W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-eo@w3.org > April to June 1999

Re: FW: Drafting an article

From: Judy Brewer <jbrewer@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 21 Apr 1999 11:58:53 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>, "Neff, Robert" <Robert.Neff@usmint.treas.gov>
Cc: "'w3c-wai-eo@w3.org'" <w3c-wai-eo@w3.org>
Sept 1997 US Census report, 54  million. Not all of those disabilities
affect access to information technologies.


At 11:54 AM 4/21/99 -0400, Charles McCathieNevile wrote:
>I'm not sure what the audience is, but there are around 50 million people
>with disabilities in the United States - worldwide the figure is much
>Large-scale testing of major websites in multiple browsers is a very big
>undertaking, and effectively beyond the scope of many projects. The need
>can be reduced substantially by ensuring that the code used is valid, and
>On Wed, 21 Apr 1999, Neff, Robert wrote:
>  A government, company or organization's failure to provide Universal
>  Accessibility on the web is a serious impediment to their ability to
>  information, services or products to over 54 million People With
>  Disabilities (PWD).   For example, if:
>  * An e-commerce web site is not accessible to PWDs, the business has just
>  lost an immediate customer and potential customers.
>  * An organization or Federal, State or local Government does not provide
>  access to its information, then they are not providing a public service.
>  * A city does not provide bus routes in an accessible format, then PWDs
>  cannot check the schedule, especially if the office closes at 5PM.
>  * A library does not have the staffed trained to support public
computers or
>  internet terminals, then they cannot effectively serve the local community.
>  The web provides information, products and services to people through the
>  Internet, Intranets, or Extranets. Computers have enabled people to
>  at home or at work, and study, train, or surf the web for information.
>  Computers have also opened up the world to enable PWDs to be productive at
>  home or work - the office now has no boundaries.  The web and other
>  assistive devices have also enabled PWDs to us computers to be productive. 
>  More importantly, through the web, the world has no boundaries.  We can now
>  learn about another city, culture, or train schedule from the web.
>  the web has facilitated access to information, e-mail has expanded our
>  exchange of ideas and friendships.  We can now communicate to a larger
>  audience, rather than by a single telephone call or a teleconference
>  We no longer need a dedicated office for the web and email - just a
>  and connectivity to the internet. There are two policies that address
>  accessibility of information for PWDs under Federal, State, and local
>  government, Americans with Disabilities Act (1990) and Rehabilitation Act
>  Amendments of 1998, Section 508.  While ADA references State and local
>  governments, Section 508 establishes requirement that federal government,
>  and by extension through the Assistive Technology Act of 1998,
>  http://www.itpolicy.gsa.gov/cita/AT1998.htm, state government also, procure
>  information technology that is accessible. 
>  There is a relevant opinion issued by the US DOJ in September, 1996, 
>  http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/foia/tal712.txt. It states, 
>  "The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires State and local
>  governments and places of public accommodation to furnish appropriate
>  auxiliary aids and services where necessary to ensure effective
>  communication with individuals with disabilities, unless doing so would
>  result in a fundamental alteration to the program or service or in an undue
>  burden..." 
>  Section 508 states under (1) Accessibility: 
>  (A) Development, procurement, maintenance, or use of electronic and
>  information technology: When developing, procuring, maintaining, or using
>  electronic and information technology, each Federal department or agency,
>  including the United States Postal Service, shall ensure, unless an undue
>  burden would be imposed on the department or agency, that the electronic
>  information technology allows, regardless of the type of medium of the
>  technology-
>  (i) individuals with disabilities who are Federal employees to have access
>  to and use of information and data that is comparable to the access to and
>  use of the information and data by Federal employees who are not
>  with disabilities; and 
>  (ii) individuals with disabilities who are members of the public seeking
>  information or services from a Federal department or agency to have access
>  to and use of information and data that is comparable to the access to and
>  use of the information and data by such members of the public who are not
>  individuals with disabilities.
>  Universal accessibility is not just for PWDs - it is for everyone.
>  accessibility is needed to ensure that PWDs and others can access web-based
>  information.  Even though ADA and Section 508 require Federal, State and
>  local governments to make accommodations for PWDs, there are no Federal
>  guidelines for Agencies to use.  However, some states colleges, cities, and
>  Federal Agencies have implemented accessibility guidelines, for example
>  of San Jose, California.  
>  To build a Universally Accessible web site, here is an outline of the
>  processes the web coder, content manager, graphic artist or team can use.
>  The foundation for any universally accessible web site is the guidelines.
