Web Page Design

If you have a home page on the World Wide Web, we know you’ll want all your visitors to be able to use it – including those with disabilities. These sites will show you how.

508 Universe [added 9/23/01]

Designed to serve “as a central hub for GSA’s section 508 training and information resources,” this site includes an excellent tutorial on designing accessible websites to meet new federal specifications. Also listed under Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
Accessible Webpage Design: Resources
Axel Schmetzke’s personal site features an extensive list of links to major organizations, accessible web-design guidelines, useful tools, good and bad examples, institutional accessible web design policy statements, legal information, and more.
AUS Accessibility Standards
A basic, easy-to-follow guide from the New South Wales Attorney General’s Department.
The Brain Spot
Geared for people with brain injury, this unique web site from the University of North Carolina’s Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies is “designed for persons who are learning to use the Internet or are frustrated by other complicated web sites.” Most of the instructions, especially the preliminary tutorial on using the mouse to navigate the Internet, are on-target; however, sentences like “your browsers must support frames and stylesheets to use the navigation bar” will baffle most newbees, whether or not they have a brain injury. The main sections of the site include People (with links for a discussion board, sending email, and sending electronic greeting cards), Games, Places (community resources), Profiles (personal and group pages), and Resources (other Internet sites).
Center for Information Technology Accommodation (CITA)
Part of the U.S. General Services Administration, the Center for IT Accommodation (CITA) works to advance technologies and policies that enhance access to electronic information for persons with disabilities. Its web site includes a wide range of links about information access technology, including web design resources.
Could Helen Keller Read Your Page?
This page from “All Things Web” describes a wide variety of useful tricks that web designers can use to make their pages accessible to everyone.
Locking Out the Disabled
This article from PC World provides an excellent, readable overview of the problems, issues and solutions involved in making web sites accessible.
Designing a More Usable World: Web Sites
This section of the Trace Center site links to information about the Web Accessibility Initiative, Accessible Web Site Guidelines, Web Access Tools, Accessibility of Web Programming and Scripting Languages, Browsers with Built-in Voice and Access Features, Browser Design, Model Accessible Web Sites, Virtual Reality Access, and more.
Microsoft Accessibility: Developing Technology
Geared mostly for software and hardware designers, this site includes information about the need for accessible design, articles, software, guidelines, hardware guidelines, web guidelines, active accessibility, closed captions, testing, user documentation, and downloads. The section on Web Guidelines includes an introduction to web accessibility, a how-to guide, 12 tips, information about IE accessibility, a testing checklist, code examples, and resources.
National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM) Web Accessibility Projects
This site provides information about the Center’s web access projects, which focus on online multimedia, as well as links to related sites. It is also where you can find the Web Access Symbol.
NCSA Mosaic Access Page
Describes some of the major barriers that people with disabilities encounter using the Internet and how they can be addressed.
Rich Media Accessibility [added 3/2/01]
This federally funded from the National Center for Accessible Media provides resources for developers and users interested in ways to make “rich media” such as a streaming video or a stock ticker accessible to people with disabilities.
Section 508 Resources [added 9/23/01]
This annotated guide to 508-related websites from the Kentucky Assistive Technology Network includes free tools and guidance on technology access issues, commercially available Section 508 repair and verification tools, commercially available accessible web design online training programs, private accessibility contractors, and more. Also listed under Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
U.S. Department of Justice’s Section 508 Home Page
Section 508 requires that Federal agencies’ electronic and information technology is accessible to people with disabilities, including employees and members of the public. This page provides background information and self-evaluation materials, including a Web Page Accessibility Checklist.
Usability.gov [added 5/6/01]
Maintained by the National Cancer Institute (NCI),”this site is designed to provide current and accurate information on how to make Web sites and other user interfaces more usable, accessible, and useful.” The site provides a wide range of links to external web sites, resources, and articles, as well as some original content.
Viewable With Any Browser: Accessible Site Design
From the folks who are running the “Campaign for a Non-Browser Specific WWW,” this site is an excellent introductory guide to designing accessible web sites. Topics covered include design elements, testing, and tools. There’s even a sample letter you can send to webmasters when you come across an inaccessible site.
Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)
The Web Accessibility Initiative is part of the W3C World Wide Web Consortium, an international industry consortium that develops common web protocols. The web site provides news and information along with the latest WAI Accessibility Guidelines. (For a concise summary of the guidelines, see the WAI Quick Tips Reference Card,)
WebAIM [added 2/28/01]
Geared for postsecondary institutions but valuable for all web designers, this site offers an array of useful articles, tutorials, and courses, and an excellent database of related links.
The Web’s Blind Spot: Disabled Users
This ZDNet article on the problems of inaccessible web sites includes tips and guidelines, as well as information about the National Federation of the Blind’s law suit against America On Line.
Related Subjects
Assistive Technology (Index)
Rehabilitation Act of 1973 – Section 508
Web Page Design – Tools and Page Checkers
Resources in your state
This Month in DRM