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Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0
W3C Recommendation 11 December 2008
pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3808940 posted 10:16 pm on Dec 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

2008-12-11: Today W3C announced a new standard that will help Web designers and developers create sites that better meet the needs of users with disabilities and older users. Drawing on extensive experience and community feedback, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 improve upon W3C's groundbreaking initial standard for accessible Web content, apply to more advanced technologies, and are more precisely testable.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0
[w3.org...]

WCAG 2.0 succeeds Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 [WCAG10], which was published as a W3C Recommendation May 1999. Although it is possible to conform either to WCAG 1.0 or to WCAG 2.0 (or both), the W3C recommends that new and updated content use WCAG 2.0. The W3C also recommends that Web accessibility policies reference WCAG 2.0.

 

zuko105

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3808940 posted 5:45 pm on Dec 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

Am I the only geek that's excited about this? Awesome!

I love this one, just for my own habits:
Guideline 2.1 Keyboard Accessible: Make all functionality available from a keyboard.

pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3808940 posted 6:10 pm on Dec 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

Am I the only geek that's excited about this?

So far, it is you and I!

Guideline 2.4 Navigable: Provide ways to help users navigate, find content, and determine where they are.
[w3.org...]

The purpose of each link can be determined from the link text alone or from the link text together with its programmatically determined link context.

^ There is a link above that takes you to a section discussing programmatically determined link context. Another confirmation that inline links within content are of of high value.

Since screen readers interpret punctuation, they can also provide the context from the current sentence, when the focus is on a link in that sentence.

The WCAG has been one of my primary resources over the years for "refined" information when it comes to document structure. I typically strive for at least WCAG 1.0/WAI-A validation. If your HTML validates, there is a strong chance you will pass the WAI-A validation.

You bring up one of the first focal points for me. I've been a long time proponent of using the keyboard to navigate web pages. The first order of business is the tabindex. If you've structured your document properly, you won't even need to worry about this. Go to one of your lengthiest forms. Start from the web address window. Now tab your way through the document. Is the tabbing order correct? Can the user tab from one link to the next, and from one field to the next? In sequence as it is laid out on the screen? Naturally? If so, then the tabindex is not required.

I've come across some sites that have totally borked the tabbing index due to their use of <div>s in place of what should have probably been a <table>. You could not tab through the form properly and someone didn't take that into consideration. Layout in that instance forces the use of the tabindex so the user can utilize their keyboard for navigation.

I'm prepared to do major battle with this topic! I spend more time at the W3, WAI and WCAG than any other site, besides WebmasterWorld. :)

zuko105

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3808940 posted 7:19 pm on Dec 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'm prepared to do major battle with this topic!

Ha, yeah I can point to a couple of historic threads here where members have called W3C and Accessibility Standards a farce and a waste of time. I won't try and espouse the virtues of clean document code and structure. I'll just let the traffic do the talking for me.

g1smd

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3808940 posted 9:21 pm on Dec 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

I run most stuff through a 508 or WAI checker of some sort and try to minimise the number of things it warns me about.
I don't think I have done 'perfection' yet, but I hope I am ahead of most of the game most of the time.

BradleyT

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3808940 posted 10:36 pm on Dec 17, 2008 (gmt 0)


non-text content
any content that is not a sequence of characters that can be programmatically determined or where the sequence is not expressing something in human language

Note: This includes ASCII Art (which is a pattern of characters), emoticons, leetspeak (which uses character substitution), and images representing text

$0 1Ph 1 U53 L3375P34< 0\ /\/\'/ p493 1 -4\/3 70 pR0\/1D3 7-3 \0R/\/\4L 73><7 54'/1\9 4L50?

[so if i use elitespeak on my page i have to provide the normal text saying also?]

phranque

WebmasterWorld Administrator phranque us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 3808940 posted 2:56 am on Dec 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

i think accessibility is one of the keys to search optimization.

and i was surprised that wcag 2.0 was out for 5 days before p1r posted about it here!
=8)
[smiley emoticon]

vincevincevince

WebmasterWorld Senior Member vincevincevince us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3808940 posted 3:05 am on Dec 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

C27: Making the DOM order match the visual order

That's an interesting one; i.e. don't use CSS positioning for source ordered content (as we love to do for SEO purposes) where the resulting content in the DOM is not in the same order as the content on the page. Going to be difficult to achieve this one... I wonder if client-side DOM modification is acceptable here (e.g. doing a re-order of the DOM onload so it matches the visual order but still keeping the source order different to the visual and DOM order)

slef

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3808940 posted 11:00 am on Dec 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

WCAG 2 looks like a farce and a waste of time. Last draft I saw, it's been Web-2.0'd (because of GoogleMail and friends?) and allows sites with javascripts-required, flash and other usability, performance and security hazards to call themselves WCAG-2-accessible. It added nothing to WCAG-1 and is a much more complicated set of guidelines - complicated to the point of being useless in the real world, which is what I guess the "rich web app" providers would want.

