Submissions/Content Accessibility Checker

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Submission no.
2003
Subject no.
B3


Title of the submission
Content Accessibility Checker
Type of submission
presentation
Author of the submission
Anton Bolfing, Reto Lehmann, Eduard Klein, Markus Riesch
Country of origin
Switzerland
Affiliation
«Access for all» the Swiss Foundation for Technology Adapted to People with Disabilities
E-mail address
anton.bolfing@access-for-all.ch
Username
A4aCH
Personal homepage or blog
www.access-for-all.ch
Abstract

The World Wide Web has become an essential instrument for people all over the world to access information. Unfortunately the vast majority of websites is not accessible for people with disabilities. Even Wikipedia, the world’s most influential knowledge database shows a series of insurmountable obstacles for people with disabilities, such as for blind people. The most important web accessibility problems have been identified. Some problems are based on the CMS/MediaWiki, others are based on the authors/community. The presentation introduces a new software tool, which helps authors to create accessible content: the Content Accessibility Checker for Wikipedia.

Detailed proposal

The World Wide Web has become an essential instrument for people all over the world to access information. Unfortunately the vast majority of websites is not accessible for people with disabilities. Even Wikipedia, the world’s most influential knowledge database shows a series of insurmountable obstacles for people with disabilities, such as for blind people. Conservative estimates act on the assumption of 15-20% of internet users to suffer from sensory, motor or cognitive limitations. Taking into account the demographic shift of the first internet user generations entering more advanced ages, the proportion of people with various limitations surfing on the internet must be expected to quickly rise in the near future. The most important web accessibility problems have been identified in the course of our TAO Project Study (http://www.thirdageonline.eu/project-tao-2/software-development/mediawiki-accessibility-enhancements/).

Accessibility problems always arise from two different sources. Some problems are based on the Content Management System (CMS), MediaWiki in the case of Wikipedia. These problems are known to Wikimedia Germany. Hence some of them have already been solved for the German Wikipedia. Other more profound problems, such as visual CAPTCHAs, must be addressed to the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF).

Another category of web-accessibility pitfalls arise from website authors, from the community in the case of Wikipedia. There are a lot of issuesto be considered for a wider audience. Are the headings tagged correctly? In a semantically consistent hierarchical structure? Are there any explanations for all the used abbreviations? What about the text alternatives for uploaded images? Are they meaningful? Do they declare what a blind person might need to know? What about images showing text? Is the contrast high enough to be easily read, even if I’m 85 years old? Are tables tagged correctly? Are lists tagged as lists? There are many more questions and issues to consider when including people with various disabilities in the targeted audience of your valuable contributions on Wikipedia.

The presentation introduces a Content Accessibility Checklist specifically designed for Wikipedia authors. All checkpoints of the checklist have further been implemented in freely available javascript code. The code will be available for download as a Firefox plugin or as plain javascript code. A special release of the code is optimized for use on MediaWikis. Regarding the technical implementation, the code will be activated by pressing the «View preview» button, but also regarding the syntactical conditions of MediaWiki. We call it the Content Accessibility Checker for Wikipedia (CAC). The Content Accessibility Checker for Wikipedia will locate actual and potential accessibility pitfalls and give hints and tips on how to avoid them.

We are convinced that the Content Accessibility Checker for Wikipedia will help Wikipedia to become an exemplarily accessible website. Together with its valuable content, we are sure, that Wikipedia can help millions of people with disabilities to feel a little more accepted and included within the worldwide information society.

Track
Cultural and Education Outreach
Length of presentation/talk
25 Minutes
Language of presentation/talk
English
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Probably not
Slides or further information (optional)
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  1. A4aCH (talk) 17:41, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
  2. আমীর ঈ. অহরোনি (talk) 20:21, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
  3. Danny B.
  4. DarTar (talk) 22:08, 29 April 2013 (UTC)
  5. The wub (talk) 14:01, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
  6. Sharihareswara (WMF) (talk) 01:04, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
  7. Graham87 (talk) 10:31, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
  8. Man77 (talk) 10:38, 5 May 2013 (UTC)