OpenAjax Accessibility Evaluation Library 2.0

Presenter

Jon Gunderson – University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign

More info here

 

Jon talked about the OpenAjax Evaluation Library.  He opted for slides with LOTS of bullet points on each page :-)  I generally don’t enjoy sitting through tool walk-throughs, but this particular one interested me due to my awareness of Jon’s publishing of a list of “most accessible university web sites.”  From what I could see, this is a pretty powerful and flexible browser-based evaluation tool.  I must confess that I have little knowledge of the breadth of what these tools offer.

 

TOOLS THAT MEET DEVELOPER NEEDS

  • Open Source so rules can be customized to individual or organization priorities and needs
  • JavaScript library can be used in both browser and server based tools
  • Help devs understand the benefits to people with disabilities
  • Help devs understand accessibility by telling them what needs to change rather than what was violated or failed
  • Make it easy to filter rules and evaluation results
  • Provide summaries of evaluation results
  • provide support for manual checks
  • provide links to resources that can help devs underand and implement accessibility

Support Standards

  • WCAG2
  • ARIA landmark tech
  • ARIA widget tech
  • HTML 4 and HTML5 markup for accessibility

 

PURPOSE OF OPENAJAX ACCESSIBILITY LIBRARY, RULESETS AND RULES

  • Understanding of rules being used to evaluate accessibility
  • Understanding of rules leads to understanding of coding practices for accessibility
  • Understanding coding practices leads to better understanding of WCAG 2.0, 508, etc.

 

CHALLENGES OF THE DYNAMIC WEB FOR EVALUATING ACCESSIBILITY

  • Dynamic Content
  • Web Widgets
  • Dynamic Styling
  • ARIA
  • Keyboard support

 

MEETING THE CHALLENGES OF WEB ACCESSIBILITY EVALUATION

  • Live DOM info (analyzing HTML code is not enough anymore; content, elements and attributes added or deleted through scripting)
  • Computed CSS (color contrast analysis, determining visibility  of content to AT and visual rendering)
  • UI event handlers  (mouse, keyboard, click, drag events)

 

OPENAJAX EVALUATION LIBRARY

  • Evaluation Library -caches accessibility info of the DOM:  elements, attributes, event handlers, runtime CSS properties.  Executes the rules of a ruleset on a DOM, creates evaluation results:  WCAG2.0, Rule categories, element types…, Support internationalization.
  • Ruleset Features - required rules, recommended rules, basic rules
  • Rule Features - messaging about what to “change” rather than what “failed.” Rule category (form control, images, landmarks, headings, links, widgets), WCAG 2.0 success criteria, How does the feature help people with disabilities, techniques for satisfying the rules, manual check procedures, links to other information.

 

Jon demonstrated the tool with Firefox on www.ticketmaster.com

  • Sidebar shows a summary of the rule results
  • Beneath that are the elements themselves arranged in a grid
  • You can create your own ruleset if you want to
  • Showed the view menu, which is a list of rulesets you can select
  • Showed the preferences panel

 

Jon demonstrated AInspector menu in Firebug toolbar

  • QUOTABLE QUOTE:  “I’m making this tool for developers who want to do the right thing and move accessibility forward”
Jon showed a slide that mapped out the conceptual model behind the OpenAjax Alliance Accessibility Evaluation Library
STATUS OF THE LIBRAY AND TOOLS
  • Evaluation library 95% of the infrastrucut for eval and filtering resulte in place
  • Rulesets
  • Rules :  currently about 70 rules, want at least one rule for every WCAG
  • Tools using Library (OAA Accessibility Extension for firefox, AInspector for firebug, java-based servier utility based on HTMLUnit technology

 

PLANS FOR THE FUTURE

  • Functional accessibility evaluator (FAE) 2.0
  • Develop Coding practices resources
  • Build or support other people in building toolbars for other browsers
  • Ruleset 3.0 Features
  • Looking for volunteers and collaborators

 

QUESTIONS (some good ones were asked)

  • Where do we get the extension?  Links will be provided later in the presentation.  However…it’s called the “OAA (Open Accessibility Alliance) accessibility extension” and is available via Google Code, but will be available via Firefox plug-in store in a few weeks.
  • What if I don’t agree with your rulesets?  Can I modify them?  Yes, it can be done…I’ll show you how to do that.  That’s why we have this as an open source project.  We want to see more developers join in and contribute.  If you think you can develop the greatest ruleset ever, then this project can allow for this.
  • Where do you edit the rulesets?  It’s in the source code right now (JSON objects).
  • How useful is this tool for QA?  UI central IT people have been using it for a while now.  Comment from a user:  “Of all the tools we’ve used, this is the one that got it right.”

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