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Web Accessibility and Content Management Systems

Web Accessibility and Content Management Systems

Why and how to implement accessibility into Content Management System Development

Nic Steenhout

December 08, 2008
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  1. Web Accessibility and Content Management Systems By Nicolas Steenhout At

    Open Source Developers Conference 2008
  2. Accessibility & CMS Nicolas Steenhout  Disability Advocate  Physical

     Internet  Web Geek  1993  HTML 1  1996 – first awareness
  3. Accessibility & CMS Analogies From “Real World”

  4. Accessibility & CMS What is Web Accessibility?  Several meanings:

     Able to get online  Site up and running  Etc  Accessibility is:  An accessible website is a site that people with disabilities can use.
  5. Accessibility & CMS Who is Accessibility For?  Visual, Hearing,

    Physical, Sensory, Learning  Non-native language speakers  Alternate devices – Cellphones, PDAs  Search engines  Your server & bandwidth
  6. Accessibility & CMS Legal Environment  Legislation in varying countries

     §508 vs. WCAG vs. ???  Which sites do regulation apply to?  Sydney 2000 Olympics website  Target  Global situation
  7. Accessibility & CMS Why Should We Care?  Increased target

    market (20%) for users  Getting into new markets for CMS (education, government, NGO)  Legality (who gets sued?)  Right thing to do – corporate responsibility
  8. Accessibility & CMS Basic & Easy Access Checks  Visit

    site on text-only browser (Lynx)  Visit site on PDA or cell-phone  Navigate site with keyboard only  Turn CSS off  Turn images off  Turn Javascript off
  9. Accessibility & CMS Accessibility & CMS – Front-end  Front-end

    should allow visitors to use the site.  CMS itself not accessible  Provide tools for site owners to make accessible front-end  Guideline – WCAG 1.0 or WCAG 2.0
  10. Accessibility & CMS Accessibility & CMS – Back-end  People

    with disabilities may be content managers  Limiting markets  Guidelines WCAG & ATAG
  11. Accessibility & CMS Accessibility & CMS – Fancy stuff 

    Graceful degradation  Progressive enhancement  WAI-Aria  Fancy stuff vs. Usability vs. Accessibility
  12. Accessibility & CMS Guidelines – Be Aware  Guidelines not

    definite/complete  Some guidelines are old  Some guidelines not complete  Be all and end all?  Guidelines vs. Best Practices
  13. Accessibility & CMS Implementation Scope  How much to implement?

     Old code – Refactoring or rewrite?  New code – Planning  Feature creep
  14. Accessibility & CMS Concerned Parties – Buy-in  Development team

     Everyone on the same page  Knowledge  3rd Party developers  Buy-in to changes  Knowledge  Users  Push vs pull  Unobtrusive changes benefit those needing it
  15. Accessibility & CMS Technical Know-how  Accessibility is specialist topic

     Treating accessibility like usability – no-no  Basic skills for all  Mission critical issues
  16. Accessibility & CMS Documenting Changes  Internal documentation  New

    developers  Revisiting changes down the track  Ongoing learning  External documentation  Track changes for users (themes/skins/etc)  Tutorials for adapting existing designs
  17. Accessibility & CMS Trust  Lack of trust between team

    members  Accessibility is “fluff”  Code jockeys “don’t get it”  Planning  Communication
  18. Accessibility & CMS Technological Conflicts  Using technology just because

    it exists  AJAX vs Accessibility  Priorities – how to decide?  Graceful degradation vs progressive enhancement
  19. Accessibility & CMS Working with Old Code  Legacy code

    problematic  Organic growth  Bits of code left in – no one knows why  Code/database structure limiting expansion  Limit to how much improvement - rewrite
  20. Accessibility & CMS Backward Compatibility  Demand for backward compatibility

     Just *what* do users really want?  How long do we keep compatible?  Ability to upgrade easily
  21. Accessibility & CMS Challenge, Questions, and Discussion  Implement 5

    critical accessibility improvements on your site or project this month!  Please raise questions not addressed during presentation.  Nic is available to discuss further during conference, or by email ([email protected]).