WCAG 2.0 What, Why & When
Karl Davidson from Squiz starts off the meeting talking about the general reasons we should become compliant. Karl gives examples of Mary who suffers from partial quadrapelia and has issues navigating sites. Mary navigates through the use of two pens with rubber nibs attached to the end.
What is WCAG
- Version 2.0
WCAG, a history
Started off as version 1.0 and focussed on visual disability.
- 14 Guidelines
- 60 Check points
- 10 quick tips were developed to reach Level A…. but no one really though too much more into this.
We’re trying to overcome certain accessibility elements. Something like “vision impairment” is one element, but WCAG 2.0 is trying to expand on just the basic ideas.
Now WCAG 2.0 is more general, more disabilities and accessibility has been considered. It has been ratified by the UA Government (Sec. 508 legislation).
- Visual Disabilities – blindness, low vision, colour blindness
- Auditory Disabilities – consider the growing use of video and audio content
- Motor Disabilities – the clickable areas of the site.
- Intellectual Disabilities – developmental disabilities, attention spans, problem solving ability .
- Seisures – specific guidelines have been taken into consideration.
4 key principals of WCAG 2.0
- Content must be Perceivable
- Content and controls must be Operable
- Content and controls must be understandable
- The site must be robust enough to be used with future user agents.
This is then made up from 12 guidelines within each principal. These guidelines then have a series of success criteria associated (around 8) which determine if you reach A, AA, or AAA.
The stick & carrot
Why become conformant with the standards? Well AGIMO is wielding a giant stick and they will smack you over the head with it if you don’t become compliant. Regardless of that, get the carrot and just become more compliant because your site will be better because of it.
WCAG 2.0 Compliance tool from Funnelback
Stuart Beil introduces Funnelback and gives us an overview of where they started and who their clients are. Amazing that Skype uses them as a search tool even though they’ve got Microsoft Bing available.
Stuart is talking about the compliance being not a one off fix. You need to keep a check on the site as the content is continually developed. Content editors come and go, they’re not always updating the content in the correct fashion.
The tool is currently running across 19,000,000 records in around 9 hours. 9 HOURS!
Caveats: Just because the tool says you are compliant, doesn’t mean you are compliant. You still need to make sure that links have correct titles, alt tags are related to the context of the image and not just that they exist.
Shows your history of compliance over time in a graphical format (line graph). You can have multiple site urls and the tool will seperate them into individual result pools.
Clicking through each of the site headings gives you an overview of that site, and allows you to drill down either to the overall failure (the language declaration) and shows every URL that is affected. Clicking on the lower level URLs gives you a link back to the W3C description for the issue and allows you to see exactly where in the html source the error is contained.
<insert typical live demo fail>
And we’re back again. The graph shows really clearly how everything is becoming more and more conformant. Stuart wraps up by explaining that this tool is something that will provide the NTG the ability to show where they are at and provides an ability for individuals to clearly see and understand the changes that are required.
Over 7000 Installs around the world. It was created and developed by a blind person to make surfing the net cheaply and easier.
A lot of talk has been around accessibility for disability, but accessibility is much more than that. It’s about making your website content available to everyone at any stage they need it.
Different needs to text to voice
English 2nd Lanuage
Accessing content through a small screen
Revising on the go
why not just use screen readers
Only 0.1% of people have screen readers, but more than 20% would benefit from the text to speech option.
ReadSpeaker ticks all these boxes. It works across PC, Mac, Linux, iPhone, Android, Symbian, FF, IE, Chrome, Safari, Opera, click and listen, easy upgrade path. Nothing to download. Nothing to install. Listen to it on the fly (streaming) or download the file to listen later.
How does it work?
- User visits your site
- Click on the listen link (brought in via JS like Google Analytics does) which sends the page content to the servers in Sweden
- ReadSpeaker server speech-enables the content on the page
- Audio file is sent/streamed back to the user
This all happens as a Software as a Service option (Saas). Reduces your bandwidth costs and doesn’t use your web server processing power.
The tool will speech enable mobile apps (iphone and android), websites, and PDF documents.
Case study: Department of Health and Ageing
- $1485 setup fee
- $2985 licence fee
Caveats for ReadSpeaker
While I appreciate this is a pretty good tool, I disagree with its pitch to improve the access to content via mobile devices. Seriously. Go responsive.
Justin is talking about the things he finds annoying when surfing the net as a visually impaired user. He can still see partially, so uses a high contrast view and expands the text.
Most annoying part of this is that it breaks most designs and makes the content unreadable. Although things like JAWS (and readspeak) is available he hasn’t bothered to learn it yet because he still has use of some vision.
Make sure that everything can be seen even at zoomed level.