Website Accessibility Training for Web Designers

This course is designed to help designers build websites that are accessible to disabled people and comply with the current W3C guidelines. The course assumes some knowledge HTML and CSS, also how to edit these using your webdesign software (eg Dreamweaver).

One day technical workshop on website accessibility -

The purpose of this one-day training programme is to enable participants to edit the underlying HTML and CSS code in order to improve the accessibility of their websites. This programme is designed for webdesigners who use an authoring software such as Dreamweaver or a content management system such as Spearhead to create websites. This workshop builds on the knowledge gained during the “Creating Accessible Websites” workshop. Some knowledge of HTML and CSS code is required.

Attendees will receive a “certificate of attendance” and CD containing the course handbook, exercises and presentations.

The lessons look at the four basic principals of accessibility
1. Is it perceivable
2. Is it operable
3. Is it understandable
4. Is it robust

Participants will need access to a computer and the Internet as they will be undertaking practical exercises during each session

Course Content

Session 1 – Robustness

A properly coded website will comply with the standards that have been established by the W3C. All browsers, assistive software and new technologies such as mobile phones, PDAs and digital televisions use these standards. This first session therefore looks at how to create efficient HTML code and check it for compliance. We also simplify the code by separating the style from the content using style sheets

a) Principals of HTML and CSS
b) Using CSS for layout and style
c) How to insert “in-line” styles (Cascading styles)
d) Using Lists and sub-headings for structure, how to use horizontal lists for navigation bars
e) Using on-line validation services for CSS on a sample site and explaining the results

Session 2 – Perceivability

This session ensures that web-browsers, assistive technologies and new technologies can extract the content of the website and present it to the users

a) Providing text alternatives for all non-text content (including images, animations, video, javascripts etc.)
b) Use relative sizes
c) Using CSS for “roll-over” buttons
d) Hiding decorative images with CSS
e) Appropriate link text
f) Checking with Lynx text browser some sample sites

Session 3 – Operability

This session looks at how we make sure that the user can access the content regardless of the technology that they are using.

a) Ensure that everything works with a keyboard (pseudo-classes in CSS, keyboard options in Java).
b) Allowing users to control timed events
c) Allowing users to by-pass elements such as flashing images
d) Allowing users the by-pass repeated elements such as navigation lists
e) Accessibility information for Flash, Windows Media and PDF files
f) Checking sample sites using a standard browser with java and images turned off

Session 4 – Understandability

This session looks at how we ensure that both the user and any automated software such as screen readers can understand the content we provide

a) Defining the language(s) used
b) Importance of Metadata
c) Helping users (and robots) understand acronyms and abbreviations
d) Forms – tab sequence and field name labels
e) Data tables – importance of column or row headings (using the scope attribute)
f) Site maps and consistent navigation
g) Frames – why these are not recommended
h) Checking sample sites with a screen reader

Session 5 – Questions and Answers

A chance to explore any issue not covered in the lesson.