Developing Accessible Website for AACIL
Skills:Featured, User Experience
Aim: Redesign the old website of AACIL using CMS to make it accessible.
Duration: 4 months (Winter 2010 | Michigan, US)
Collaborators: Bryan Klausmeyer, Kevin Chang, Nathan Yu, Helen Ledgard
Methods Used: WCAG validation, Code validation, Manual Check of each guideline, Persona Creation, Scenario Analysis, Heuristic Evaluation, Contextual Inquiry, Usability Testing, Personal Interviews, Comparative Analysis.
Epitome: The AACIL is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the success of children, youth and adults with disabilities at home, at school, at work and in the community. So it is very important that the target audience of the organization should be able to access all the information without any hindrance. A team of web accessibility expert, developer, and designer were made to redesign the present HTML & CSS based website in 4 months.
Download Accessibility Report: Available here
Project Brief: The organization wanted to come up with a website using the latest web technology and yet accessible by all it’s users without any problems. The previous website of the organization (aacil.org) was not accessible and so many needful people were not getting benefitted with it. The employees of the organization were also in need of an accessible website and so they wanted something robust, simple, usable, elegant and accessible.
Web accessibility means that people with disabilities can use the Web. More specifically, Web accessibility means that people with disabilities can perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the Web, and that they can contribute to the Web. Web accessibility also benefits others, including older people with changing abilities due to aging.
My Responsibilities: I was the web accessibility and usability expert in the team, and was responsible for making all the decisions in that domain. I took care that the website complies with the WCAG 1.0 and have valid XML and CSS. We strived for WCAG 2.0, but due to lack of stable online validation tool, we settled at WCAG 1.0. But on testing it with beta online validators for WCAG 2.0, we got really impressive results with more than 95% approval.
[Fig. 1] is the screenshot of the homepage of original website [aacil.org]
As mentioned in WCAG 2.0, “Note that even content that conforms at the highest level (AAA) will not be accessible to individuals with all types, degrees, or combinations of disability, particularly in the cognitive language and learning areas.” This should always be kept in mind while assessing the success or failure of this project. Ideally, no single design could be considered as Universal Design, but the Universal Design is something that caters to the requirements of the majority of needs.
[Fig. 2] is the screenshot of the homepage of newly designed website[annarborcil.org]
Detail about the accessibility aspect of the project is available here:Annarborcil.org/accessibility
Deliverables: We delivered an accessible website that has AAA conformance, valid CSS3, valid XHTML 1.0 transitional, and has Section 508 Compliance. Try it out!