Creating Accessible Websites in Sample_Tool
Jan Richards, ATRC
This lesson will explain how to use Sample_Tool to make your pages more accessible
for people with disabilities. This is especially important in the United States,
Canada, the European Union, and Australia, where Web page accessibility standards
have been adopted for government agencies and some business sectors.
This lesson follows one possible workflow for creating a site. When creating
your own sites, you can follow whatever workflow is most comfortable for you.
- Accumulate content
- Configure options
- Create pages
- Evaluate and repair
- Decide what formats to use. We suggest XHTML 1.0.
2. Accumulate content
- If you accumulate multimedia content such as images, movies or sound files.
Prepare text equivalents of them beforehand using the Sample_Tool "Multimedia
Gallery - Description Option". Simply load the multimedia file into the
gallery and follow the prompts to add a label, description or transcript.
This information will then be provided to you when you use that file in your
- If you are licensing content, enquire about have the content provider also
provide the required text equivalents.
3. Configure options
- On the Sample_Tool "Accessibility" options card:
- set your desired level of WCAG conformance ("Single-A", "Double-A"
or "Triple-A") - we suggest WCAG "Double-A" for your
most important pages (home pages, etc.) and WCAG "Single-A".
- set your desired type of "Accessibility Alerting" ("Pop-up"
or "In-line") - we suggest "In-line" because it is
more flexible. "Pop-up" alerts require immediate attention.
- set whether you desire "Accessibility warning prior to QuickPublish"
("On" or "Off") - we suggest "On"
4. Create pages
- Create your pages as you normally would, being sure to follow prompts along
- In particular, when entering non-text objects you will usually be asked
to provide a non-text equivalent. When this happens, check the drop-down menu
to see if a text equivalent has already been added for this object, that might
- If you have set "Accessibility Alerting" to "In-line"
you will see blue squiggly outlines of elements requiring accessibility repair.
You may repair these at any time before publishing. However, performing the
repair earlier keeps the number of repairs to do smaller and keeps the page
5. Evaluate and repair
- At some point before publishing, you will likely want to cease dealing with
accessibility problems on a case by case basis and instead perform a thorough
evaluation and repair run.
- To do this, choose the Sample_Tool "Accessibility" from the tools
menu. This tool will let you evaluate and repair multiple files. Since some
repairs will require manual repair, these tasks will be automatically placed
in the Sample_Tool tasks window along with your other "to do" items.
Tip: This version of Sample_Tool (v1.0) can repair Web pages
to meet WCAG "Single-A", but not WCAG "Double-A" or WCAG
"Triple-A". To repair pages to meet these higher levels of WCAG, we
suggest using running your pages with Some_ERT before publishing. When you have
finished the Some_ERT repairs, reload the page with Sample_Tool to use the "QuickPublish"
- Once a page has been published it may still be updated and maintained.
- In this case, it is important not to break any of the accessibility features
added to the page during its creation. In particular, make sure that the text
equivalents for non-text objects are kept updated when the object is changed.