Accessibility Technology

WCAG Guidelines – What about the Users?


  • Birkir R. Gunnarsson, Blindrafelagid; The Icelandic Organization of the visually impaired @birkir_gun
  • Hinni Hreinsson, The Stockholm Low Vision Center @hm_hreinsson

BIOVI (Blindrafelagid, Icelandic organization of the visually impaired), similar to NFB in the US (details directly from slide)

  • Fights for independent and responsible living conditions for visually impaired people
  • Fights for their secured equal rights and opportunities to respnosible, active and recognized participation in all sectors of our community
  • Part of a public medical service of Stockholm County; 80 staff in 5 teams
  • Birkir does audits and makes development recommendations
  • Hinni trains users on AT
  • Discussions between Birkir and Hinni revealed that their best practices recommendations did not always make it to AT trainers and end users


  • Delivering web content requires 4 players
  • Accessible web site
  • Browsers that render content and build DOM
  • (missed a bunch of items from this slide, sorry!)

To summarize (Paul’s description, so it’s probably butchered):  this is an outreach effort to get the word out about the roles of headings, landmarks, navigation hotkeys, etc.  Wanted to create a survey to help develop a vendor neutral guide to help explain how you can use a screen reader to effectively read web pages.  This would benefit users at various stages of screen reader competence.


  • 1,700 SR users
  • 2/3 of SR users consider themselves advanced Internet users, only 2% consider themselves beginners
  • Users keep their SR up to date
  • (missed details on this slide as well…will try to post link to WebAIM survey results)


  • Many users run multiple screen readers
  • Most have one up-to-date enough to read landmarks
  • 20% received formal training
  • Close to 80% use their SR web page summary feature


  • 60% are familiar with headings and use them for page navigation
  • 60% use navigation hotkeys to browse tables on web sites


  • Most users learn how to browse on their own, with little formalized training
  • Much of user base still relies on TAB and ARROW keys to navigate a web page.
  • Users also use the page description element of screen readers


  • Web developers:  use markup clearly and efficiently
  • W3C standards:  consider a set of more clear specified landmarks
  • SR Vendors:  include landmarks in web page summary features
  • AT instructors:  can we reach out to more users?
  • Make sure AT instructors teach effective browsing techniques

Create educational web resource that would be a simple online user manual on how to effectively navigate web pages.  This would include relevant navigation hotkeys for all screen readers.  Will be written first in English, then translated to Swedish and Icelandic.  Information would be updated as needed.  Possibly have WCAG certification or an associated accessibility statement that links to this resource.

Results will be released at an EASI webinar on May 2nd, at 2pm EST (US Eastern Standard Time).  Sign up at http://easi.cs

By Paul Schantz

CSUN Director of Web & Technology Services, Student Affairs. husband, father, gamer, part time aviator, fitness enthusiast, Apple fan, and iguana wrangler.

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