Universal Web Acessibility:
Is It Possible?

Brian Kelly Jenny Craven
UK Web Focus Research Associate
B.Kelly@ukoln.ac.uk j.craven@mmu.ac.uk


The Speakers

Brian Kelly:

Jenny Craven:

The Web Vision

The Web was developed in order to provide universal access to digital resources, and independency from:

through use of open standards


Before the Web:

The goal of the Web was to provide universal access to resources.

Who could argue with this goal?

Need for standards to provide:

The Case For W3C Standards

Why use open standards developed by the W3C? Why not leave it to the marketplace?

The Web Architecture

Web Architecture The Web was developed based on three key architectural foundations:

Web Architecture

HTML Is Dead!

Emphasis on managing HTML resources inappropriate:


XML - The Key Meta Format



XML Concepts (1)

Well-formed XML resources:

XML Namespaces:

<?xml:namespace ns="http://loc.org/.1998-001" prefix="i">
<p>Book: <i:TITLE>The Bible</i:TITLE>/p>
<p>Borrower: <j:TITLE>Mr</j:TITLE>

XML Concepts (2)

XML Schemas:


XML Concepts (3)

XLink sophisticated hyperlinking:


Getting To XML With XHTML


CSS - Where You Define The Appearance

HTML/XHTML should be used to describe the basis document structure

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets):

W3C Standards - Conclusions

W3C are coordinating the development of new open standards which:

Let us now move away from standards and consider the people aspect

JC's slides next

What Is Accessibility?

Ensuring systems and interfaces can be read by all users through:

Why Make Information Accessible?

What Are The Benefits Of Universal Access?

It helps people with:

(source: Burgstahler: Universal design of distance learning)

What Are The Benefits Of Universal Access? (2)

It also helps people who are:

Accessible Web Design

Checking for Accessibility

So Why Are People Important?

Usability Issues

Checking For Usability

Checking for Usability

Ideally, try to use a sample of:

Checking for Usability

Implementation Challenges

We have:

This sounds great in theory, but what around real-world deployment issues:

Case study: The NoVA Project

NoVA: Non-visual access to the digital library:

NoVA Usability Testing

Examples Of Observations

Examples Of Usability Questions

Conclusions Derived From NoVA Usability Testing

BK's slides next

Implementation Challenges

In the real world Web we need to recognise several implementation challenges:

The Real World Web

In the real world Web we need to recognise several external factors:

Together with local factors:

UK HEIs - A Case Study

In Sept 2003 a survey of accessibility of 160+ UK HEI entry points was carried out:

Accessibility Survey Of UK HEI Entry Points

The Sept 2003 survey of accessibility of UK HEI entry points found:

The UK HEI Web management community is aware of importance of accessibility and wants to implement accessibility. What are the difficulties?

UK HEIs - A Case Study (2)

An example of a AA-approved site is the University of Bristol - use Bobby to check if it is still accessible.

University of Bristol entry point - University of Bristol entry point )images off)

UK HEIs - A Case Study (3)

Typical problems found:

The first two problems could be fixed with little effort on a single page

The third problem may conflict with usability criteria

Let us now:

WAI Implementation Challenges (1)

Many University Web managers want to comply with WAI guidelines but have encountered implementation challenges:

WAI Implementation Challenges (2)

One Web manager commented "I too have recently been struggling with just how rigorously the WAI guidelines should be implemented. I certainly aspire to comply as fully as I can with the WAI guidelines but ..."

Accessibility Policies

You may wish to have an institutional accessibility policy:

All resources on the University Web site will comply with WAI AA





Advice and Good Practice: