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AccessGA: Newsletter November 2014
AccessGA Georgia's Accessible ICT Initiative

Simple Tools and Steps to Check the Accessibility of Websites

Is the color and contrast on your organization’s website usable by individuals with low vision? Do the images on your website include alternative text descriptions? Can users easily resize and enlarge the text on your site for improved readability? These are some of the accessibility checks that you can run on your website using a browser accessibility toolbar and automated web accessibility checkers.

While automated accessibility checkers can’t replace expert evaluations, there are a number of free tools that can help you get started analyzing and evaluating the accessibility of your website and identifying possible barriers.
Begin by installing the browser toolbar(s) of your choice, such as: The W3C Easy Checks resource provides descriptions and step-by-step instructions for using the toolbars and next steps after identifying accessibility errors.

Automated accessibility checker sites such as the WAVE Accessibility Tool online web service or the Functional Accessibility Evaluator 2.0 (FAE) will crawl your website and generate automated reports for both static and dynamic content analyzing markup consistent with WCAG 2.0 Guidelines and Section 508 Accessibility Standards.

It’s important to remember that no automated website checker can take the place of human interpretation of your site’s basic content and design. For example: is the navigation logical and easy to access, are headings properly coded, is alternative text for images both usable and functional? Help ensure your website is accessible for all visitors by performing basic accessibility checks. The tools described here will provide you with important information to get started.

Content contributed by Janet Sylvia, Digital Media Professional, and founder and leader of the University of Georgia’s innovative Web Accessibility Group (WAG).
 

Archived Webinar

View the recent webinar Tools and Strategies for Website Accessibility featuring presenters Janet Sylvia and John Rempel. Janet demonstrates several of the tools referenced in the article above, while John discusses barriers posed by inaccessible websites and shows the advantages of a website designed with accessibility built-in from the start.
 

Assistive Technology Snapshot

This month's assistive technology snapshot features Liz Persaud of Tools for Life. Liz is the Training, Outreach and Development Coordinator for Tools for Life (Georgia’s Assistive Technology Act Program) and the Pass It On Center (National Assistive Technology Device Reutilization Coordination and Technical Assistance Center). View Liz's video on using the AT program Dragon Naturally Speaking.


 

When Checking Web Accessibility, Involve Users

Design your website to meet standards and check your site with automated tools, but also be sure to involve users in the process of evaluating your site. Bringing users in early can be beneficial in identifying issues that automated checkers may miss and can help you understand real world accessibility issues that a variety of users with disabilities may face. Read the W3C's recommendations for Involving Users in Evaluating Web Accessibility for information on more effectively designing your website for all users.
 

AccessGA Initiative

AccessGA, Georgia’s Accessible ICT Initiative, is a program of the State of Georgia ADA Coordinator's Office, AMAC Accessibility Solutions and Research Center at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and the Georgia Technology Authority's GeorgiaGov Interactive.

 
Janet Sylvia

Featured Contributor

Janet Sylvia is the Leader and Founder of the Web Accessibility Group (WAG), with membership from 23 University System of Georgia (USG) institutions and beyond.  She has provided web accessibility consulting and training for the past 15 years. Her areas of expertise include Accessibility in Higher Education, Section 508 compliance, and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).  Janet has presented at regional, national and international events including Global Accessibility Awareness Day, Distance Learning Administration Conference and the 29th Annual CSUN Conference.  Her accessibility articles have been published through conference proceedings and websites, including Media Access Australia.
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About WAG

The Web Accessibility Group (WAG) at UGA began in May 2011 with the goal to share and discuss strategies, techniques and resources for meeting Section 508 compliance as it pertains to websites and web content. WAG also seeks to inform others throughout the University System of Georgia about relevant training seminars on web accessibility and provide information about the forthcoming Section 508 Refresh (an update of the existing Section 508 standards originally published in 1998). WAG is open to individuals at institutions throughout the University System of Georgia and beyond.  All are welcome to join the WAG listserv, attend monthly webinars, and access training Resources by visiting our website at wag.uga.edu
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Resources

Please visit the AccessGA website and wiki for accessibility resources and archived webinars.
Links and Resources
WAVE | WebAIM | Wiki W3C
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512 Means Street NW
Suite 250
Atlanta, GA 30318
855-495-0374
AccessGA.org
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AMAC provides practical solutions for real challenges faced daily by individuals with disabilities. AMAC offers corporate, governmental and nonprofit memberships for services, including disability compliance consultation, braille, captioning, accessible digital content and assistive technology. amacusg.org