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Web Accessibility Basics Cheat Sheet by

Basic concepts and terminology for web accessibility.

Web Access­ibility - Definition

Web access­ibility refers to the inclusive practice of removing barriers that prevent intera­ction with, or access to websites, by people with disabi­lities. When sites are correctly designed, developed and edited, all users have equal access to inform­ation and functi­ona­lity. -

Disability - Definition

U.S. Federal Law defines a disability as a physical or mental impairment that substa­ntially limits one or more of the major life activities of such indivi­dual, a record of such an impair­ment, or being regarded as having such an impair­ment. ADA Title II § 35.108

Web Access­ibility Aim to Help

Blindness, low vision, various types of color-blindness
Deafness and hard-of-hearing
Motor Control
Inability to use a mouse, slow response time, limited fine motor control
Learning disabilities, distractibility, inability to remember or focus on large amounts of information

United States Access Board

The Archi­­tec­­tural and Transp­­or­t­ation Barriers Compliance Board, more formally known as the United States Access Board, was created out of the Rehabi­lit­ation Act of 1973. The U.S. Access Board is a federal agency that promotes equality for people with disabi­lities through leadership in accessible design and the develo­pment of access­ibility guidelines and standards for the built enviro­nment, transp­ort­ation, commun­ica­tion, medical diagnostic equipment, and inform­ation techno­logy.


Access­ibility - 11 represents the number of letters between A & Y
Accessible Educat­ional Material
Accessible Instru­ctional Material
Americans with Disabi­lities Act of 1990 is a US labor law that prohibits unjust­ified discri­min­ation based on disability
ADA Amendments Act of 2008 amended the ADA and other nondis­cri­min­ation laws to broadened the definition of a disability
WAI's Authoring Tool Access­ibility Guidelines
UN's Conven­tio­n\C­omm­ittee on the Rights of Persons with Disabi­­lities
DHTML Style Guide Working Group provided guidelines to WAI for use in creating the WCAG.
Intern­ati­ona­liz­ation - 18 represents the number of letters between I & N
Inform­ation and Commun­ication Technology
Indivi­duals with Disabi­lities Education Act of 1990
NonVisual Desktop Access is a free "­screen reader­"
WCAG 2.0's 14 guidelines broken into 4 sections
Percei­vable, Operable, Unders­tan­dable, & Robust
Rich Internet Applic­ation
WAI's User Agent Access­ibility Guidelines
Universal Design for Learning
World Wide Web Consortium is the main intern­ational standards organi­zation for the World Wide Web
W3C's Web Access­ibility Initiative is an effort to improve the access­ibility of the World Wide Web (WWW or Web) for people with disabi­lities
WAI's Accessible Rich Internet Applic­ations is a technical specif­ication that specifies how to increase the access­ibility of web applic­ations
WAI's Web Content Access­ibility Guidelines

Assistive Techno­logies

Refres­hable Braille Displays provide an braille altern­ative to audible screen readers.
Eye Tracking, Head Tracking and Gesture solutions can be used as an altern­ative to a mouse or cursor keys.
Specialty Keyboards and Switches including Large-­Print and braille for visually impaired, large buttons, macros, overlays and custom config­ura­tions for motor control
Magnif­ication software can make regions of the screen larger. Some can change contrast and other visual filters.
Screen Readers audibly reads contents of a computer or phone's screen.
SNP (Sip-a­nd-­Puff) systems track inhaling or exhaling in a specif­ically designed tube.
Speech Recogn­ition software can be used as a keyboard and mouse altern­ative.
The Tongue Drive System (TDS) may be used as an altern­ative to a mouse or cursor keys.
These techno­logies are some of the most common types of assistive technology used to access the internet. For a more complete list visit Wikipe­dia­:As­sistive Technology or AFB's Product Database for People Who Are Visually Impaired.

WCAG2 at a Glance: POUR

Provide text altern­atives for non-text content.
Provide captions and altern­atives for audio and video content.
Make content adaptable; and make it available to assistive techno­logies.
Use sufficient contrast to make things easy to see and hear.

Make all functi­onality keyboard accessible.
Give users enough time to read and use content.
Do not use content that causes seizures.
Help users navigate and find content.

Make text readable and unders­tan­dable.
Make content appear and operate in predic­table ways.
Help users avoid and correct mistakes.

Maximize compat­ibility with current and future techno­logies.

Access­ibility Legisl­ative Timeline

Commun­ica­tions Act of 1934 created the FCC and regulation for teleco­mmu­nic­ations and radio frequency use.
Rehabi­lit­ation Act
Section 504 created and extended civil rights to people with disabi­lities. Section 504 has provided opport­unities for children and adults with disabi­lities in education, employment and various other settings. It allows for reasonable accomm­oda­tions such as special study area and assistance as necessary for each student.
Education for All Handic­apped Children Act (EAHCA or EHA) required all public schools accepting federal funds to provide equal access to education and one free meal a day for children with physical and mental disabi­lities.
Section 508 added to the Rehabi­lit­ation Act establ­ishes requir­ements for electronic and inform­ation technology developed, mainta­ined, procured, or used by the Federal govern­ment. Section 508 requires Federal electronic and inform­ation technology to be accessible to people with disabi­lities, including employees and members of the public
Americans with Disabi­lities Act (ADA) of 1990
Indivi­duals with Disabi­lities Education Act (IDEA) ensures school­­ch­i­ldren with a disabi­­lity, ages 3-21 (or until high school gradua­­tion) are provided with Free Approp­­riate Public Education (FAPE) that is tailored to their individual needs.
Teleco­mmu­nic­ations Act of 1996 amends the Commun­ica­tions Act Section 255 to require teleco­mmu­nic­ations products and service to be accessible to people with disabi­lities.
Federal Electronic and Inform­ation Technology Access­ibility and Compliance Act amended Section 508 to correct the shortc­omings of the original section 508; the original Section 508 had turned out to be mostly ineffe­ctive, in part due to the lack of enforc­ement mechan­isms.
ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008
United Nation's Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabi­lities (CRPD)
Refresh of the Section 255 Guidelines and the Section 508 Standards
This list reviews the major U.S. and U.N. rulings which have influenced the evolution of Web Access­ibi­lity. For a more complete list visit Colorado State Univer­sity's A Brief History of Legisl­ation.

Unders­tanding Legal Obliga­tions



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