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Evaluating Web Accessibility:
Automated, Manual and User-based Testing

Time: Tuesday, May 8 (half-day, afternoon, 1:30pm to 5:00pm)

Location: Oak

Abstract:

Building accessible sites that are vibrant, dynamic and very usable requires the use of good technologies and the application of testing. This tutorial will present a variety of methods for testing web accessibility. Through practical exercises attendees will learn how to conduct automatic, manual and user testing.

In the tutorial we cover the area of accessibility testing by:

  • identifying needs of blind, visually impaired, deaf, and motor impaired users
  • use of assistive technologies
  • reviewing the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
  • discussing research on the accessibility of web sites
  • demonstrating the use and limitations of automated tools
  • linking guidelines with manual testing techniques
  • demonstrating tools to support manual testing techniques
  • enabling participants to apply methods for evaluation with disabled users, and
  • providing an outlook to newer web technologies and their challenges for accessibility.

Attendees of the tutorial will be able to link accessibility with usability, as our research and experience with real-world websites has shown that an accessible site is more likely to be a usable site.

Prerequisite Knowledge:

Basic knowledge of HTML and web technologies

Presenters:

  • Helen Petrie (University of York)
  • Christopher Power (University of York)
  • Gerhard Weber (Christian Albrechts University of Kiel)

Helen Petrie is Professor of Human Computer Interaction at the University of York in the United Kingdom. She has been researching and teaching web accessibility for nearly a decade. She directed the two largest and most detailed studies of web accessibility, for the Disability Rights Commission of Great Britain and for the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council of England. She teaches web accessibility both to university students and professional web developers. She is currently involved in two European Commission supported projects relevant to web accessibility: the BenToWeb Project which is developing new tools to support web developers in creating accessible websites, and in the Tenuta Project which is training web developers in web accessibility and usability.

Christopher Power is a Research Fellow at the University of York. He is currently working on the European Commission supported project EU4ALL, which is focusing on the delivery of web based and other electronic distance learning activities to those with disabilities persuing lifelong learning endeavours. He completed his Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University of Western Ontario in 2006 after completing research involving the presentation of multimodal diagrams to visually impaired people.

Gerhard Weber received a diploma in Computer Science from University of Stuttgart in 1984 and a doctoral degree from University of Stuttgart in 1989. He completed his Habilitation at University of Magdeburg in 2000. Previously he has been a scientist at University of Stuttgart from 1984 onwards, lectured at Overbrook School for the Blind in Philadelphia in 1988/89, and joined F.H. Papenmeier GmbH in 1990. Since then he has been Professor at Harz University of Applied Sciences, a Professor of Human Centered Interfaces at Christian Albrechts University of Kiel and Professor for Human-Computer Interaction at Technical University of Dresden. He has participated in several highly successful accessibility projects including the GUIB, MATHS, the Multireader and BenToWeb projects by applying innovative web technologies.

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