Design websites and applications so they're accessible to everyone.
The principle concepts of website or application accessibility will help you meet the State of Minnesota Accessibility standard. The instructions outlined in the Resource section relate specifically to websites and applications.
Accessibility standards not only help you meet a wider audience, but they also make your solutions:
An accessible website starts with gathering requirements and creating an accessible design. Building accessibility features into your website from the beginning saves time, effort and money. You must also have a general understanding of the users and how they will interact with your website or application. The following links provide tools that can help:
Accessibility requirements tracking tool: (Excel document)
This downloadable spreadsheet can be used in all phases of the SDLC process - from Requirements Elicitation to Programming to Quality Assurance testing.
W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)
This website provides almost everything you need to know about developing and testing accessibility for websites and applications.
UM's Web Accessibility Training
The University of Minnesota developed this quick HTML-based introduction to the primary elements of building an accessible website
University of Wisconsin Trace Center
Their website "Designing More Usable Web Sites" includes an extensive list of selected links and tools, and information on creating accessible websites and applications.
WebAIM, a non-profit web accessibility organization, provides excellent resources for web desginers, including a cool infographic.
W3C: The World Wide Web Consortium Checklist of Checkpoints for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0
DigitalGov's "Usability Starter Kit" provides tools and resources for the application/interface designer.
Incorporate accessibility into all your System Development Life Cycle (SDLC) processes: requirements analysis, design, implement, test and deploy.
Building accessibility into web and application development
WCAG 2.0 Top Ten Check Points webinar Understanding the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0), why and when the guidelines are important, and how to apply them is addressed in the WCAG 2.0 Top Ten Check Points webinar. This webinar provides an introduction to WCAG 2.0 for web application developers and business analysts. (Audio Transcript PDF)
Validators and Testing Tools
Testing for accessibility along the way can help to identify problems early in the process. While there are many aspects to accessibility testing and validation, there are also many tools available.
The worldwide web consortium (W3C) has posted an open call to tools and resources for evaluating web accessibility. Keep in mind that anyone can post their tool and there is no review or feedback mechanism: W3C's Web Accessibility Evaluation Tools List.
Here is a shortlist of some tools that we've found helpful.
(Note: When using these tools, be sure to note carefully what standards (if any) a particular product follows – such as WCAG 1.0 instead of the more recent 2.0. This list does not constitute endorsement of any particular product or service. All tools have free versions available.
Plugins and Extensions:
Color and Contrast
Analysis and Reporting
Captioning and Media
Accessible websites tend to work better in mobile environments. As agencies create more responsive sites and mobile apps, accessibility works hand in hand with good design and development practices.
Some quick resources:
Apple and Google’s Accessibility API Docs (source: Paul J. Adam)
Mobile developers reference guide (source: MN.IT innovation program)
Comprehensive list of resources for mobile OS designers, developers, and evaluators.
Digitalgov's mobile application development program.
MN STAR Program (System of Technology to Achieve Results) http://www.starprogram.state.mn.us
MN State Services for the Blind
Commission of Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing Minnesotans http://www.mncdhh.org