Web accessibility

Web accessibility is the inclusive practice of ensuring there are no barriers that prevent interaction with, or access to, websites on the World Wide Web by people with disabilities. When sites are correctly designed, developed and edited, generally all users have equal access to information and functionality.

For example, when a site is coded with semantically meaningful HTML, with textual equivalents provided for images and with links named meaningfully, this helps blind users using text-to-speech software and/or text-to-Braille hardware. When text and images are large and/or enlargeable, it is easier for users with poor sight to read and understand the content. When links are underlined (or otherwise differentiated) as well as colored, this ensures that color blind users will be able to notice them. When clickable links and areas are large, this helps users who cannot control a mouse with precision. When pages are not coded in a way that hinders navigation by means of the keyboard alone, or a single switch access device alone, this helps users who cannot use a mouse or even a standard keyboard. When videos are closed captioned or a sign language version is available, deaf and hard-of-hearing users can understand the video. When flashing effects are avoided or made optional, users prone to seizures caused by these effects are not put at risk. And when content is written in plain language and illustrated with instructional diagrams and animations, users with dyslexia and learning difficulties are better able to understand the content. When sites are correctly built and maintained, all of these users can be accommodated without decreasing the usability of the site for non-disabled users.

The needs that Web accessibility aims to address include:

Assistive technologies used for web browsing

Individuals living with a disability use assistive technologies such as the following to enable and assist web browsing:

  • Screen reader software, which can read out, using synthesized speech, either selected elements of what is being displayed on the monitor (helpful for users with reading or learning difficulties), or which can read out everything that is happening on the computer (used by blind and vision impaired users).
  • Braille terminals, consisting of a refreshable braille display which renders text as braille characters (usually by means of raising pegs through holes in a flat surface) and either a mainstream keyboard or a braille keyboard.
  • Screen magnification software, which enlarges what is displayed on the computer monitor, making it easier to read for vision impaired users.
  • Speech recognition software that can accept spoken commands to the computer, or turn dictation into grammatically correct text - useful for those who have difficulty using a mouse or a keyboard.
  • Keyboard overlays, which can make typing easier or more accurate for those who have motor control difficulties.
  • Access to subtitled or sign language videos for deaf people.

Guidelines on accessible web design

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines

In 1999 the Web Accessibility Initiative, a project by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), published the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines WCAG 1.0.

On 11 December 2008, the WAI released the WCAG 2.0 as a Recommendation. WCAG 2.0 aims to be up to date and more technology neutral. Though web designers can choose either standard to follow, the WCAG 2.0 have been widely accepted as the definitive guidelines on how to create accessible websites. Governments are steadily adopting the WCAG 2.0 as the accessibility standard for their own websites.[1] In 2012, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines were also published as an ISO/IEC standard: "ISO/IEC 40500:2012: Information technology -- W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0".[2]

Criticism of WAI guidelines

There has been some criticism of the W3C process, claiming that it does not sufficiently put the user at the heart of the process.[3] There was a formal objection to WCAG's original claim that WCAG 2.0 will address requirements for people with learning disabilities and cognitive limitations headed by Lisa Seeman and signed by 40 organizations and people.[4] In articles such as "WCAG 2.0: The new W3C guidelines evaluated",[5] "To Hell with WCAG 2.0"[6] and "Testability Costs Too Much",[7] the WAI has been criticised for allowing WCAG 1.0 to get increasingly out of step with today's technologies and techniques for creating and consuming web content, for the slow pace of development of WCAG 2.0, for making the new guidelines difficult to navigate and understand, and other argued failings.

Essential components of web accessibility

The accessibility of websites relies on the cooperation of nine components:[8]

  1. The website itself - natural information (text, images and sound) and the markup code that defines its structure and presentation
  2. User agents, such as web browsers and media players
  3. Assistive technologies, such as screen readers and input devices used in place of the conventional keyboard and mouse
  4. Users' knowledge and experience using the web
  5. As per government guidelines paste web accessibility tool of atoall in your government and private websites because this web accessibility tool increases web accessibility for billion disabled. [9]
  6. Developers
  7. Authoring tools
  8. Evaluation tools
  9. A defined web accessibility standard, or a policy for your organization (against which to evaluate the accessibility)

These components interact with each other to create an environment that is accessible to people with disabilities.

