Fleet Boston's Web Access Standards

These are the accessibility standards Fleet Boston has agreed to adhere to
as part of the settlement agreement requiring accessible services for
blind persons.  The agreement is for fleet.com and not other operating
units, such as the Quick and Reiley brokerage and Suretrade.com.  


URL: http://www.dlc-ma.org/atm/atmea.htm

                          Exhibit "A" to Agreement
   FleetBoston Web Accessibility Standards
   December 1999
   Charmian Proskauer, Website Management Group
   Marie Meibaum, Internet Technology Support
   Last updated February 2001
   Charmian Proskauer, Website Management Group
   The issue of Web accessibility has become a high priority as web pages
   become more complex.
   The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has defined accessibility
   guidelines and a checklist for Web Site developers. The W3C guidelines
   have checkpoints in 3 Priority categories, with the Priority 1's being
   the most critical to follow rules. FleetBoston has made a commitment
   to meet all Priority 1 and Priority 2 checkpoints. FleetBoston will
   include web accessibility as one of its criteria in its future RFPs
   and other procurement documents, and vendor contracts.
   The website http://www.w3.org/TR/WAI-WEBCONTENT/ gives further
   information on these guidelines and their associated checkpoints, and
   should be considered the authoritative source for accessibility in
   Fleet's web design and development.
   This document is a summary of the key W3C Web Content Accessibility
   guidelines, and for the convenience of Fleet's designers, content
   managers and web developers, has been organized into presentation
   rules, content rules and programming rules. It also includes a section
   on guidelines for testing and a section on notes on specific
   accessibility practices for FleetBoston's websites. Please refer to
   the W3C guidelines for more detail.
   Presentation (Designer) Considerations
   Design Principles
   The high-level design rules to be followed to stay in compliance with
   our requirements for web site accessibility, and to conform to all the
   W3C guideline category 1 and 2 checkpoints:
   * Design for clear understanding when a screen reader is used.
     * Provide text equivalents for images, animations, applets,
     scripts, buttons, hyperlinks, and audio.
   * Design with high color contrast.
   * Don't use color as the only means to convey information.
   * Clean bold design.
   * Acceptable font size for low vision viewers.
   * To the extent possible, font size should be controllable by the
   * The screens and forms should allow for navigation and activation
   without a mouse.
     * Each field in a form should have a label. Data formats should be
     clearly specified. Error messages should display above the form.
     Use HTML H1-H6 to Identify new sections for presentation. These can
     be used in conjunction with "HR".
     Do not use "BLOCKQUOTE" for indenting, or horizontal rule "HR" for
     presentation purposes.
     Standardize page design for templating.
   Future plans may include using databases and files for content.
   Do Not Use (W3C guideline #)
     Do not allow screen to have anything that flickers. (7.1)
     Do not convey information with color alone. (2.1)
   EXAMPLE: To highlight or flag a piece of information with RED to
   indicate a negative point, as opposed to a GREEN highlight or flag to
   indicate a good point.
   ISSUE: When page is read through a screen reader, or printed, or read
   by a colorblind person, this information is lost.
   Content Designer Considerations (W3C guideline #)
     Use clear and simple language in the site content. Avoid technical
     terms. (14.1)
   2. Add an Accessibility instruction page similar to the one found at
   http://www.ci.san-jose.ca.us/access.html. Link this page to all
   section home pages.
   3. When using PDF's, check to ensure that text version is
   understandable to a screen reader; if not, include option to choose
   HTML or text instead of PDF. If appropriate, include alternate method
   for obtaining document or form.
   4. Provide an auditory description of the important information of a
   multimedia presentation. (1.4)
   * Synchronize equivalent alternatives for time-based multimedia
   presentations. (1.3)
   5. Alt-tags should be provided for all image-based text elements that
   convey meaningful information (1.1). In most cases, the text of the
   alt-tag should match the text in the image. In the case of very long
   image-based text (paragraph or more) where a long alt-tag would
   obscure the text, the alt-tag may summarize the content of the
   image-based text (this should be an exceptional case).
   Programming Standards (W3C guideline #)
   Note to web developers: Please refer to W3C Techniques (referenced
   with each checkpoint) for specific coding examples.
   1. All graphics containing text or other information content must have
   a descriptive "Alt" tag or "longdesc". (1.1) Please see #5 in Content
   Designer Considerations above.
   * Include "alt" tags on all Hyperlinks in an image map.
   * Include descriptive explanations of images if they convey essential
   * Include descriptive tags on animated images if they convey essential
   * Use text descriptions with graphs, charts, and symbols.
   2. Setup Image maps to run on the client side. Use "alt" tags to
   describe the general purpose of the map and on all hyperlinks.
   * Use client-side image maps with descriptive text.(9.1)
