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An Overview of the WCAG Standards and Guidelines

Overview of WCAG standards provides you with in-depth training on Web. Taught by Zoe Gillenwater as … Show More

Web Accessibility Principles

with Zoe Gillenwater

Video: An Overview of the WCAG Standards and Guidelines

Overview of WCAG standards provides you with in-depth training on Web. Taught by Zoe Gillenwater as part of the Web Accessibility Principles
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  1. 2m 0s
    1. Welcome
      1m 3s
    2. Using the exercise files
  2. 33m 15s
    1. What does accessibility mean?
      5m 51s
    2. How does accessibility help your users?
      3m 30s
    3. Experiencing a website via a screen reader
      5m 46s
    4. How does accessibility help you and your clients?
      3m 9s
    5. Overview of Section 508 standards
      5m 51s
    6. Overview of WCAG standards
      6m 4s
    7. Understanding consistency and semantic markup
      3m 4s
  3. 54m 30s
    1. Understanding screen readers and accessibility tools
      6m 12s
    2. Getting accessible browsers
      5m 40s
    3. Customizing Firefox for accessibility testing
      5m 53s
    4. Using custom accessibility toolbars
      5m 28s
    5. Using Fangs and the Color Contrast Analyzer
      5m 30s
    6. Accessibility tools to bookmark
      5m 53s
    7. Using automated accessibility checking tools
      4m 57s
    8. Setting up the JAWS screen reader on Windows
      6m 42s
    9. Using the VoiceOver screen reader on Mac OS X
      5m 52s
    10. Setting Dreamweaver accessibility preferences
      2m 23s
  4. 26m 10s
    1. Avoiding tables for layout
      3m 30s
    2. Using CSS for layout
      2m 40s
    3. Creating a fixed-width layout
      5m 51s
    4. Creating an elastic layout
      3m 50s
    5. Creating a liquid layout
      3m 4s
    6. Customizing a liquid layout
      7m 15s
  5. 1h 6m
    1. Specifying the language
      3m 42s
    2. Setting page titles
      2m 16s
    3. Setting headings and paragraphs
      9m 55s
    4. Styling headings
      9m 56s
    5. Hiding section headings from sighted users
      6m 41s
    6. Styling text for readability
      6m 40s
    7. Ensuring proper color contrast
      6m 36s
    8. Creating text emphasis
      4m 29s
    9. Indicating quotations
      4m 28s
    10. Creating basic lists
      4m 16s
    11. Styling lists
      7m 15s
  6. 1h 15m
    1. Using lists for navigation
      6m 45s
    2. Creating a horizontal navigation bar
      13m 25s
    3. Creating a vertical navigation bar
      11m 44s
    4. Adding skip navigation links
      11m 59s
    5. Hiding skip navigation links
      6m 16s
    6. Proper link text and title attributes
      6m 10s
    7. Opening new windows
      4m 27s
    8. Accessibility limitations of fly-out menus
      6m 30s
    9. Creating an accessible fly-out menu
      8m 38s
  7. 27m 54s
    1. Proper ALT text for navigation images
      4m 57s
    2. Proper ALT text for decorative images
      5m 19s
    3. Adding ALT text to an existing site
      6m 8s
    4. Adding ALT text to image maps
      5m 58s
    5. Describing complex graphics
      5m 32s
  8. 34m 0s
    1. Using tables for data
      3m 0s
    2. Creating header cells
      4m 4s
    3. Adding table captions and summaries
      9m 9s
    4. Styling tables
      5m 19s
    5. Applying header cells to complex tables
      6m 52s
    6. Adding id and headers attributes
      5m 36s
  9. 42m 0s
    1. Understanding form accessibility issues
      3m 4s
    2. Labeling form fields
      6m 9s
    3. Adding fieldsets and legends
      4m 42s
    4. Moving forms out of tables
      3m 44s
    5. Cleaning up a form's appearance
      4m 53s
    6. Aligning labels and fields using CSS
      9m 39s
    7. Indicating required fields
      6m 11s
    8. Dealing with CAPTCHA
      3m 38s
  10. 7m 29s
    1. The Text-Only technique
      3m 21s
    2. The Access Keys technique
      2m 35s
    3. The Tab Index technique
      1m 33s
  11. 17s
    1. Goodbye

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Overview of WCAG standards
Video duration: 6m 4s 6h 9m Appropriate for all


Overview of WCAG standards provides you with in-depth training on Web. Taught by Zoe Gillenwater as part of the Web Accessibility Principles


