Evaluating website accessibility

My recent article series on evaluating website accessibility became a series of articles because I felt all that information would just be too much for a single article. The drawback to splitting it into several articles is not having everything collected in one document. By reader request, here is a summary of the series, with links to each checkpoint.

If you haven't read any of the articles I am referring to, they are intended to make it easier for web developers and website owners to perform a basic accessibility evaluation. Developers and designers can use these techniques to make sure the sites they build don't contain any huge accessibility problems, and website owners can use them to assess the quality delivered by their web consultancy.

The "Evaluating website accessibility" series consists of the following articles:

  1. Evaluating website accessibility part 1, Background and Preparation provides a bit of background and suggests some useful tools for the evaluation process.

  2. Evaluating website accessibility part 2, Basic Checkpoints explains accessibility aspects that can be tested with automated tools as well as some relatively easy manual checks.

    1. Validate HTML and CSS
    2. No frames, please
    3. Automated accessibility checking tools
    4. Images and alternative text
    5. Make sure that JavaScript is unobtrusive
    6. Increase text size
    7. Look for semantic markup
    8. Disable CSS
    9. Use Fangs to emulate a screen reader
  3. Evaluating website accessibility part 3, Digging Deeper takes a look at things that are difficult to test with automated tools and require more time and/or experience to evaluate manually.

    1. Colour contrast
    2. Document titles
    3. Link text
    4. Non HTML formats
    5. Platform discrimination
    6. Keyboard navigation
    7. Data tables
    8. Form controls and labels
    9. Use a screen reader
    10. Don't overlook the content
    11. Further reading

The techniques described in these articles are by no means all there is to evaluating website accessibility. They do, however, provide a good start.

Posted on April 24, 2006 in Accessibility