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Web Accessibility Resources

Resources for Indiana University's Proposed Guidelines

The proposed Indiana University guidelines were drawn from these resources as well as the best practices of other post secondary institutions.

W3C's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
The WCAG sets the standards for web content to insure that it is accessible to people with disabilities. This set of guidelines is directed towards web content developers.

Section 508 Guidelines
Section 508 is a section of the Rehabilitation Act sets the standards for federal websites

Tools for Web Accessibility Validation and Evaluation

Useful Accessibility Validation and Evaluation Tools
Indiana University's web accessibility committee reviewed hundreds of validation and evaluation tools. All the tools included in this page were found to be of great value. The web accessibility committee will continue to review and update this page.

deque Worldspace FireEyes
Worldspace FireEyes is an unprecedented, nextgen web accessibility tool that ensures both static and dynamic content within a web portfolio are compliant with standards such as Section 508, WCAG 1.0, and WCAG 2.0. You can use another tool, but it won't be fully JavaScript aware or handle event-based page content, like FireEyes.

Powermapper SortSite
SortSite checks sites against the W3C WCAG 1.0 and 2.0 accessibility standards, and compliance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. These checks find problems stopping disabled users from using a web site. Testing against these standards reduces legal exposure by demonstrating compliance with disability discrimination legislation in the US, Canada and Europe.

Web Accessibility E-books

Building Accessible Websites by Joe Clark
An excellent introduction to the issues of web accessibility written by accessibility guru Joe Clark. This book was originally published in 2002, so some of the information is outdated.

Understanding Web Accessibility
Shawn Lawton Henry's introduction to Web Accessibility issues and the different perspectives that the issues may be approached by.

Testing for Web Accessibility
Jim Thatcher's examination of different accessibility testing programs. This chapter also sheds light on when human testing is helpful and what accessibility tests CAN tell you about your website.

Creating Accessible Content
This pdf provided by Friends of Ed publishing is a great place to start if you want to create accessible content on your site.

Accessibility Resources for Content developers

General Resources

Introducing Web Accessibility
The WAI's introduction to web accessibility and the issues related to creating an accessible site.

WebAIM is an organization dedicated to "expanding the web's potential for people with disabilities. This is a great site to for locating articles written by leaders in the field dealing with accessibility issues.

A list apart: accessibility
A list apart is an online magazine "for people who make websites." Not only can you view each issue separately, but you can also browse topic areas, including accessibility.
A step by step usability guide provided by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

IBM Human Ability and Accessibility Center
"Accessibility at IBM means enabling IT hardware, software and Web application products so they can be used by more people, either directly, or in combination with assistive technology products."

Application Specific Resources

Adobe Accessibility Resource Center
The Adobe Accessibility Resource Center provides information on how to make Adobe products more accessible for people using assistive technologies and of varied abilities.

Microsoft Enable
Microsoft's guide to "Discover accessibility settings that are already on your PC, and make your computer more comfortable, and easier to see, hear, and use."

Web Accessibility Tutorials and Classes Web Accessibility Principles Video Tutorials
Accessibility on the web has been an issue for over a decade, and it remains a crucial--but often overlooked--element of web design. Instructor Zoe Gillenwater explains the concept of accessibility as it applies to the web, and describes how it affects the audience. is an award-winning provider of educational materials. The Online Training Library® (OTL) includes video-based elearning courses on Adobe CS4 and CS5 applications and technologies; Microsoft Office 2007 and 2010; Web design; digital photography, video and audio; Mac applications; programming, and more.'s all-star team of trainers and teachers provides comprehensive and unbiased movie-based training to an international membership of tens of thousands of subscribers.

IU staff, faculty, and students statewide can take advantage of fee-free 24/7 access to the entire elearning library by clicking the link below

IU IT Training & Education: Online Training Page

Accessible Rhetoric, "Screencast: How to do audio description using SMIL"
Here's a screencast I(Sean Zdenek) made last summer (2009) for the online students in my Web Accessibility and Disability Studies course. I'm using this video to try out interactive transcripts (using 3PlayMedia's plugin).

Equal Access to Software and Information (EASI) Webinar's
EASI is producing 2 series of Interactive Webinars on specific accessibility-related topics. You can listen to the presenter, and watch as the presenter pushes Web pages and also ask questions yourself. These are hour-long presentations covering general topics and frequently dealing with more advanced materials. One series is free to the public providing an overview of up-to-date information about current events in accessibility. The other series is fee-based, and these usually consists of a set of 4 presentations providing detailed, hands-on, skill-based experience with applications that facilitate creating accessible content.

IU UITS IT Training Tips Blog articles on Accessibility
These blog posts cover different techniques for creating accessible content based on the Indiana University Web Accessibility Guidelines. New posts will be continually added.

Accessible Course Material Resources

Creating accessible web pages is only part of the story. Many similar issues such as using headings for document structure, providing alternative text for images, and ensuring the correct reading order exist in the other electronic document formats too. Here is how to make materials such as Word documents, PowerPoint, PDF's, videos, etc. accessible too:

Creating Accessible Microsoft Word Documents

Making Your Word Documents Accessible from Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System
Covers making accessible Microsoft Word 2007 documents and how to convert the documents into HTML and PDFs.

WebAIM's Article on Creating Accessible Microsoft Word Documents
Outlines many things that can be done to make Microsoft Word documents more accessible. Covers Word 2000, 2003, and 2007.

Creating Accessible PowerPoint Documents

Creating Accessible PowerPoint 2003 Presentations
Microsoft's guide to creating accessible PowerPoint presentations (uses PowerPoint 2003).

Creating Accessible PDF's

From Word Documents

Adobe's Quick Reference for Creating Accessible PDF Files using Microsoft Word 2003/2007
A two page PDF file that outlines setting up Microsoft Word, correctly formatting the document, and using Adobe's PDF Maker to make an accessible PDF.

From Scanned Documents

Making Accessible PDFs from Scanned Documents
The Center for Teaching & Learning's Tutorial for converting scanned documents into accessible PDFs using Acrobat Professional. It includes performing the OCR, proofing the text, adding tags (marking up the text's structure), and checking the results. Their site includes a video tutorial showing the process.

Advanced Accessible PDF Topics

What are "PDF tags" and why should I care?
A great article from the Adobe Acrobat User Community site explaining the role of PDF tags in making a PDF document work well with assistive technology devices (like screen readers) and mobile devices alike.

Using the Accessibility Checker in Acrobat 9 Professional
Another article from the Adobe Acrobat User Community site that gives further details on using the Accessibility Checker in Acrobat 9 Professional. The Accessibility Checker can quickly check a PDF for the presence of document structure tags, alternative text for images, correct security settings, etc.