkpoints

Find out more about Mary Gillen’s Accessibility Testing & Remediation Services: Websites, PDFs, Office Docs & Videos

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LEGAL NEWS: Credit Unions Experiencing an Increase in ADA Lawsuits

Pillars of Law and Information at the United States Supreme Court

In the Credit Union Times article Credit Unions: Mitigate Risks as ADA Suits Mount, author Tina Orem reports that the “number of credit unions hit with lawsuits in recent weeks over the accessibility of their websites continued to climb into double digits, and experts warned that even more credit unions could become targets if they don’t get up to speed on the issue.”

More from Tina Orem:

“According to the lawsuits, that discrimination includes failing to do things such as embed code that allows screen readers to vocalize descriptions of graphics on websites. Without those efforts, visually impaired users can’t determine what’s on a credit union’s site and in turn can’t browse a site, look for locations, learn about amenities or determine which branch to visit. The complaints also claimed the credit unions’ sites contained redundant links that created repetition for screen readers and were missing form labels.”

Credit unions that want to avoid becoming targets of ADA suits can do a few things, according to the pros. Find out what you need to do at http://www.cutimes.com/2017/10/27/mitigate-risks-as-ada-suits-mount.

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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 2.1: 118 checkpoints covering A, AA and AAA W3 accessibility guidelines
Section 508: 15 US federal guidelines covered by 55 accessibility checkpoints

Find out more about Mary Gillen’s Accessibility Testing & Remediation Services: Websites, PDFs, Office Docs & Videos

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TESTING TOOL: Funkify Accessibility Simulator

Funkify Logo

Funkify is a plugin for Chrome that helps you experience the web and interfaces through the eyes of extreme users with different abilities and disabilities.

The free demo version helps web developers, designers and content creators  experience the web through the eyes of people with different abilities:

Blurry Bianca – Experience blurry vision through a foggy filter.

Dyslexia Dani – Scramble letters and make them dance.

Trembling Trevor – Lose some control of your mouse pointer.

Tunnel Toby – Simulate partial vision loss on your screen.

Color Carl – Manipulate colors with different filters.

Elderly Ellen – Try both lowered vision and trembling hands.

Sunshine Sue – Simulate sunshine on your screen

Funkify is created by a team of usability and accessibility experts in Sweden. The project is financed by The Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (Post och telestyrelsen, PTS).

Get the plugin at http://www.funkify.org

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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 2.1: 118 checkpoints covering A, AA and AAA W3 accessibility guidelines
Section 508: 15 US federal guidelines covered by 55 accessibility checkpoints

Find out more about Mary Gillen’s Accessibility Testing & Remediation Services: Websites, PDFs, Office Docs & Videos

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Web Developers & Designers: Time to Add Website Accessibility Compliance Knowledge to Your Skill Set

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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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 2.1: 118 checkpoints covering A, AA and AAA W3 accessibility guidelines
Section 508: 15 US federal guidelines covered by 55 accessibility checkpoints

Find out more about Mary Gillen’s Accessibility Testing & Remediation Services: Websites, PDFs, Office Docs & Videos

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8 Ways to Make Excel Worksheets Compliant

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 is an experienced Website Accessibility Compliance Auditor and Remediator. She can test your website to determine if it meets accessibility standards:

WCAG 2.1: 118 checkpoints covering A, AA and AAA W3 accessibility guidelines
Section 508: 15 US federal guidelines covered by 55 accessibility checkpoints

Find out more about Mary Gillen’s Accessibility Testing & Remediation Services: Websites, PDFs, Office Docs & Videos

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MathML: Tutorials for Accessible Math Markup

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 is an experienced Website Accessibility Compliance Auditor and Remediator. She can test your website to determine if it meets accessibility standards:

WCAG 2.1: 118 checkpoints covering A, AA and AAA W3 accessibility guidelines
Section 508: 15 US federal guidelines covered by 55 accessibility checkpoints

Find out more about Mary Gillen’s Accessibility Testing & Remediation Services: Websites, PDFs, Office Docs & Videos

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ACCESSIBLE CSS: Strong vs Font-Weight – Which to Use?

Decorative Floral Print

Use semantic markup like STRONG instead of using the CSS font-weight property.

EXAMPLE CODE:

<span style=”font-weight:bold;”>Sample Heading Text</span>

REMEDIATION:

Use the STRONG element instead of the SPAN element for bold text.

<strong>Sample Heading Text</strong>

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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 2.1: 118 checkpoints covering A, AA and AAA W3 accessibility guidelines
Section 508: 15 US federal guidelines covered by 55 accessibility checkpoints

Find out more about Mary Gillen’s Accessibility Testing & Remediation Services: Websites, PDFs, Office Docs & Videos

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HEADINGS: Two Accessibility Tips You May Not Know

An HTML H1 Tag against a purple background

TIP #1: Headings should not contain other headings.

EXAMPLE CODE:

<h1>Sample Heading Text<h1>Subtext</h1></h1>

REMEDIATION:

Remove the nested headings, or replace them with SPAN elements.

<h1>Sample Heading Text<span>Subtext</span></h1>

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TIP #2: Use HTML headings instead of applying CSS heading styles to non-headings.

EXAMPLE CODE:

<div style=”font-size:1.5em; color:#cc0000;”>Sample Heading Text</div>

REMEDIATION:

Change the element to an appropriate heading element (H1, H2, H3, etc) and apply CSS styles if necessary.

<h1 style=”color:#cc0000;”>Sample Heading Text</h1>

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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 2.1: 118 checkpoints covering A, AA and AAA W3 accessibility guidelines
Section 508: 15 US federal guidelines covered by 55 accessibility checkpoints

Find out more about Mary Gillen’s Accessibility Testing & Remediation Services: Websites, PDFs, Office Docs & Videos

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PDFs: The Importance of Figure and Image ALT Tags

To be accessible to screen readers, figures and images in PDF documents should not have blank ALT text, except for decorative images which should be marked as artifacts.

Each image should have an ALT attribute describing the picture, which screen readers can read aloud.

EXAMPLE:

Still life with colorful tulips

ALT=”Still life photo of colorful tulips in a glass vase”

ADDITIONAL NOTE: When an image contains words that are important to understanding the content, the text alternative should include those words. This will allow the alternative to accurately represent the image.

Read more about PDF Techniques for WCAG: Text Alternatives.

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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 2.1: 118 checkpoints covering A, AA and AAA W3 accessibility guidelines
Section 508: 15 US federal guidelines covered by 55 accessibility checkpoints

Find out more about Mary Gillen’s Accessibility Testing & Remediation Services: Websites, PDFs, Office Docs & Videos

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