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Maximum Accessibility: Making Your Web Site More Usable for Everyone

Book Description

Accessibility is now a legal requirement for all national government Web sites in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and the European Union. Throughout the world, many other organizations--universities, schools, and private companies--are recognizing that accessibility is a moral and business imperative; many are adopting policies aimed at making Web resources accessible to the more than six hundred million people with disabilities worldwide.

Maximum Accessibility is a comprehensive resource for creating Web sites that comply with new U.S. accessibility standards and conform to the World Wide Web Consortium's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0. This book offers an overview of key issues, discusses the standards in depth, and presents practical design techniques, up-to-date technologies, and testing methods to implement these standards for maximum accessibility. You will learn how to:

  • Write effective text equivalents for images and audio files

  • Caption soundtracks and describe the action of videos and animation

  • Set up data and layout tables that make sense to the ear and eye

  • Design Web forms that people can interact with via the keyboard and other input devices

  • Label forms so that people who use talking browsers can give the right information at the right time

  • Make scripts accessible to people who don't use a mouse

  • Create simple PDF files that are accessible to people with disabilities

  • Use cascading style sheets to make your thoroughly accessible pages look great

  • Throughout the book, case studies illustrate how inadvertent accessibility barriers on major Web sites affect the ability of people with disabilities to locate information, participate in e-commerce, and explore the richness of the Web. These case studies demonstrate how certain design features can make access much harder, and how other features can greatly ease the use of a page or site.

    Most of all, this leading-edge guide reveals that a little extra design consideration up front can help you create a site that is not only a pleasure for people with disabilities, but attractive and pleasing for all interested users. In short, Maximum Accessibility shows why good design is accessible design.


    Table of Contents

    1. Copyright
    2. Foreword
    3. Preface
    4. Acknowledgments
    5. A Word about Screen Readers
    6. Accessibility and Why It Matters
      1. Introduction
        1. What Is Web Accessibility?
        2. The Scale of the Problem
        3. Accessibility From the Developer’s Point of View: You Can Make a Difference
        4. Overview of Maximum Accessibility
      2. User Experience: Born to Shop
        1. Adventures in E-Commerce
        2. User Experience Narrative: Listening to Amazon.com
      3. Accessibility in Law and Policy
        1. Accessibility: It’s the Law!
        2. The Disability Rights Movement in the United States
        3. The Rehabilitation Act
        4. Educational Mandates
        5. The Evolution of Law in Changing Society
        6. The Americans with Disabilities Act
        7. The Telecommunications Act
        8. Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act
        9. The U.S. Access Board
        10. Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
        11. Accessibility Is a Global Concern
        12. Is the Internet Public Space?
        13. Remedies Outside of the Courts
        14. Now Things Get Really Interesting
      4. Grassroots Efforts Support Maximum Accessibility
        1. Building Community Through Technology
        2. Roots Rock! The Power of Grassroots Efforts
        3. Government Services Online
        4. Addressing Access Barriers in Community Technology Centers
        5. Where Do We Go From Here? Building National Consensus
      5. User Experience: On the Bus
        1. Getting There Is Half The Fun
        2. Getting Information About Getting Around Town
        3. The Trouble with Tables
        4. User Experience Narrative: Austin’s Capital Metro
        5. Other Examples
        6. Problem Solving: Designing a New Bus Schedule
      6. The Business Case for Accessibility
        1. Improve Access and Improve Return on Investment
        2. Accessibility Is Good Business
        3. Selling Accessibility
        4. Delivering Accessibility
        5. Sustaining Accessibility
        6. Time Well Spent
      7. User Experience: Museums on the Web
        1. Accessing Culture and History
        2. Museums in the United States
        3. A Whirlwind Tour of Museum Web Sites
        4. User Experience Narrative: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
        5. Text Equivalents Can Open the Doors of Perception
      8. User Experience: Text-Only Alternatives
        1. Text-Only: Just Say “No”
        2. Isn’t Text-Only a Common Practice?
        3. User Experience Narrative 1: The National Public Radio Site
        4. User Experience Narrative 2: A Return to Amazon.com
        5. Finding Solutions: Toward Maximum Accessibility
    7. Strategies and Techniques for Maximum Accessibility
      1. Equivalent Alternatives
        1. The Prime Directive: Equivalent Alternatives for Maximum Accessibility
        2. An Alternative to Images: ALT Text
        3. When ALT Text Isn’t Enough: Extended Descriptions
        4. Text Description as a Design Element
        5. Sight and Sound: Equivalent Alternatives for Auditory Elements
        6. Turning the Telescope Around: Equivalent Alternatives for Text
      2. Forms of Participation: Designing HTML Forms for Maximum Accessibility
        1. Interactivity and the Use of Forms
        2. Accessibility Problems and HTML Forms
        3. Working Through an Example: The Air Judging Form
        4. Looking Ahead
      3. Creating Accessible Tables
        1. The Trouble with Tables
        2. What Is a Table?
        3. Accessibility Issues for Layout Tables
        4. Accessibility Issues for Data Tables
        5. Design Goals for Accessible Tables
        6. Creating a More Accessible Bus Schedule
        7. Looking Beyond HTML
      4. Toward More Accessible PDFs
        1. PDF: So Near and Yet So Far
        2. Providing an Accessible Plug-In
        3. Creating Accessible PDF Documents
        4. Experimenting with Tables in PDF
        5. Burdens of the Past: Legacy PDFs and the Challenge of Accessibility
      5. Enhancing Accessibility through Multimedia
        1. Put Multi- in Your Media!
        2. A Real-World Example: The ATSTAR Project
        3. Multimedia Expands Accessibility Options
        4. Accessible Video Content Requires Closed Captioning
        5. Enhance User Experience with Audio Description
        6. Using Transcripts as Equivalent Alternatives
        7. Alternatives for Stand-Alone and Other Audio
        8. Meeting the Accessibility Challenges of Animation
        9. Go Forth and Multi!
      6. Accessible Use of Scripts, Applets, and Plug-ins
        1. Plug and Play? Not Yet
        2. SCRIPTS
        3. Applets
        4. Plug-Ins
        5. Media Players
        6. Use the Right Tool for the Job
      7. Supporting Accessibility with Cascading Style Sheets
        1. Stylin’ for Maximum Accessibility
        2. Beneath the Visual Aspects of the Web
        3. The Advantages of Using Style Sheets
        4. A Different Approach to Design
        5. Methods of Associating Style Sheets with Documents
        6. Using Style Sheets to Enhance Accessibility for People with Low Vision or Cognitive Disabilities
        7. Styling the Air Judging Form
        8. CSS Positioning, Reading Order, and Navigation Links
        9. Once More, with Feeling: Good Design Is Accessible Design
    8. Resources and Tools for Accessible Design
      1. Information Resources
      2. Validation and Repair Tools
      3. Authoring Tools Reported to Provide Some Support for Creating Accessible Content
      4. Tools for Captioning and Descriptive Video
    9. Why Is Accessibility on the Internet Important?
      1. Internet User Scenarios to Consider
    10. Linearized Tables
    11. Bibliography