Website Design


  1. Web Accessibility Tools
  2. Accessibility Challenge: AFR
  3. Olympic Web Case

Web Accessibility Tools

A good way to learn about web site design is to analyze the design of existing web sites. How difficult is it to find the web site using a web search engine? How quickly do the pages of the site download? Are the pages viewable on a wide range of web browsers? Is the sponsor and purpose of the site purpose of the site clearly stated? Does the content match the purpose? Is it easy to navigate? These may seem like obvious desirable features for any web site, but are too frequently overlooked.

Some tools can help with the analysis of web sites and to show how they will look to people using specialized aids for the disabled.

  1. Web Content Accessibility Guidelines: W3C WCAG 1.0 provides advice on web design,
  2. Advisory Notes on World Wide Web Access: HREOC provide advice compliance with the Disability Discrimination Act with web pages using W3C WCAG 1.0.
  3. Web Accessibility Test: TAW for the analysis of Web sites,
  4. Adaptive Technology: Screen reader NVDA with speech synthesizer.

The W3C's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines WCAG 1.0 provides advice on web design, based on the W3C - Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 (WCAG 1.0)

The Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission provides "Advisory Notes on World Wide Web Access" for compliance of web sites with the Disability Discrimination Act. HREOC recommend the W3C guidelines.

Automated web accessibility test tools, such as TAW, carry out an analysis of Web sites, using a subset of the W3C - Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and similar guides.

A screen reader, such as NVDA, uses speech synthesizer software to allow a vision impaired person to read what is on a web page (or other software). This is a form of adaptive technology.

Accessibility Challenge: Australian Financial Review

The Australian Financial Review newspaper have scrambled the text of articles on their web site and then use CSS to unscramble them. This is done so if an attempt is made to copy the text from their atritices unreadable characters result. But this may also stop legitimate use of adaptive technology used by people with vision impairment.

T e u t a i n a a i n f i e s i i g u i e s s c n b t a i s $ b l i n n o m t o t c n l g o t o r i g r j c a t r t p n d p i d n f r $6 m l i n y a d s t p o p t r e v c s o t a t...."

From: Chance to bid for $60m ATO desktop, Ben Woodhead, The Australian Financial Review, 30 Apr 2008

AFR may provide an accessible option for the pages, or argue that it would be too difficult, or too expensive, to make the pages accessible and so exempt them from the legal requirement for accessibility under Australian law and that of other countries where ARF supply this service.

Web Site and the Disabled: The SOCOG Olympic Web Case

  1. Sydney 200 Olympics Web Case
  2. Making an Accessible and Functional Website for the 2008 Beijing Olympics

In August 2000 the Sydney Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games was found to have engaged in unlawful conduct by providing a web site which was to a significant extent inaccessible to the blind. How was an analysis of the content of such a large web site carried out? What features were looked for? How was the impact of changes to the site estimated?

See: Making an Accessible and Functional Website for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Tom Worthington FACS HLM, For the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Official Website Preliminary Strategy Plan Symposia, Beijing, 3 to 5 November 2003, 1 November 2003.

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