Web developers usually use authoring tools and evaluation tools to create Web content.
People ("users") use Web browsers, media players, assistive technologies or other "user agents" to get and interact with the content.[8]

Guidelines for different components

Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG)

  • ATAG[10] contains 28 checkpoints that provide guidance on:
    • producing accessible output that meets standards and guidelines
    • promoting the content author for accessibility-related information
    • providing ways of checking and correcting inaccessible content
    • integrating accessibility in the overall look and feel
    • making the authoring tool itself accessible to people with disabilities

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)

  • WCAG 1.0: 14 guidelines that are general principles of accessible design
  • WCAG 2.0: 4 principles that form the foundation for web accessibility; 12 guidelines (untestable) that are goals for which authors should aim; and 65 testable success criteria.[11] The W3C's Techniques for WCAG 2.0[12] is a list of techniques that support authors to meet the guidelines and success criteria. The techniques are periodically updated whereas the principles, guidelines and success criteria are stable and do not change.[13]

User Agent Accessibility Guidelines (UAAG)

  • UAAG[14] contains a comprehensive set of checkpoints that cover:
    • access to all content
    • user control over how content is rendered
    • user control over the user interface
    • standard programming interfaces

Web accessibility legislation

Because of the growth in internet usage[15] and its growing importance in everyday life, countries around the world are addressing digital access issues through legislation. One approach is to protect access to websites for people with disabilities by using existing human or civil rights legislation. Some countries, like the U.S., protect access for people with disabilities through the technology procurement process.[16] It is common for nations to support and adopt the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 by referring to the guidelines in their legislation.[17][18][19]


In 2000, an Australian blind man won a $20,000 court case against the Sydney Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games (SOCOG). This was the first successful case under Disability Discrimination Act 1992 because SOCOG had failed to make their official website, Sydney Olympic Games, adequately accessible to blind users. The Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) also published World Wide Web Access: Disability Discrimination Act Advisory Notes.[20] All Governments in Australia also have policies and guidelines that require accessible public websites; Vision Australia maintain a complete list of Australian web accessibility policies.


In Brazil, the federal government published a paper with guidelines for accessibility on 18 January 2005, for public reviewing. On 14 December of the same year, the second version was published, including suggestions made to the first version of the paper. On 7 May 2007, the accessibility guidelines of the paper became compulsory to all federal websites. The current version of the paper, which follows the WCAG 2.0 guidelines, is named e-MAG, Modelo de Acessibilidade de Governo Eletrônico (Electronic Government Accessibility Model), and is maintained by Brazilian Ministry of Planning, Budget, and Management.

The paper can be viewed and downloaded at its official website.[21]


In 2011, the Government of Canada began phasing in the implementation of a new set of web standards that are aimed at ensuring government websites are accessible, usable, interoperable and optimized for mobile devices. These standards replace Common Look and Feel 2.0 (CLF 2.0) Standards for the Internet.

The first of these four standards, Standard on Web Accessibility[22] came into full effect on July 31, 2013. The Standard on Web Accessibility follows the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 AA, and contains a list of exclusions that is updated annually. It is accompanied by an explicit Assessment Methodology[23] that helps government departments comply. The government also developed the Web Experience Toolkit (WET),[24] a set of reusable web components for building innovative websites. The WET helps government departments build innovative websites that are accessible, usable and interoperable and therefore comply with the government's standards. The WET is open source and available for anyone to use.

The three related web standards are: the Standard on Optimizing Websites and Applications for Mobile Devices,[25] the Standard on Web Usability[26] and the Standard on Web Interoperability.[27]

European Union

In February 2014 a draft law was endorsed by the European Parliament stating that all websites managed by public sector bodies have to be made accessible to everyone.[28]

On 26 October 2016, the European Parliament accepted a directive that requires that the websites and mobile apps of public sector bodies be accessible. The relevant accessibility requirements are described in the European standard EN 301 549 V1.1.2 (published by ETSI). EU member states are expected to bring into force by 23 September 2018 laws and regulations that enforce the relevant accessibility requirements. Websites of public sector bodies should comply by 23 September 2018; mobile apps by 23 June 2021. Some categories of websites and apps are excepted from the directive, for example "websites and mobile applications of public service broadcasters and their subsidiaries".[29]

