Web Accessibility: The big picture

Tired of lots of links to websites that only tell you part of the accessibility story? Do you feel like you can’t get your arms around web accessibility? Well the Educational Outreach Working Group has a set of slides that might answer your questions, and help you present a great overview to others.

Just like the the world wide web as a whole, accessibility is a web. It consists of many interdependent parts. There are people: authors, users, designers, developers and administrators, both technical and organizational. There are software tools: user agents (browsers and media players), authoring tools(individual, commercial and automated) and web content (w3c markup languages, style sheets and rich internet applications). When only one of these is inaccessible, or resistant to accessibility, the whole system can break down.

The Essential Components Slide Set and the companion article Essential Components Web Accessibility lay out this web of accessibility and its interdependencies. These resources are an excellent starting point for anyone who likes to understand the big picture before digging into the details

  • Authors: Learn how an authoring tool that supports your accessibility goals can speed your works.
  • Users:See how the tools your institution chooses can improve or obstruct your access to content.
  • Designers and Developers: Discover all the pieces of accessibility before you initiate a big initiative.
  • Administrators: Get a concise overview of the entire scope of an effective accessibility system for your organization.

Follow the links provided in these documents for additional Educational Outreach from the W3C, the primary source of web accessibility standards.