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Tools: Accessible and Universal Design

"The power of the Web is in its universality." -- Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director and inventor of the World Wide Web

Overviews, Guidelines, and Best Practices

Getting Started: Making a Web Site Accessible
W3C's quick overview, with links to all the key information.
Web Accessibility Design Guidelines
Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)
UIUC Best Practices for User Centered Web Design
Trace Center (UW-Madison)
"A pioneer in the field of technology and disability." Has section on "Designing More Usable Web Sites."
Curriculum on Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
W3C curriculum that walks through all of the key information. Designed for a classroom or workshop setting; online, using a computer connected to the Internet offline, using a computer with the curriculum stored locally offline; using material printed from the site, or as a self-study tool.
"usable information technology": advice and research on web design from Jakob Nielsen
Examples of Accessible (and Inaccessible) Web Design
This page shows examples of good and bad web page design dealing with the following topics
Mardiros Internet Marketing
UK-based web designers with articles on accessibility and usability.
Collection of resources for ways to make rich media accessible to people with disabilities. Home Page
Help people with visual disabilities work more effectively with Adobe® Acrobat® software and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) files.

Site Development and Testing Tools


Validation tools check your site for compliance with accessibility guidelines. Descriptions of using such tools is available as well from UIUC's description of Functional Testing for Accessibility and the Aware Center's Case Study of Site Modification to Increase Accessibility.

W3C X/HTML Validator
Checks HTML documents for conformance to W3C HTML and XHTML Recommendations and other HTML standards.
W3C CSS Validator
Provide a CSS file or a web page incorporating CSS. Also has downloadable version.
Functional Accessibility Evaluator
The WAVE 2.0 web page accessibility check
Helps you check if your page is accessible to people with disabilities.
DeLorie Authoring Services
Services include: Lynx Viewer, Web Page Backward Compatibility Viewer, Web Page Purifier

User Agents (browsers, screen readers,etc) and User Software

User agents allow you to access pages in different ways so you can assess the experience of other users, and software tools help create better websites (instead of checking after the fact).

Mozilla/Firefox Accessibility Extension
This browser plugin makes it easier for people with disabilities to view and navigate web content. Developers can use the extension to check their use of structural and styling markup that support functional web accessibility.
JAWS for Windows Screen Reader Software
information about JAWS for Windows, the world's premier screen reader software application.
Opera Web Browser
Excellent web browser that compares well against Netscape and Microsoft and makes a point of adding accessibility features.

Policy Documents

Note: Section 508 requires that Federal agencies' electronic and information technology is accessible to people with disabilities.

Policies Relating to Web Accessibility in the U.S.
List from the W3C
Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Standards
Complete 508 Guidelines (not just those relating to the web).
Department of Justice Section 508 Home Page
Added here for reference, but doesn't seem that useful.
Federal IT Accessibility Initiative
The Federal Information Technology Accessibility Initiative is a Federal government interagency effort to offer information and technical assistance to assist in the successful implementation of Section 508.