The European Commission's "Rolling Plan for ICT Standardisation 2017" notes that ETSI standard EN 301 549 V1.1.2 will need to be updated to add accessibility requirements for mobile applications and evaluation methodologies to test compliance with the standard.[30]


In Ireland, the Disability Act 2005[31] requires that where a public body communicates in electronic form with one or more persons, the contents of the communication must be, as far as practicable, "accessible to persons with a visual impairment to whom adaptive technology is available" (Section 28(2)). The National Disability Authority has produced a Code of Practice[32] giving guidance to public bodies on how to meet the obligations of the Act. This is an approved code of practice and its provisions have the force of legally binding statutory obligations. It states that a public body can achieve compliance with Section 28(2) by "reviewing existing practices for electronic communications in terms of accessibility against relevant guidelines and standards", giving the example of "Double A conformance with the Web Accessibility Initiative's (WAI) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)".


The Israeli Ministry of Justice recently published regulations requiring Internet websites to comply with Israeli standard 5568, which is based on the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0. The main differences between the Israeli standard and the W3C standard concern the requirements to provide captions and texts for audio and video media. The Israeli standards are somewhat more lenient, reflecting the current technical difficulties in providing such captions and texts in Hebrew.[33]


In Italy, web accessibility is ruled by the so-called "Legge Stanca" (Stanca Act), formally Act n.4 of 9 January 2004, officially published on the Gazzetta Ufficiale on 17 January 2004. The original Stanca Act was based on the WCAG 1.0. On 20 March 2013 the standards required by the Stanca Act were updated to the WCAG 2.0.


Web Content Accessibility Guidelines in Japan were established in 2004 as JIS (Japanese Industrial Standards) X 8341-3. JIS X 8341-3 was revised in 2010 to adopt WCAG 2.0. The new version, published by the Web Accessibility Infrastructure Commission (WAIC), has the same four principles, 12 guidelines, and 61 success criteria as WCAG 2.0 has.[34]


In Norway, web accessibility is a legal obligation under the Act June 20, 2008 No 42 relating to a prohibition against discrimination on the basis of disability, also known as the Anti-discrimination Accessibility Act. The Act went into force in 2009, and the Ministry of Government Administration, Reform and Church Affairs [Fornyings-, administrasjons- og kirkedepartementet] published the Regulations for universal design of information and communication technology (ICT) solutions [Forskrift om universell utforming av informasjons- og kommunikasjonsteknologiske (IKT)-løsninger] in 2013.[35] The regulations require compliance with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG 2.0) / NS / ISO / IEC 40500: 2012, level A and AA with some exceptions.[36][37] The Norwegian Agency for Public Management and eGovernment (Difi) is responsible for overseeing that ICT solutions aimed at the general public are in compliance with the legislative and regulatory requirements.[38]


As part of the Web Accessibility Initiatives in the Philippines, the government through the National Council for the Welfare of Disabled Persons (NCWDP) board approved the recommendation of forming an adhoc or core group of webmasters that will help in the implementation of the Biwako Millennium Framework set by the UNESCAP.

The Philippines was also the place where the Interregional Seminar and Regional Demonstration Workshop on Accessible Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) to Persons with Disabilities was held where eleven countries from Asia - Pacific were represented. The Manila Accessible Information and Communications Technologies Design Recommendations was drafted and adopted in 2003.


In Spain, UNE 139803 is the norm entrusted to regulate web accessibility. This standard is based on Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0.[39]


In Sweden, Verva, the Swedish Administrative Development Agency is responsible for a set of guidelines for Swedish public sector web sites. Through the guidelines, web accessibility is presented as an integral part of the overall development process and not as a separate issue. The Swedish guidelines contain criteria which cover the entire lifecycle of a website; from its conception to the publication of live web content. These criteria address several areas which should be considered, including:

  • accessibility
  • usability
  • web standards
  • privacy issues
  • information architecture
  • developing content for the web
  • Content Management Systems (CMS) / authoring tools selection.
  • development of web content for mobile devices.

