Using context to support effective application of web content accessibility guidelines

D Sloan, B Kelly, H Petrie, F Hamilton, L Phipps

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    Abstract

    The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has developed guidelines to support the creating of Web content that is accessible to the widest possible audience, regardless of disability. Yet without considering the context in which a Web site will be used, a purely guideline-based approach may leave levels of accessibility and usability to disabled people disappointingly low. A reliance on end-user adoption of appropriate browsing technology and author adoption of appropriate authoring tools may also prevent effective accessible design, while inappropriate reference to guidelines in policy and legislation may also lead to problems. This paper promotes a framework for a holistic application of the W3C's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines in designing Web content, by supporting consideration of the target audience, the intended outcome or experience the resource will provide its users, the usage environment, and the existence of alternative delivery mechanisms. Examples are given of how the framework might be applied to support more effective implementation of accessible Web design techniques.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)367-386
    Number of pages20
    JournalJournal of Web Engineering
    Volume5
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2006

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