>  The World Wide Web Consortium's Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) has
>  drafted guidelines, The Web Content Guidelines,  for people to use.  On
>  web site you will also find Techniques for Web Content Accessibility
>  Guidelines and List of Checkpoints for the Web Content Accessibility
>  Guidelines.  The Web Accessibility Initiative also provides a forum for
>  discussion of issues relating to Web accessibility, particularly issues
>  related to WAI activities.
>  Universal accessibility incorporates usability and universal design, so
>  building a web page or web application, accessibility problems or other
>  design errors can be greatly reduced before release to the public. This is
>  accomplished by applying quality assurance to check the concept, syntax and
>  code; layout, navigation, and graphics; and acceptance testing on multiple
>  browsers and users. 
>  Quality assurance incorporates internal or external reviews or peer
>  and applying third party tools, for example, CAST's Bobby for an
>  accessibility check, W3C's HTML to validate the code and StarBase's
>  StarSweeper to check for ALT Tags, Title's, Height and Width and other
>  quality assurance functions.  Acceptance testing can be accomplished on
>  multiple browsers to ensure the information is conveyed and there are no
>  navigation or site usage problems.  
>  For example, here is a simple process to follow in order to build a
>  universally accessible web page or web applications:
>  Step 1	Define the audience, business requirements, objectives, and timeline
>  with the user.  
>  Step 2	Determine resources, schedule, and sketch the process with a
>  flowchart. 
>  Step 3	Determine the design requirements and universal approach, refer to
>  the Web Content Guidelines and internal design documents.
>  Step 4	Design and layout the web site or web application.
>  Step 5	Design Review with the customer to ensure the design is what they
>  envisioned.
>  Step 5	QUALITY ASSURANCE.  The web coder or programmer would then conduct a
>  Quality Assurance review by using one or a combination of the following
>  tools: Bobby; HTML code validator; content review; preview on Lynx, a text
>  based browser; multiple browsers and versions (Internet Explorer 3 and 4,
>  Netscape Navigator 3, 4.x, and Opera); voice-based web browser
>  and screen readers (WIN Vision and Jaws For Windows), and StarBase's
>  StarSweeper.  Other items to check:  does the page print properly and can
>  the print read.
>  Step 6	UNIT TEST.  This is conducted by the coder or programmer to test
>  compliance to the business requirements established earlier.  For example,
>  test to ensure the e-mail functions and the message is received by the
>  recipient, forms are tested and data checked, links are tested,  Users who
>  are not associated with the design can also help testing and can provide an
>  independent third party review of the design concept.  If the design uses
>  queries or updates to modify or retrieve information form the database,
>  this will need to be tested.  The coder can develop scenarios using a
>  spreadsheet to document the process, more commonly referred to as a script.
>  This serves as a baseline for the design criteria and also can document the
>  expected results. 
>  Step 7	Acceptance Test.  This is formal acceptance by the customer of the
>  product you designed as based upon customer requirements.
>  There are alsp several efforts are underway by university-related,
>  non-profits, consortiums and government agencies to (1) Research new
>  technologies and apply to the home or workplace, (2) Provide education and
>  outreach.  These efforts conduct critical research and provide
>  methodologies, guidelines or tools to support universal accessibility.
>  Therefore, everyone must be cognizant of PWD accessibility needs for the
>  to ensure we can provide information to everyone. 
>  Referenced Resources: 
>  * Web Accessibility Initiative, http://www.w3.org/WAI
>  * Americans with Disabilities Act (1990) and Rehabilitation Act Amendments
>  of 1998, Section 508, Policy References,
>  http://www.w3.org/WAI/References/Policy
>  * Bobby, http:www.cast.org/bobby
>  * Quick tips to make accessible Web sites,
>  http://www.w3.org/WAI/References/QuickTips
>  * Web Content Guidelines, http://www.w3.org/TR/WAI-WEBCONTENT/.
>  * Techniques for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
>  http://www.w3.org/TR/1999/WAI-WEBCONTENT-19990324/wai-pageauth-tech 
>  * List of Checkpoints for the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0,
>  http://www.w3.org/TR/1999/WAI-WEBCONTENT-19990324/full-checklist.  
>  * Web Accessibility Initiative also provides, http://www.w3.org/WAI/IG/
>  * Starbase, http://www.starbase.com
>  * Miscellaneous Information, http://www.webspots.net
>  Robert Neff, robert.neff@usmint.treas.gov
>  Branch Chief, Web Technical Services / Intranet Project Manager
>  U.S. Mint
>--Charles McCathieNevile            mailto:charles@w3.org
>phone: +1 617 258 0992   http://www.w3.org/People/Charles
>W3C Web Accessibility Initiative    http://www.w3.org/WAI
>MIT/LCS  -  545 Technology sq., Cambridge MA, 02139,  USA
Judy Brewer    jbrewer@w3.org    +1.617.258.9741    http://www.w3.org/WAI
Director, Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) International Program Office
World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
MIT/LCS Room NE43-355, 545 Technology Square, Cambridge, MA,  02139,  USA
Received on Wednesday, 21 April 1999 11:59:55 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.4.0 : Friday, 17 January 2020 20:29:28 UTC