An English translation was released in April 2008: Swedish National Guidelines for Public Sector Websites.[40] The translation is based on the latest version of Guidelines which was released in 2006.[41]

United Kingdom

In the UK, the Equality Act 2010 does not refer explicitly to website accessibility, but makes it illegal to discriminate against people with disabilities. The Act applies to anyone providing a service; public, private and voluntary sectors. The Code of Practice: Rights of Access – Goods, Facilities, Services and Premises document[42] published by the government's Equality and Human Rights Commission to accompany the Act does refer explicitly to websites as one of the "services to the public" which should be considered covered by the Act.

In December 2010 the UK released the standard BS 8878:2010 Web accessibility. Code of practice. This standard effectively supersedes PAS 78 (pub. 2006). PAS 78, produced by the Disability Rights Commission and sable by disabled people. The standard has been designed to introduce non-technical professionals to improved accessibility, usability and user experience for disabled and older people.[43] It will be especially beneficial to anyone new to this subject as it gives guidance on process, rather than on technical and design issues. BS 8878 is consistent with the Equality Act 2010[44] and is referenced in the UK government’s e-Accessibility Action Plan as the basis of updated advice on developing accessible online services. It includes recommendations for:

  • Involving disabled people in the development process and using automated tools to assist with accessibility testing
  • The management of the guidance and process for upholding existing accessibility guidelines and specifications.

BS 8878 is intended for anyone responsible for the policies covering web product creation within their organization, and governance against those policies. It additionally assists people responsible for promoting and supporting equality and inclusion initiatives within organizations and people involved in the procurement, creation or training of web products and content. A summary of BS 8878[45] is available to help organisations better understand how the standard can help them embed accessibility and inclusive design in their business-as-usual processes.

United States

In the United States, Section 508 Amendment to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 requires all Federal agencies' electronic and information technology to be accessible to those with disabilities. Both members of the public and federal employees have the right to access this technology, such as computer hardware and software, websites, phone systems, and copiers.[46] Also, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability for entities receiving federal funds and has been cited in multiple lawsuits against organizations such as hospitals that receive federal funds through medicare/medicaid.

In addition, Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. There is some debate on the matter, multiple courts and the U.S. Department of Justice have taken the position that the ADA requires website and app operators and owners to take affirmative steps to make their websites and apps accessible to disabled persons and compatible with common assistive technologies such as the JAWS screen reader, while other courts have taken the position that the ADA does not apply online. The U.S. Department of Justice has endorsed the WCAG2.0AA standard as an appropriate standard for accessibility in multiple settlement agreements.[47][48]

Website accessibility audits

A growing number of organizations, companies and consultants offer website accessibility audits. These audits, a type of system testing, identify accessibility problems that exist within a website, and provide advice and guidance on the steps that need to be taken to correct these problems.

A range of methods are used to audit websites for accessibility:

  • Automated tools are available which can identify some of the problems that are present. Depending on the tool the result may vary widely making it difficult to compare test results.[49]
  • Expert technical reviewers, knowledgeable in web design technologies and accessibility, can review a representative selection of pages and provide detailed feedback and advice based on their findings.
  • User testing, usually overseen by technical experts, involves setting tasks for ordinary users to carry out on the website, and reviewing the problems these users encounter as they try to carry out the tasks.

Each of these methods has its strengths and weaknesses:

  • Automated tools can process many pages in a relatively short length of time, but can only identify some of the accessibility problems that might be present in the website.
  • Technical expert review will identify many of the problems that exist, but the process is time consuming, and many websites are too large to make it possible for a person to review every page.
  • User testing combines elements of usability and accessibility testing, and is valuable for identifying problems that might otherwise be overlooked, but needs to be used knowledgeably to avoid the risk of basing design decisions on one user's preferences.

Ideally, a combination of methods should be used to assess the accessibility of a website.

Remediating inaccessible websites

Once an accessibility audit has been conducted, and accessibility errors have been identified, the errors will need to be remediated in order to ensure the site is compliant with accessibility errors. The traditional way of correcting an inaccessible site is to go back into the source code, reprogram the error, and then test to make sure the bug was fixed. If the website is not scheduled to be revised in the near future, that error (and others) would remain on the site for a lengthy period of time, possibly violating accessibility guidelines. Because this is a complicated process, many website owners choose to build accessibility into a new site design or re-launch, as it can be more efficient to develop the site to comply with accessibility guidelines, rather than to remediate errors later.

