Before and After Considering Accessibility


Introduction:

This ADE will provide you with a quick introduction to computer accessibility. Since one common experience among all of us is the use of the Web, we will explore website accessibility for practical examples of technology access.

At the end of this ADE, you will have gained some awareness on the issue of accessibility and you should be able to explain why accessibility is important.

Note: This is an alternate version of "Before and After Considering Accessibility" designed for circumstances where vision cannot be used.


What to Do:

  1. To begin, please view the QuickTime video "Web Sites That Work!" (local copy used with permission). 

  2. Explore the " WAI Before and After Demo".  Visually, there are few differences between the "inaccessible" and "accessible" versions of the demonstration websites. However, functionally they are very different.

    The inaccessible set of webpages may not render very well for use by screen readers. However, exploring the two sets of webpages in a manner that is not visual can still be an interesting experience. This is because, while the one set of pages breaks almost every accessibility rule, the other set strictly adheres to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). Thus, this exercise allows users with disabilities a unique opportunity to explore the "right way" and the "wrong way" to design the same website.

    1. Click on the link "Inaccessible Web Site" and explore each webpage.
      • While exploring this site, consider your experience. What seems to really work? What doesn't?

    2. Click on the link "Accessible Web Site" and explore each webpage.
      • While exploring this site, consider your experience. What seems to really work? What doesn't?

  3. Not all of the problems with these pages are visually obvious. Click the "Accessibility Barriers" link and read the list of demonstrated accessibility barriers.

What to Hand-in:

Answer the following questions:

  1. What worked for you on both the "accessible" and "inaccessible" websites?

  2. What did not work for you on both websites?

  3. What worked on one website but not the other?

  4. How can Designers inadvertently disenfranchise people and what should be done about it?

  5. Feedback

    1. What were your expectations of this ADE?
    2. Did this ADE meet your expectations? Provide a rating between 1 and 7, where 1 means not at all, 4 means somewhat, and 7 means absolutely. Please explain your choice.
    3. Did you feel that the video(s) for this ADE was appropriate? Why or why not? Provide a rating between 1 and 7, where 1 means not at all, 4 means somewhat, and 7 means absolutely. Please explain your choice.
    4. Do you have any suggestions for other possible videos?
    5. Did you feel that the questions above got you to think about the real and serious issues regarding this ADE? Provide a rating between 1 and 7, where 1 means not at all, 4 means somewhat, and 7 means absolutely. Please explain your choice.
    6. If you have any suggestions on how to improve this ADE, please include it here.