Archive for November 8th, 2007

Accessibility Testing

After adopting an accessibility standard and guidelines, the educational Web site can be checked against the standard using automated and application-based tools. The validation tools can help you determine the level of compliance. One of the useful tools is the 508 Accessibility Suite, a free extension to Macromedia® Dreamweaver® and Dreamweaver® UltraDev™. The suite has comprehensive tools for testing Web sites and making them accessible according to W3C WCAG 1.0, priority 1 and priority 2.

A number of online validation tools are available that help the educator determine the level of accessibility for existing Web pages. Bobby, one of the popular free online validation tools, allows users to test a Web page for compliance with either the Section 508 guidelines or the guidelines established by the Web Accessibility Initiative. To scan a Web page using Bobby, go to the Bobby site, enter the URL of the page you want to test, select the guidelines to use, and click the Submit button. A validation report will be produced that rates the level of compliance and details the problems and possible issues with the page. Besides Bobby, there are other online validation programs (e.g., A-Prompt and WAVE) are available to test Web pages for accessibility. In general, these tools provide a quick and easy check at the accessibility issues on a Web page.

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