Accessibility Training Course Overview
This 1-day website accessibility training course provides the essential background knowledge for implementing good web accessibility:
- Understanding the requirements of different disabled users
- Understanding problems conventional web designs cause disabled users
- Understanding requirements of UK law and web accessibility standards, e.g.
- The Disability Discrimination Act
- The W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)
- The W3C’s Accessible Rich Internet Applications Suite (WAI-ARIA)
This course provides the background knowledge required for the more technically oriented follow-on course in Implementing Website Accessibility.
Both courses are typically taken together as a single 2-day package called Website Accessibility Fundamentals, but we offer them independently to meet the full range of client requirements.
Course contents — 1 Issues & needs
- Why bother with website accessibility?
- Types of website accessibility, for whom?
- Different disability needs, e.g.
- Deaf,Hard-of-hearing, impaired
- Blind, visually-impaired, poor sight
- Mobility, motor disabilities
- Mental and learning disabilities
- The elderly
- Tensions between the accessibility needs of different groups
- Shared and common accessibility problems
- Multiple disabilities
- Web accessibility and ‘non-web’ accessibility
- Website accessibility standards
- Website accessibility tools and technologies
- Browser and platform compatibility
Course contents — 2 Assistive Technologies
- What is assistive technology?
- The tools that different disability groups use, e.g.
- Screen readers and aural interfaces
- Braille displays
- Switch-click input devices
- Modified keyboards, mice and similar input devices
- Speech recognition
- Touch screens
- Head/eye control
- Word prediction and correction
- How assistive technologies interface with web browsers
- Input vs. output
- Keyboard vs. mouse commands
- Web design principles for supporting assistive technology, e.g.
- Redundancy and progressive enhancement
- Equal value to mouse and keyboard
- Text alternatives to graphic content
- Orientation and focus
Course contents — 3 Legal and Web Standards
- Disability Discrimination Act (DDA)
- Legal liabilities and remedies
- The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC)
- The Government Office for Disability Isssues (ODI)
- EHRC Powers and DDA enforcement
- Website design codes of practice
- PAS 78: Guide to good practice in commissioning accessible websites
- Remedies outside the courts
- The Web Accessibility Initiative project (WAI)
- The WAI’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)
- Key requirements of the WCAG
- 3 Levels of WCAG compliance: A, AA, AAA
- Relationship between the WCAG and UK Government guidelines
- Accessible web applications vs. accessible content
Course contents — 4 Policy, Tools & Testing
- Deciding what types and levels of accessibility to provide
- External constraints, e.g. contracts, partners, brand
- Internal constraints, e.g. current skills, technologies, branding
- Thinking strategically — getting from here to there
- Publishing site policy and accessibility features
- WCAG and compliance testing
- Automated tests: Cynthia, Bobby, Web Exact, etc.
- Manual checks and checklists
- Problems unique to web applications
- Dynamic graphics and labelling
- Asynchronous updates
- Update notification
- Switching focus
- Information vs. distraction
- etc …
- Brief intro to the Accessible Rich Internet Applications Suite (WAI-ARIA)
On completing this website accessibility training course, you will be able to:
- Recognise the problems disabled users encounter with conventional web design
- Recognise the differing needs of various disabled user groups
- Understand the basic principles of accessible web design
- Understand your responsibilities under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA)
- Understand the W3C's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)
- Understand the Accessible Rich Internet Applications Suite (WAI-ARIA)
- Understand what you need to do to bring a website up to a given level of standards compliance
- Formulate your accessibility strategy and targets
- Specify your requirements for an accessible site build or re-build
- Web designers
- Web developers
- Web accessibility and usability advocates
- Managers and HR professionals with web accessibility responsibilities
- A very basic understanding of principles of HTML tagging and CSS styling
- Basic computer literacy
- An interest in web accessibility
Note: Although web design skills are distinctly advantageous, delegates are not required to have practical experience coding HTML — understanding the basic principles is sufficient.
Although this course does contain hands-on practical exercises, the amount and quality of such work is limited by both the informational nature of the course content and by the intrinsic difficulty of putting able-bodied students in the exact position of disabled web users.
We ask students to navigate and interact with web sites using text-only and audio-based browser software (screen readers) — which invariably questions the taken for granted assumptions of most web design — but we don’t expect students to achieve any significant competence in using specialised assistive technology. The tools are simply too complex, and the time too short for that.