The drafting "consultation" was very awkward for ordinary webmasters to participate in, feeling like whistling into the wind. If W3C kill off WCAG 1, then I'm going to have to find new ways to persuade people to make their websites user-friendly.

sullen

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3808940 posted 11:14 am on Dec 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

you're excited about this?

imo it's just as pointless as the last one. eg:


1.4.8 Visual Presentation: For the visual presentation of blocks of text, a mechanism is available to achieve the following: (Level AAA)

Foreground and background colors can be selected by the user.

Width is no more than 80 characters or glyphs (40 if CJK).

Text is not justified (aligned to both the left and the right margins).

Line spacing (leading) is at least space-and-a-half within paragraphs, and paragraph spacing is at least 1.5 times larger than the line spacing.

Text can be resized without assistive technology up to 200 percent in a way that does not require the user to scroll horizontally to read a line of text on a full-screen window.

what? a mechanism must be available. so a site can be in 9pt text, but as long as it has a button somewhere for larger text, which the user may or may not be able to find, it's AAA? That's ridiculous. "mechanisms" aren't accessible.

and as for the 80 characters thing....

I think they should have simplified it. more sites would be accessible if they removed some of the pointless guidelines (why shouldn'y you be able to use spacer images without alt tags for example?). If it was easier to meet the guidelines, more webmasters would try and the web in general would be more accessible.

pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3808940 posted 1:58 pm on Dec 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

I run most stuff through a 508 or WAI checker of some sort and try to minimise the number of things it warns me about.

That is probably the best many of us can do. If you've validated the document, you are most likely a step or two away from WAI-A validation, there isn't much more in requirements at that level.

Now, when you move to WAI-AA and WAI-AAA, things get a bit more difficult and much is left for interpretation as the validators cannot determine whether or not your document meets the requirements programatically.

And i was surprised that wcag 2.0 was out for 5 days before p1r posted about it here!

Heh! And that coming from a WebmasterWorld Moderator. I still found it first. ;)

C27: Making the DOM order match the visual order
[w3.org...]

I'm going to have some issues with that one. In fact, that would exclude "all" of my websites from WAI-A validation. The schmucks!

But, I have bookmarked research from studies that show SOC to be of benefit to those using assistive technologies if done (ordered) properly and the correct HTML elements and attributes are used. That is the key.

A keyboard user may have trouble predicting where focus will go next when the source order does not match the visual order.

Ya, maybe a keyboard user from the 80s/90s. A keyboard user is only going to be challenged when the HTML is borken and causes confusion.

WCAG 2 looks like a farce and a waste of time.

That's one less person to worry about. ;)

You're excited about this?

I really am now! This forum doesn't see much action and to have a WCAG topic draw this type of attention is really exciting for me and a few others.

1.4.8 Visual Presentation: For the visual presentation of blocks of text, a mechanism is available to achieve the following: (Level AAA)

Let's not dig too deep. You're talking WAI-AAA validation and there are very few sites who make it to this level. And, they are usually some of the butt ugliest sites. ;)

pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3808940 posted 2:38 pm on Dec 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

I don't mean to "walk" on this topic but I'm finding some really interesting implementations of HTML and such. In fact, this one here is something I've done ever since I started writing HTML.

We'll call this; How to Prevent Stutter...

H2: Combining adjacent image and text links for the same resource
[w3.org...]

This example demonstrates a failure to apply this technique. An icon and text link are side by side. The text alternative for the image is the same as the text link beside it, leading to a "stutter" effect as the link is read twice.

I am now suggesting this as required reading for all SEO types...

HTML and XHTML Techniques for WCAG 2.0
[w3.org...]

^ The Ultimate SEO Guide

The above link provides "everything" you need to know about on page SEO and I do mean everything. If you see anything that was missed, please do speak up! :)

zuko105

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3808940 posted 4:06 pm on Dec 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

C27: Making the DOM order match the visual order
[w3.org...]

I'm going to have some issues with that one. In fact, that would exclude "all" of my websites from WAI-A validation. The schmucks!

Yeah, for me I like the content to come before the navigation. IMO that just works well for readers as that is the purpose of the document and navigation is secondary to the utility of the doc.



WCAG 2 looks like a farce and a waste of time.

That's one less person to worry about. ;)

Ditto.

I am now suggesting this as required reading for all SEO types...

dangit P1R, shhhhhhhh already.

zuko105

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3808940 posted 9:53 pm on Dec 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

If you see anything that was missed, please do speak up! :)

I would say that I've seen added benefit from microformat's hcard if it applies to your subject matter, but that's just crazy talk, that's what that is:

[microformats.org...]

Ok, back to WCAG, no hijacking here.

