Web Evaluation

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Web Site Accessibility Inspection
For
Your Company Web Site.com

1.Why Web Accessibility1
2.Accessibility Issues2
3.Overview of Your Company Web Site Accessibility3
4.A Sample Accessibility Conversion4
5.Repair Effort Estimate5
6.Conclusions6

Why Web Accessibility

The world population is aging. Today over 20 percent of the US population is over 55 and that percentage is growing rapidly. With age come disabilities. We don’t generally think of a person wearing bifocals as being disabled. With enlarged fonts that the browsers support, the middle distance computer screen becomes much easier and less stressful to read. Your page must be designed for accessibility in order for those enlarged fonts to work correctly.

If your web site is accessible that means that people with disabilities can use it. A blind person using a screen reader or a talking browser can navigate your information and interact with it. A deaf person will not have problems with your site.

Accessible design has value beyond accommodating people with disabilities. It prepares sites for emerging technologies.

Voice navigation of a web site (using speech recognition) is made possible by incorporating some of the accessibility requirements, especially alternative text for image links and image maps.

There is an explosion of small devices that can interact with the web, including smart phones and hand held computers. Web site requirements for use with small devices include those for accessibility.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is basically a civil rights law that says that places of public accommodation must be accessible to people with disabilities. The Justice department has ruled that the ADA applies to the Web.[1]

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act as amended in 1998 requires that Federal agencies electronic and information technology be accessible to people with disabilities including employees and members of the public. Section 508 is fundamentally a requirement on Federal purchasing. Those employees using accessible computers with accessible browsers looking for accessible products will expect to find accessible sites. As a supplier to the government, you should have an accessible site.

Accessibility Issues

Practical web accessibility is reflected by the Section 508 standards proposed by the Federal Access Board (http://www.access-board.gov/sec508/508index.htm), the IBM Guidelines for Web Accessibility (http://www-3.ibm.com/able/accessweb.html), and the priority one guidelines offered by Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) (http://www.w3.org/TR/WAI-WEBCONTENT/).

Most of the technical accessibility issues relate to access by people with visual impairments. These issues can be grouped into the following categories. • Images. Access to images is overwhelmingly the most important issue. Alternative text content must be associated with all graphics, including pictures of text in navigation areas, image buttons, image maps, and movies. This is the biggest problem and the easiest to do correctly during site development. It is the simplest problem to fix. • Colors and sounds. Information presented with color or sound must be available without it. • Structures. There are proper ways to encode data tables, frames, and maps so that they will be usable by people with screen readers and talking browsers. • Navigation. It is important to ensure that a person with disabilities can navigate your site.

The technical details of these issues are covered thoroughly in the references above.

Overview of Your Company Web Site Accessibility

Your Company Web site is of moderate size consisting of over 1000 pages. The style of the home page (www.your_company.com) is unique; there are several other styles throughout the site including that of “Product Area” (http://www.your_company.com/products) with a green graphic across the top...
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