Accessible Web applications and WAI-ARIA

For a Web page to be accessible all important semantics about the page's functionality must be available so that assistive technology can understand and process the content and adapt it for the user. However, as content becomes more and more complex, the standard HTML tags and attributes become inadequate in providing semantics reliably. Modern Web applications often apply scripts to elements to control their functionality and to enable them to act as a control or other dynamic component. These custom components or widgets do not provide a way to convey semantic information to the user agent. WAI-ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications) is a specification[50] published by the World Wide Web Consortium that specifies how to increase the accessibility of dynamic content and user interface components developed with Ajax, HTML, JavaScript and related technologies. ARIA enables accessibility by enabling the author to provide all the semantics to fully describe its supported behaviour. It also allows each element to expose its current states and properties and its relationships between other elements. Accessibility problems with the focus and tab index are also corrected.

See also


  1. ^ Mark Rogers (13 November 2012). "Government Accessibility Standards and WCAG 2.0". Powermapper.com. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
  2. ^ ISO: ISO/IEC 40500:2012: Information technology -- W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0.
  3. ^ Jonathan Chetwynd (24 July 2007). "Putting the User at the Heart of the W3C Process". JISC CETIS. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  4. ^ Lisa Seeman (20 June 2006). "Formal Objection to WCAG 2.0". W3C Public Mailing List Archives. Retrieved 16 December 2012.
  5. ^ Trenton Moss says:. "WCAG 2.0: The new W3C accessibility guidelines evaluated". Webcredible.co.uk. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
  6. ^ Joe Clark (11 July 2013). "To Hell with WCAG 2 · An A List Apart Article". Alistapart.com. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
  7. ^ Gian Sampson-Wild (11 July 2013). "Testability Costs Too Much · An A List Apart Article". Alistapart.com. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
  8. ^ a b Shawn Lawton Henry (August 2005). "Essential Components of Web Accessibility". World Wide Web Consortium. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
  9. ^ Sanjeev Kumar (August 2007). "web accessibility tool". atoall. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
  10. ^ Shawn Lawton Henry (December 2008). "Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG) Overview". World Wide Web Consortium. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
  11. ^ "Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0". W3C. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  12. ^ "Techniques for WCAG 2.0". W3C. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  13. ^ "Understanding Techniques for WCAG Success Criteria". W3C. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  14. ^ Shawn Lawton Henry (July 2005). "User Agent Accessibility Guidelines (UAAG) Overview". World Wide Web Consortium. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
  15. ^ "Internet Usage Statistics". Miniwatts Marketing Group. 30 June 2014. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  16. ^ Timothy Stephen Springer (24 February 2010). "Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act". SSB BART Group. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  17. ^ "World Laws Introduction to Laws Throughout the World". WebAIM (Web Accessibility in Mind).
  18. ^ "Digital Accessibility Laws Around the Globe". Law Office of Lainey Feingold. 9 May 2013. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  19. ^ Ken Nakata (18 July 2013). "Deadlines Loom for Canada's Web Accessibility Laws". HiSoft. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  20. ^ "World Wide Web Access: Disability Discrimination Act Advisory Notes ver 4.0 (2010) | Australian Human Rights Commission". Hreoc.gov.au. 1 July 2010. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
  21. ^ "e-MAG - Modelo de Acessibilidade de Governo Eletrônico". GovernoEletronico.gov.br. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  22. ^ "Standard on Web Accessibility". Government of Canada. Government of Canada. 2 August 2011. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  23. ^ "Assessment Methodology". Government of Canada. 25 January 2012. Retrieved 14 December 2014.
  24. ^ "The Web Experience Toolkit". Government of Canada. 25 January 2012. Retrieved 14 December 2014.
  25. ^ "Standard on Optimizing Websites and Applications for Mobile Devices". Government of Canada. 30 April 2013. Retrieved 14 December 2014.
  26. ^ "Standard on Web Usability". Government of Canada. 25 January 2012. Retrieved 14 December 2014.
  27. ^ "Standard on Web Interoperability". Government of Canada. 2 August 2012. Retrieved 14 December 2014.
  28. ^ "MEPs vote to make online public services accessible to everyone". www.europarl.europa.eu. European Parliament. 26 February 2014. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  29. ^ Directive (EU) 2016/2102 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 October 2016 on the accessibility of the websites and mobile applications of public sector bodies, EUR-Lex; published in the 'Official Journal of the European Union' on 2.12.2016. Accessed 28.03.2017.
  30. ^ European Commission: Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs: Rolling Plan for ICT Standardisation 2017. COM (2016) 176 final.. Accessed 28.03.2017.
  31. ^ "Disability Act 2005 - Tithe an Oireachtais". Oireachtas.ie. 13 November 2009. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
  32. ^ "Code of Practice on Accessibility of Public Services and Information Provided by Public Bodies". Nda.ie. 21 July 2006. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
  33. ^ "Israel Technology Law Blog, Website Accessibility Requirements".
  34. ^ "JIS X 8341-3:2010". waic.jp (in Japanese). Web Accessibility Infrastructure Commission. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  35. ^ "Regulation for universal design of information and communication technology (ICT) solutions". Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation. 21 June 2013. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
  36. ^ Giannoumis, G. Anthony (2014). "Regulating Web Content: the nexus of legislation and performance standards in the United Kingdom and Norway". Behavioral Sciences & the Law. 32 (1): 52–75. doi:10.1002/bsl.2103. hdl:10642/2585.
  37. ^ "Forskrift om universell utforming av informasjon". Lovdata. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
  38. ^ "The Government's Action Plan for Universal Design 2015–2019" (PDF). Norwegian Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
  39. ^ "La norma UNE 139803:2004 constituye la base de la certificación en Accesibilidad Web" (in Spanish). INTECO. Retrieved 16 December 2012.
  40. ^ "Swedish National Guidelines for Public Sector Websites" (PDF). arkiv.edelegationen.se. VERVA. April 2008.
  41. ^ Peter Krantz (2006). "New Version of Guidelines for Swedish Public Sector Web Sites". www.standards-schmandards.com. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
  42. ^ "A guide to good practice in commissioning accessible websites" (PDF). Equality and Human Rights Commission. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
  43. ^ "BS 8878:2010 Web accessibility. Code of practice". British Standards Institute. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  44. ^ "Equality Act 2010". Legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
  45. ^ "BS 8878 web accessibility standards - all you need to know". Hassell Inclusion. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
  46. ^ Yanchulis, Dave. "About the Section 508 Standards - United States Access Board". www.access-board.gov. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  47. ^ https://www.ada.gov/archive/t3hilght.htm
  48. ^ "Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in Public Accommodations and Commercial Facilities". www.ada.gov. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  49. ^ Krantz, Peter. "Pitfalls of Web Accessibility Evaluation Tools". Standards-schmandards.com. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
  50. ^ "Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA) 1.0". World Wide Web Consortium. 12 December 2012. Retrieved 18 December 2012.