Receptional Andy



 
Msg#: 3808940 posted 10:19 pm on Dec 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

I've still yet to read through the new guidelines, so some of you are already a few steps ahead ;)

I just want to point out that these are guidelines - it's up to you if you want to conform (except in cases involving legality, heh ;)). Essentially, it's the spirit of the thing. Generally, the guidelines are trying to help with real world problems people have interacting with websites.

There seem to be a lot of negative comments here.


WCAG 2 looks like a farce and a waste of time... It added nothing to WCAG-1 and is a much more complicated set of guidelines.

It seems like every web standards effort is a hotly contested subject, with many opposing parties, and too many people to please. But there's still valuable information to be gleaned, surely?

so if i use elitespeak on my page i have to provide the normal text saying also?

They're guidelines, so you don't have to do anything. The idea is, these are solutions to problems real users have with websites. Some users won't understand l33tsp34k, so if you offer an alternative, more people can enjoy your website. But it's up to you if you think there's a good reason for you to do that with your particular site.

as long as it has a button somewhere for larger text, which the user may or may not be able to find, it's AAA?

You can use automated accessibility tests, but if something is unusable, you don't pass in the real world. But if you want to use unreadable text sizes, you have a way of getting away with it. Text size has a massive crossover with usability too, IMO.

why shouldn'y you be able to use spacer images without alt tags for example?

IIRC, the idea behind blank alt for images is to help certain software interpret those images correctly. So an image without an alt attribute is "missing" information, with no way for some users to get that information. An image with a blank alt basically says that the image should be ignored - it has no meaning to convey. Probably for some design or development reason, an meaningless image was included in the HTML ;)

JS_Harris

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3808940 posted 8:06 am on Dec 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

Has anyone here watched Jurassic Park? If so do you remember the part where the mathematician says "market it, promote it, slap it on a lunchbox etc" in reference to bringing back dinosaurs for profit when having no clue what to expect?

This document is "helpful" sure but webmasters create the web, it's a dino and can't be controlled... nor should it be.

I don't want all sites to conform, actually, I want all companies who try to mold it into their idea of what the web should be to knock it off.

rocknbil

WebmasterWorld Senior Member rocknbil us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3808940 posted 2:42 pm on Dec 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

Something smells funny.

Look at the first example.

[w3.org...]

Put an image in there, run the code, I added border=0 to localize the sample (and un-XHTML non XHTML output, a peeve of mine):


<a href="foo.html">
<img src="house.gif" alt="home page icon" border="0">
Go to the home page
</a>

Now actually look at what you've done. Why do I have a line extending under the image? (Rhetoric, I know why.) Removing the white space changes nothing, the anchor underline still extends under the image. Not liking this idea at all.

Sure, you could style away the anchor line, but part of accessibility and usability is leaving anchors alone, Anchors are recognized as anchors by the underline. So styling them away is against accessibility guidelines and has been since I can remember.

At times, it seems like some of these guidelines not only ignore presentation completely, they do their best to destroy it.

:-)

EDIT: OMG! Example 1 states the oft-repeated mantra:

Although WCAG 2 does not prohibit the use of layout tables, CSS-based layouts are recommended in order to retain the defined semantic meaning of the HTML table elements and to conform to the coding practice of separating presentation from content.

Then the next recommendation on tabbing through form objects [w3.org] . . . uses a TABLE for layout. Arguments aside that this example can be considered tabular data . . . . my point is, they should use a better example in a document meant for recommendations on accessibility.

NEXT!

Spaces in attributes will always kick an error in my offline validator (HomeSite):


Example Code:
<a href="#*$!" tabindex = "1">First link in list</a>

<opens a window> again, something smells really funny . . . .

EDIT # 2: Okay. Now I'm getting a little annoyed.

H33: Supplementing link text with the title attribute [w3.org]

The objective of this technique is to demonstrate how to use a title attribute on an anchor element to provide additional text describing a link. The title attribute is used to provide additional information to help clarify or further describe the purpose of a link.

AGREED, understood, always been this way. BUT!


<a href="http://example.com/subscribe.html"
target="_blank"
title="link opens in new window">
Subscribe to email notifications about breaking news
</a>

IMO this example does nothing to describe the purpose of the link, it does what every document I've ever read recommends against - describes the mechanics of how to work the document. Jezze, why didn't they just put "click here to open new window . . . ."

Wouldn't this be a better example?


<a href="http://example.com/subscribe.html"
target="_blank"
title="Open email subscription window">
Subscribe to email notifications (will open new window)
</a>

OK I'm done (kavitching.) :-)

phranque

WebmasterWorld Administrator phranque us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 3808940 posted 12:09 am on Dec 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

as fragment identifiers are an important aspect of usability/accessibility, i thought i would link to this interesting document i found recently that shows the original thoughts on this subject by "the godfather":
URI References: Fragment Identifiers on URIs
[w3.org...]

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