Overview of WCAG standards

>> We just talked about the section 508 standards that are part of the US Federal Law, now we're going to talk about the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. They're currently at version 1.0 and they are published by the Web Accessibility Initiative. This is part of the World Wide Web Consortium, or W3C, which is an organization that writes web standards such as the standards for HTML, CSS, and other languages used in web sites. You can view all of the details of WCAG 1.0 at

One thing to point out is that version 2.0 is currently in development, but it could be quite a while before that becomes a recommendation. Until that does become a recommendation, you should continue to follow the guidelines in 1.0, but you may want to look at WCAG 2.0 for ideas and to begin preparing for any changes that you might need to make once it becomes a recommendation. Most countries outside the US do not have their own standards, such as section 508, but instead rely on the standards that are part of WCAG. If you're in the US, you're not required to comply with these standards, however, doing so can really improve the accessibility of your page, versus just doing section 508.

WCAG 1.0 is made up of 14 guidelines. Each of these guidelines contains on or more checkpoints that you can use to evaluate the web accessibility of your site. Then these checkpoints have a priority assigned to them of one, two or three. The priority one checkpoints are ones that you must satisfy, otherwise one or more groups will find it impossible to access the information on your page. Priority two checkpoints are ones that you should satisfy, otherwise one or more groups will find it difficult to access the information.

Priority three checkpoints are ones that you may address, otherwise one or more groups will find it somewhat difficult to access the information. Not every checkpoint will apply to every web page, so it's not required for you to comply with all of them. However, the priority levels give you an idea of which ones will result in the greatest amount of accessibility for the greatest number of people. Now let's quickly go over these 14 guidelines. Again, there's more information contained in the individual checkpoints that make up these guidelines.

We'll go over these checkpoints in more detail in later movies. The first guideline is to provide equivalent alternatives to auditory and visual content. This is similar to the section 508 rules that dealt with text equivalents for images as well as captioning for multimedia. Two is don't rely on color alone. Again, this is important for people who have color blindness problem. So make sure that they're able to access all of the information that you're presenting visually on your page.

Guideline three says use markup and style sheets and do so properly. This is a pretty broad guideline that will pertain too many of the movies that we'll go over later. Four states clarify natural language usage. This just means that you need to make clear what language all of the text on your page is in so that different devices can present the text correctly to their users. Rule five says create tables that transform gracefully. This is related to the concept of progressive enhancement that we talked about before. It basically means that you want the information in tables to be able to be restructured in ways that will make it easier for different devices to read in the correct order.

Guideline six says ensure that pages featuring new technologies transform gracefully. Again, you need to follow the concept of progressive enhancement making sure there's a base level of content that can be understood and then add new technologies and new features on top of that to enhance the experience for other people. Guideline seven says ensure user control of time sensitive content changes. You want to make sure that anything on the page that is dependent on a time limit, such as filling out a form, can be completed successfully by your users.

Guideline eight says ensure direct accessibility of embedded user interfaces. This applies to multimedia and other technologies that you can embed inside a webpage. Nine, design for device independence. Because there are so many types of technology and devices that are used by people with disabilities as well as people without disabilities, you need to incorporate techniques into your page that will allow the greatest number of them to have access to your content. Guideline ten says use interim solutions.

This is addressing the challenge faced by many web developers when they're trying to make their web pages more accessible. Sometimes, a barrier in accessibility doesn't currently have a great solution provided by it because of technological limitations. However, there are frequently things that you can do as stop gap measures in the mean time. Eleven says use W3C technologies and guidelines. Again, the W3C is a web standards organization. Making sure that your web pages conform to current standards makes it more likely that they will be correctly viewed on a wider variety of devices and by a wider variety of people.

And it also makes them more adaptable to the future. Guideline twelve says provide context and orientation information. This is related to providing information on the page so that users know where they are within a site or within a page and are able to use that information to be able to navigate the site and find what they are looking for. Thirteen says provide clear navigation mechanisms. This is related to the previous rule. Fourteen, ensure that documents are clear and simple. This guidelines pertains mainly to the text of your page, making sure that the content is understandable by people even with cognitive disabilities or learning problems.

So these are the 14 guidelines of WCAG 1.0. Many of these guidelines, as well as those of section 508, are best met by adapting your HTML markup. We'll next talk about a method for markup that will help you meet many of these guidelines.

There are currently no FAQs about Web Accessibility Principles.






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