The basic WCAG requirements - What you need to start develop with WCAG, 2018

Further reading

External links

Standards and guidelines

Government regulations

Access key

In a web browser, an access key or accesskey allows a computer user to immediately jump to a specific part of a web page via the keyboard. They were introduced in 1999 and quickly achieved near-universal browser support.

In the summer of 2002, a Canadian Web Accessibility consultancy did an informal survey to see if implementing accesskeys caused issues for users of adaptive technology, especially screen reading technology used by blind and low vision users. These users require numerous keyboard shortcuts to access web pages, as “pointing and clicking” a mouse is not an option for them. Their research showed that most key stroke combinations did in fact present a conflict for one or more of these technologies, and their final recommendation was to avoid using accesskeys altogether.

In XHTML 2, a revised web authoring language, the HTML Working Group of the World Wide Web Consortium deprecated the accesskey attribute in favor of the XHTML Role Access Module. However, XHTML 2 has been retired in favor of HTML5, which (as of August 2009) continues to permit accesskeys.


Accessibility is the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people with disabilities. The concept of accessible design and practice of accessible development ensures both "direct access" (i.e. unassisted) and "indirect access" meaning compatibility with a person's assistive technology (for example, computer screen readers).

Accessibility can be viewed as the "ability to access" and benefit from some system or entity. The concept focuses on enabling access for people with disabilities, or special needs, or enabling access through the use of assistive technology; however, research and development in accessibility brings benefits to everyone.Accessibility is not to be confused with usability, which is the extent to which a product (such as a device, service, or environment) can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction in a specified context of use.

