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Thread: school website accessibility check

  1. #1
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    school website accessibility check

    Hi. I was wondering if this site is accessible. I ran it through the bobby checker but I cannot tell what applies to my page and what doesn't. It is a page for our high school's technology class. I designed it to be valid html but I am new to the subject of accessibility. Your help is much appreciated!
    -Liam
    Last edited by liamk; 03-30-2005 at 06:44 PM.

  2. #2
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    Not even close.

    Get rid of the TABLE layout, use some H elements and make sure that it works well in Lynx.
    “The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect.”
    —Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director and inventor of the World Wide Web

  3. #3
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    You might also want to use purely CSS for the menu functionality. Remember, not all users have JavaScript.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for your suggestions! I will start working on those right away.

    I have this news page (which is powered by Blogger) which seems to look fine in Lynx (I am looking at it through delorie.com). This page is xhtml as opposed to html and uses less tables. If I add a "Skip Navigation" link at the top, would this be 508 approved?

    Also, I know I should not be using tables for layout and css is better than javascript but, is table-free/javascript-free a requirement of 508? I am looking at section508.gov and they seem to be using a lot of tables for layout as well as javascript.
    Last edited by liamk; 03-30-2005 at 06:43 PM. Reason: additional questions (third paragraph)

  5. #5
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    508 was written a long time ago, before anybody realized that TABLEs for layout would become such a problem, and that there would be such an easy way to avoid their use. So yes, a TABLE with a "skip to content" link at the top meets the 508 requirements. But 508 is really wimpy. Shoot for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 level A or Double A.

    There is absolutely no advantage to using XHTML for web pages and quite a few disadvantages. However, there is a great advantage in using one of the strict DTDs. I strongly suggesting using HTML 4.01 Strict. XHTML 1.0 Strict or XHTML 1.1 is fine but only if you follow the HTML Compatibility Guidelines.
    “The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect.”
    —Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director and inventor of the World Wide Web

  6. #6
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    Thanks very much for your help! I have added a hidden "skip navigation" link and have changed a few colors so I believe the page is now 508 approved. I will begin working on a completely new site aimed towards the WCAG you mentioned. My friend Peter has been working on a table-free site powered by php or something so maybe we will switch from my site to his once he finishes it. Thanks again!

  7. #7
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    I would advise against making the "skip navigation" link hidden, as this will hide it from some screen readers. Also, anyone using just a keyboard or other alternative input device could not take advantage of it if they cannot see it.

    You also do not necessarily need to use PHP instead of tables. You can just use CSS for marking up the presentation of the page and the proper HTML elements for marking up the content.

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