10. universal design


Take your university web site or another site of your choice and assess it for accessibility using [WEBAIM*]. How would you recommend improving the site?
* Note that the question in the book mentions Bobby, but the Bobby site is not longer online, use WEBAIM or AChecker instead.

answer available for tutors only

The answer to this question will depend on the web site chosen. Free online test services are available at http://wave.webaim.org/
and http://achecker.ca/checker/index.php. The report provided will give detailed advice about how to improve accessibility and the answer should be based on this.

For example, the second edition web site for this book produced the following report (on the old Bobby site):

Section 508 Accessibility
This page does not meet the requirements for Section 508 Approved status. Below is a list of 2 Section 508 accessibility error(s) found:

1. Provide alternative text for all images. (11 instances)
Lines 12, 23, 68, 75, 79, 83, 91, 96, 100, 106, 121
2. Explicitly associate form controls and their labels with the LABEL element. (1 instance)
Line 123

Section 508 User Checks
User checks are triggered by something specific on the page; however, you need to determine manually whether they apply and, if applicable, whether your page meets the requirements. Bobby Section 508 Approval requires that all user checks pass. Even if your page does conform to these guidelines they appear in the report. Please review these 7 item(s):

1. If you can't make a page accessible, construct an alternate accessible version.
2. Make sure that labels of all form controls are properly placed.
3. If you use color to convey information, make sure the information is also represented another way. (19 instances)
Lines 12, 15, 20, 23, 26, 32, 65, 68, 70, 75, 79, 83, 84, 91, 96, 100, 106, 121
4. If this is a data table (not used for layout only), identify headers for the table rows and columns. (2 instances)
Lines 9, 136
5. If there are logical groupings of form controls, use FIELDSET with LEGEND on each group. (1 instance)
Line 120
6. If an image conveys important information beyond what is in its alternative text, provide an extended description. (4 instances)
Lines 12, 68, 75, 121
7. If a table has two or more rows or columns that serve as headers, use structural markup to identify their hierarchy and relationship. (3 instances)
Lines 9, 61, 136
The following 1 item(s) are not triggered by any specific feature on your page, but are still important for accessibility and are required for Bobby Section 508 Approved status.
8. If a timed process is about to expire, give the user notification and a chance to extend the timeout.
Copyright © 2002 Watchfire Corporation. All rights reserved. Use of this software is subject to the Bobby Software License Agreement.

This example suggests two actions that are required to make the page accessible: adding "alt" tags to all images and using the "label" element in the form tag. All of the other recommendations are checks that should be made but which may not require any changes.

Other exercises in this chapter

ex.10.1 (tut), ex.10.2 (tut), ex.10.3 (tut), ex.10.4 (tut), ex.10.5 (tut), ex.10.6 (tut), ex.10.7 (tut), ex.10.8 (ans), ex.10.9 (tut), ex.10.10 (tut)

all exercises for this chapter