Accessibility is strongly related to universal design which is the process of creating products that are usable by people with the widest possible range of abilities, operating within the widest possible range of situations. This is about making things accessible to all people (whether they have a disability or not).

Air Transport Action Group

For one of the organisations of the World Wide Web Consortium's Web Accessibility Initiative, see Authoring Tools Accessibility Guidelines.

The Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) is a coalition of aviation industry experts focusing on sustainable development issues. Its board of directors is composed of senior representatives from trade associations like Airports Council International, Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation, International Air Transport Association, Airlines for America and Association of Asia Pacific Airlines, plus aircraft manufacturers like Airbus, ATR, Boeing, Bombardier Aerospace, CFM International, Embraer, Honeywell Aerospace, Pratt & Whitney, Rolls-Royce plc and Safran.

Alt attribute

The alt attribute is the HTML attribute used in HTML and XHTML documents to specify alternative text (alt text) that is to be rendered when the element to which it is applied cannot be rendered.

The alt attribute is used by "screen reader" software so that a person who is listening to the content of a webpage (for instance, a person who is blind) can interact with this element. Every image should have an alt attribute to be accessible, but it need not contain text. It can be an empty or null attribute: alt=.The attribute was introduced in HTML 2 and in HTML 4.01 was required for the img and area tags. It is optional for the input tag and the deprecated applet tag.

Assistive technology

Assistive technology is an umbrella term that includes assistive, adaptive, and rehabilitative devices for people with disabilities or elderly population while also including the process used in selecting, locating, and using them. People who have disabilities often have difficulty performing activities of daily living (ADLs) independently, or even with assistance. ADLs are self-care activities that include toileting, mobility (ambulation), eating, bathing, dressing and grooming. Assistive technology can ameliorate the effects of disabilities that limit the ability to perform ADLs. Assistive technology promotes greater independence by enabling people to perform tasks they were formerly unable to accomplish, or had great difficulty accomplishing, by providing enhancements to, or changing methods of interacting with, the technology needed to accomplish such tasks. For example, wheelchairs provide independent mobility for those who cannot walk, while assistive eating devices can enable people who cannot feed themselves to do so. Due to assistive technology, people with disabilities have an opportunity of a more positive and easygoing lifestyle, with an increase in "social participation," "security and control," and a greater chance to "reduce institutional costs without significantly increasing household expenses."


BrowseAloud is assistive technology software that adds text-to-speech functionality to websites. It is designed by Texthelp Ltd, a Northern Ireland based company that specialises in the design of assistive technology. BrowseAloud adds speech and reading support tools to online content to extend the reach of websites for people who require reading support. The Javascript-based tool adds a floating toolbar to the web page being visited. The service is paid for by the website's publisher; and is free to website visitors.BrowseAloud has been used in the United Kingdom by local councils, and parts of the National Health Service. The software won a New Statesman New Media Award in 2004.

Disability Discrimination Act 1995

The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (c 50) (informally, and hereafter, the DDA) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which has now been repealed and replaced by the Equality Act 2010, except in Northern Ireland where the Act still applies. Formerly, it made it unlawful to discriminate against people in respect of their disabilities in relation to employment, the provision of goods and services, education and transport.

The DDA is a civil rights law. Other countries use constitutional, social rights or criminal law to make similar provisions. The Equality and Human Rights Commission combats discrimination. Equivalent legislation exists in Northern Ireland, which is enforced by the Northern Ireland Equality Commission.


HTML Tidy is a console application for correcting invalid hypertext markup language (HTML), detecting potential web accessibility errors, and for improving the layout and indent style of the resulting markup. It is also a cross-platform library for computer applications that provides HTML Tidy's features.

ICM Registry

ICM Registry operates the .xxx (pronounced "dot triple-X") sponsored top-level domain (sTLD) registry, which is designed for pornography. The ICM Registry operates from Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. It is owned by Stuart Lawley.

JAWS (screen reader)

JAWS ("Job Access With Speech") is a computer screen reader program for Microsoft Windows that allows blind and visually impaired users to read the screen either with a text-to-speech output or by a refreshable Braille display. JAWS is produced by the Blind and Low Vision Group of Freedom Scientific.

