By checking your Web pages for accessibility issues and fixing them, you improve the site visitor experience for people with disabilities.
In addition to many other types of accessibility concerns, people with disabilities can have difficulty reading text or might not be able to use a keyboard or mouse.
By using the accessibility checker on Web pages you create or edit in Microsoft FrontPage, you discover issues that are identified as being in conflict with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) (World Wide Web Consortium (W3C): A consortium of commercial and educational institutions that oversees research and promotes standards in all areas related to the World Wide Web.) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) or the accessibility guidelines for Section 508 of the U.S. Rehabilitation Act. WCAG outlines priorities for making Web sites accessible to people with disabilities. Section 508 outlines the U.S. government accessibility standards for a wide range of information sources and technologies.
Issues that are in conflict with these guidelines can make it difficult or impossible for people with disabilities to use your Web site. The accessibility checker, which can be activated with a single key press, also works for pages that are not part of a site. When you use the accessibility checker, you can also add a checklist to the report that is generated. You can use this checklist to help review and track the accessibility issues as you fix them. The report and optional checklist can either be printed or saved as a Web page.
About guidelines used by the accessibility checker
When you use the accessibility checker, you use FrontPage to evaluate the design and code of your pages according to the following standards:
Compliance with the WCAG The WCAG guidelines explain how to make Web content accessible to people with disabilities. There are Priority 1 and Priority 2 guidelines.
- By not complying with Priority 1 guidelines, "One or more groups of users will find it impossible to access information." An example of a Priority 1 issue is, "Provide a text equivalent for every non-text element (e.g., via "alt", "longdesc", or in element content)." A non-text element is a graphic, a Macromedia Flash animation, a Java applet (Java applet: A small software program written in the Java language, a programming language that is used primarily on the World Wide Web. A Java applet is located within an HTML document and can be used to add to animation, music, page updates, and so on.), and so on.
- By not complying with Priority 2 guidelines, "One or more groups of users might find it difficult to access information." An example of a Priority 2 issue is, "When an appropriate markup language exists, use markup rather than images to convey information."
Compliance with Section 508 This act requires access to electronic and information technology used by U.S. Federal agencies. Section 508 guidelines are not prioritized, but many are similar to the WCAG Priority 1 and 2 guidelines.
About the results of using the accessibility checker
When you use the accessibility checker on one or more pages, the results are displayed in a dialog box. Each item is displayed on a separate line, and the dialog box results indicate whether the problem is in conflict with a WCAG or a Section 508 guideline. In addition, the dialog box displays a description of the issue, a hyperlink to the online guidelines for that issue, and the line in the HTML code for your page where the issue was identified. The following example shows how the results are displayed:
1. Error: Image is missing
a text equivalent (either
an alt="X" or longdesc="X").
Consider brief alternative
text that describes the
information that the image
conveys. You can use the
picture properties dialog to
add alternative text.
Because the issues appear in a list, they can be reviewed one at a time, printed, or saved for a later review. By saving the results, which are stored as a Web page, you can edit that page in FrontPage, or save it to a Web site or intranet site.