     * Use client-side image maps whenever possible, instead of
     server-side. If a server-side image map is necessary, provide
     redundant text links for each active region. (1.2)
   3. Use "summary" and "caption" to describe tables. Describe each
   column and content. (5.1)
   4. Use text for hyperlinks that makes sense when read out of context.
   * Do not use Click here; instead use Learn more about, etc.
     * Add descriptive "alt" to hyperlinks. If the hyperlink is under a
     specific heading, a blind person hearing the page through a
     synthesizer, might not realize the context, so more details should
     be given in the "alt" tag.
   5. Check navigation and form usage for non-mouse access.
   * Include keyboard scrolling, an alternative to buttons, and popup
   * Include adequate instructions for non-mouse users.
   * Make sure tabbing in a logical order and tabbed fields are visible.
   * Provide short-cut key alternatives for pull-down menus.
   6. When using PDF's, check to ensure that text version is
   understandable to a screen reader; if not, include option to choose
   HTML or text instead of PDF. If appropriate, include alternate method
   for obtaining document or form. (Please see "Use of PDF format files"
   in the Notes on Practices section below for further clarification.)
   7. Title each frame to facilitate frame identification and navigation.
   8. Ensure that pages are usable when scripts, applets, and
   programmatic objects are turned off or not supported. If another
   equivalent page is needed, make sure text changes are kept current on
   the alternate page. (6.3)
   9. Use caption tag to describe any text not in natural language. (4.1)
   Use for foreign language fragments.
   Notes on Practices on the www.fleet.com site
   Use of PDF format files
   In some instances reference information, including print-and-mail-in
   forms, are provided on the site in PDF format. All hyperlinks to PDF
   documents will include the word "PDF" within the hyperlink
   description. It is Fleet's decision that only the PDF version of the
   file will be posted on the site. This will eliminate the maintenance
   problem of keeping both a PDF and a text version of the PDF up to
   date, and likewise will eliminate visitor uncertainty about whether
   the text version is current. However, all PDF files will be tested
   prior to posting to determine that they convert to text properly.
   Instructions will be posted prominently on the site with a link from
   each page where a PDF is posted that describe how to view the PDF in a
   text format. If needed, an alternate method for obtaining the document
   or completing the form will be provided. PDF documents depicting
   information which by their very nature are graphical, such as street
   maps, building plan drawings, and pictorial diagrams, are exempt from
   this Accessibility requirement.
   Scripts and Java applets
   Reasonable efforts will be made to provide accessible versions of all
   scripts and applets. In rare instances where a script or Java applet
   is not usable by a screen reader an alternative means of accessing the
   information, such as a Customer Service telephone number, will be
   Third Party provided content
   Third party provided content will be tested for accessibility. In
   cases where improvements are needed, vendors will be directed to make
   the necessary changes.
   Graphics which contain information that is by nature purely graphical,
   such as maps, will be exempted from the accessibility requirement. If
   possible, an alternate presentation of the information, such as
   driving directions, will be provided. For convenience of screen
   readers, an alt-tag of "map" or " " can be used to suppress undesired
   information associated with the map, such as the database reference.
   Where needed, instructions specifically for screen reader users will
   be provided.
   Testing for Accessibility
   Fleet has committed to an active accessibility testing program.
   Testing will occur during the design/development and acceptance
   Testing Tools
   Compatibility with screen readers will be the primary accessibility
     * JAWS for Windows v 3.5, WindowEyes v 3.1 (with IE 5.0) - will use
     these or current shipping versions for testing. JAWS is the primary
     screen reader used.
     * Some features may not work with older versions of screen readers,
     but we will not attempt complete backward compatibility
     * At least one format or presentation of content on the page will
     be rendered usably. The page will render in an understandable and
     logical fashion; links, input forms, and other functional elements
     will be usable with JAWS commands.
   Other Accessibility Testing Procedures
   * Assess the page from low vision perspective (sufficient contrast,
   adequate font size).
   * Check for "color-blind" color combinations.
     * In Internet Explorer, turn off graphics and view the page. Check
     for alt-tags and long-descr.
     * Try navigating the screen without a mouse. Make sure tabbing is
     logical, and screen is usable without a mouse.
   * Use browser settings to enlarge fonts.
     * Use a tool to search for links (e.g. LINKBOT). Ensure links make
     sense independent of context (i.e. not "click here").
     * Any new functions/features not already "qualified" for use with
     screen readers should be tested using a screen reader, then
     submitted to an independent tester for further review.

Received on Tuesday, 6 March 2001 06:45:42 UTC