Accessibility steps

Le , par Élie Sloïm - Accessibilité

Avertissement : cet article a été publié en 2012. Son contenu n'est peut-être plus d'actualité.

Last year, Aurélien Levy, CEO at Temesis reported us two facts.

  1. “Front-end integrators ask me if there are any Accessibility instructions somewhere to learn how to code accessible html/css/js page”.
  2. “As an accessibility expert I often have to check webpages that do not comply with accessibility basics requirements. Half of the things I have to say after a quick check are problems that could have been detected before by automated tools”.

Regarding the first point, we can answer that WCAG2.0 could bring a solution, but some issues are well known :

  • WCAG 2.0 are non-technical principles
  • WCAG 2.0 techniques are a huge list of non-normative and complex tests, for sure there aren’t easy and clear coding instructions.
  • Front end integrators don’t care about which WCAG 2.0 guidelines they don’t fulfill, they want to know what they can use or not while coding.

As for the second point, we can define a list of 100% sure accessibility errors and alerts that need to be fixed before calling an accessibility expert (if you don’t have an alt attribute on an image element, don’t ask me what to put in it).

So to cover both of these needs, after a bit of brain twisting, Aurelien came up with the idea of providing a quick list of instructions. Following these instructions wouldn’t guarantee that your html/css/js is accessible, it would just guarantee that you have carried out the bases before starting to work on the “real accessibility issues”.

That’s what we’ve been working on for an entire year, with the help of many people at Temesis, ParisWeb and Opquast (Open quality standards) and after many workshops in real life and online, we’re re very glad to announce that the English translation of the two instructions lists “Accessibility Steps” is now available.

  • The first step has 81 instructions. It’s called “Error detection”. If you don’t comply with those instructions, it’s not a good investment to call an accessibility expert, because that’s what he will tell you to correct beforehand.
  • The second step has 49 instructions: it’s called “Risk detection”. If you don’t comply with some of the instructions, it’s doesn’t mean you have errors on your pages. It means that your content might not be accessible if you don’t do some sort of extra work.

The translation has been achieved by Stephane Deschamps, founder and former president of ParisWeb conferences, and one of the best accessibility experts in France. Praise him for his help.

You can access the accessibility steps instructions list in French and in English and you can download it and use it as you see fit, as it is creative commons BY-SA licensed. Furthermore, you can already check if you comply with these instructions through Opquast Reporting.