Accessible Web sites ensure that as many people as possible can use Internet-based information and services, regardless of disability or functional limitation. Commonwealth agencies are required to produce accessible Web sites. In instances where complete accessibility is not achievable, information must be made available through alternative means.
- ITB-ACC001 outlines the commonwealth’s standards and procedures for developing and maintaining accessible Web sites.
- W3C is a vendor-neutral forum for the creation of Web standards. It offers a guide for conducting the ongoing evaluation of Web sites for accessibility and provides information on laws affecting accessibility.
Validation and Assistive Technology Tools
Validation and assistive technology tools help to ensure that applications are accessible for all users. The table below details validation and assistive technology tools used in the commonwealth.
Standard validation tools
The standard software tools and methodologies for ensuring Web accessibility in the commonwealth.
- HiSoftware AccVerify (full licensed version available through OA-Information Technology)
- JAWS (standard tool for validating Web content)
- Visual inspection (ensures the review of Web site content is complete)
Programs that check Web pages for accessibility.
Assistive technologies that convert on-screen information into a speech or Braille output device. Full-featured screen readers can read operating systems, word processing programs, Web browsers and any other programs that allow screen reader access.
Full-featured screen enlargers
Applications that magnify the on-screen display for improved visibility.
- The Magnifier (a magnification utility in Windows 2000 OS)
Different Web browsers that offer alternative user features to Internet Explorer.
- Lynx (strips visual content and displays text)
Voice recognition software
Software that uses audio input for entering data instead of a keyboard.