Latest W3C column looks at evaluation tools for auditing website accessibility

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Thursday, 2 June 2011 10:18am

This month’s W3C column from Dr Scott Hollier, representative of Media Access Australia on the Advisory Committee of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), is out.

Dr Hollier looks at the recent work of the W3C in making it easier for people to check if websites are accessible for people with disabilities. This work includes the creation of the Evaluation and Report Language (EARL) 1.0 Schemato help web developers, and the WCAG 2.0 Evaluation Methodology Task Force(Eval TF)to create a methodology for accessibility evaluation. These tools, currently in development, will make auditing easier and more effective in the future.

In the interim, there are a number of free tools currently available online such as TAW, WAVEand aCheckerthat check the accessibility of websites. While these tools are easy to use and detect various issues according to the W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, there is still a long way to go before they will reliably identify all accessibility issues.

For effective evaluation of accessibility, Dr Hollier emphasises the need for human testing of websites by people with disabilities, and testing across assistive technologies such as screen readers to make sure the site is accessible.

Read this month’s W3C columnfrom Dr Scott Hollierfor more about how the W3C is making evaluation tools better and how you can get involved.

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