Accessibility for the Uninitiated
Who we are
Leading user experience consultancy
Offices in Edinburgh & London
Testing with disabled users
Usability and accessibility training
DTI, Economist.com, Houses of Parliament, Emirates
Airline, RBS, ACAS & many more
Who are the uninitiated?
For the past year we have been working
with a major UK company.
Providing training on usability and accessibility
Intranet site administrators
Generally no awareness of usability or
Intranet page designs varied wildly
No standard adopted
Limited accessibility functionality in the CMS
Major UK Utility Supplier
2,500+ Site administrators
Little or no usability or accessibility training
Very few with experience in website
Limited interest in site administration
Not their main role
Want to add/edit information then return to main
All users of existing intranet
All find the intranet a frustrating experience from
a usability perspective.
Content Management weaknesses
Little interest in usability and even less in accessibility:
After lunch session. “The Graveyard Shift”.
No clear understanding of what accessibility is.
Unable to grasp how disabled people use web
Blind people probably the easiest to imagine.
Had no experience of disabled people using assistive
technology in their departments.
HR would not provide us with details of how many disabled
Little understanding of (or legal responsibility for)
e.g. cannot install assistive
software on locked down computers.
Content Management System
Content management system has limitations:
Produces invalid markup
Inline <FONT> tags and fixed sizes
Incorrectly nested headings (start at <h3>)
Use of table based layouts
Damage limitation exercise
Identify which available structural elements not being used
eliminate ‘click here’
Correctly nesting what headings are available
Content Management Systems (in general)
Notorious for producing inaccessible
As a result, can be impossible to implement
accessible page content.
Training site administrators is ineffective if we
do not train the developers who build and
maintain the CMS.
house CMS tools often less accessible than
off the shelf:
Large number of developers
Inconsistency in design, functionality
It is critical that users understand not only the
disabilities affected but also:
The differences in users needs
The different way that users navigate
Alternative input devices
Less obvious effects of particular disabilities
Images of assistive technology
Demonstrations of assistive technology
JAWS screen reader in 40 minute mode
Video footage of disabled users using the
Get participants to try and browse their pages
without a mouse.
Anecdotes from disabled testing.
Raising interest (2)
Hands on analysis of their own pages
Pointing out accessibility issues
Explaining how these issues affect disabled users
Use tools such as Colour Contrast Analyser to
show how site would look to colour blind
Provide video clips without sound and
afterwards ask participants to provide details
of what took place in the video.
Difficult without dialogue or transcript.
Demonstration of a disabled user accessing
the intranet generally has most impact
Most participants will not have witnessed disabled
user accessing the web.
Many companies won’t disclose details of
JAWS in 40 minute mode
Use screen reader to access pages.
Responses are generally quite dramatic.
Awareness of accessibility issues was low
amongst content contributors.
Required to tailor the course to cover only
do using the CMS.
Acceptance that intranet sites won’t
become fully accessible overnight.
Interactive demonstrations of assistive
software very popular although not always
55 North Castle Street
Tel: 0131 225 0859