An October 2017 screen reader user survey by WebAIM, a web accessibility company, found JAWS to be the most popular screen reader worldwide; 46.6% of survey participants used it as a primary screen reader, while 66.0% of participants used it often.JAWS supports all versions of Windows released since Windows Vista. There are two versions of the program: the Home edition for non-commercial use and the Professional edition for commercial environments. Before JAWS 16, the Home edition was called Standard, and only worked on home Windows operating systems. A DOS version, sometimes also known as JDOS, is free.

The JAWS Scripting Language allows the user to use programs without standard Windows controls, and programs that were not designed for accessibility.

Section 508 Amendment to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

In 1998 the US Congress amended the Rehabilitation Act to require Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities. Section 508 was enacted to eliminate barriers in information technology, to make available new opportunities for people with disabilities, and to encourage development of technologies that will help achieve these goals. The law applies to all Federal agencies when they develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology. Under Section 508 (29 U.S.C. § 794d), agencies must give employees with disabilities and members of the public access to information that is comparable to the access available to others.

Tableless web design

Tableless web design (or tableless web layout) is a web design method eschewing the use of HTML tables for page layout control purposes. Instead of HTML tables, style sheet languages such as Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) are used to arrange elements and text on a web page.

Unobtrusive JavaScript

Unobtrusive JavaScript is a general approach to the use of JavaScript in web pages. Though the term is not formally defined, its basic principles are generally understood to include:

Separation of functionality (the "behavior layer") from a Web page's structure/content and presentation

Best practices to avoid the problems of traditional JavaScript programming (such as browser inconsistencies and lack of scalability)

Progressive enhancement to support user agents that may not support advanced JavaScript functionality


Web Accessibility Initiative – Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA) is a technical specification published by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) that specifies how to increase the accessibility of web pages, in particular, dynamic content, and user interface components developed with Ajax, HTML, JavaScript, and related technologies.


WebAIM (Web Accessibility in Mind) is a non-profit organization based at Utah State University in Logan, Utah. WebAIM has provided web accessibility solutions since 1999. WebAIM's mission is to expand the potential of the web for people with disabilities by providing the knowledge, technical skills, tools, organizational leadership strategies, and vision that empower organizations to make their own content accessible to people with disabilities.

Web Accessibility Initiative

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)'s Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) is an effort to improve the accessibility of the World Wide Web (WWW or Web) for people with disabilities. People with disabilities may encounter difficulties when using computers generally, but also on the Web. Since people with disabilities often require non-standard devices and browsers, making websites more accessible also benefits a wide range of user agents and devices, including mobile devices, which have limited resources.

The W3C launched the Web Accessibility Initiative in 1997 with endorsement by The White House and W3C members. It has several working groups and interest groups that work on guidelines, technical reports, educational materials and other documents that relate to the several different components of web accessibility. These components include web content, web browsers and media players, authoring tools, and evaluation tools.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are part of a series of web accessibility guidelines published by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the main international standards organization for the Internet. They are a set of recommendations for making Web content more accessible, primarily for people with disabilities—but also for all user agents, including highly limited devices, such as mobile phones. WCAG 2.0, was published in December 2008 and became an ISO standard, ISO/IEC 40500:2012 in October 2012. WCAG 2.1 became a W3C Recommendation in June 2018.

Web design

Web design encompasses many different skills and disciplines in the production and maintenance of websites. The different areas of web design include web graphic design; interface design; authoring, including standardised code and proprietary software; user experience design; and search engine optimization. Often many individuals will work in teams covering different aspects of the design process, although some designers will cover them all. The term web design is normally used to describe the design process relating to the front-end (client side) design of a website including writing markup. Web design partially overlaps web engineering in the broader scope of web development. Web designers are expected to have an awareness of usability and if their role involves creating markup then they are also expected to be up to date with web accessibility guidelines.

ZAC Browser

ZAC Browser (Zone for Autistic Children) is a discontinued web browser designed specifically for children and teenagers with autism and autism spectrum disorders such as Asperger syndrome, pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) and PDD-NOS.Because autistic children display characteristics such as impairments in social interaction, impairments in communication, restricted interests and repetitive behavior, the standard browser experience can often be overwhelming. The ZAC browser reduces the number of user interface controls and removes access to much of the Web in order to simplify the experience for autistic children.

ZAC was available as a free download for Windows 98/ME/2000/XP/Vista/7.

Web accessibility

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.