IDRC - Celebrating 25 Years

1993 - 2018

Supports for complying with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)

How do I make my web site accessible? How do I make my office documents accessible? How do I make information available in alternative formats? Businesses and organizations read our AODA Help.

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Jutta Treviranus

Adaptive Technology Resource Centre
University of Toronto

Information in the Workplace

  • Tool
  • Commodity
  • Essential to participation
  • "Life-blood"
  • Instrument of power

Communication medium and form of information changing:

  • E-mail
  • Intranet and Web-based information
  • Database
  • Remote access
  • Mobile access

Electronic Text and Computer Mediated Communication

  • Information in a computer
  • vs. printed or spoken information
  • Flexible input and output
  • Open to transformation and interpretation
  • Not tied to location or time

The Ideal Information System

  • Responsive
  • Flexible, Transformable
  • Expandable
  • Scalable
  • Understandable

The Curbcut Advantage

  • A successful, competitive information system equals an accessible information system

Screwdrivers and Business 101

  • Changing standards
  • Changing strategies

Ultimate Goal:

No compromises

  • No "special" accommodation
  • Transparent inclusion

Role of Technology

  • "For people without disabilities, technology makes things convenient, for people with disabilities, it makes things possible."


  • Content and structure independent of presentation
  • Where this is not possible provide alternative presentation
  • Function independent of control method
  • Where this is not possible provide alternative control method

Alternative Access:

  • Alternative display
    • Screen Magnification
    • Screen Reading
    • Refreshable Braille display
    • Tactile device
  • Alternative input
    • Alternative keyboard
    • Alternative mice
    • Indirect access
    • Voice Recognition


  • The information
  • The browser or software application
  • The authoring tool

The Information:

Viewing a Document

  • sizing up a document at first glance
  • the overall sense
  • inventory of content
  • what is emphasized
  • anything of personal interest
  • organization/structure
  • where are we
  • zero in on item of interest


  • obtaining an overview and determining the structure of the document,
  • orienting and moving to desired sections of the document or interface, and
  • obtaining translations of graphically presented information (i.e., animation, video, graphics).

Web Content Accessibility Standards


  • Images & animations. Use the alt attribute to describe the function of all visuals.
  • Image maps. Use client-side MAP and text for hotspots.
  • Multimedia. Provide captioning and transcripts of audio, descriptions of video, and accessible versions in case inaccessible formats are used.
  • Hypertext links. Use text that makes sense when read out of context. For instance, do not use "click here."
  • Page organization. Use headings, lists, and consistent structure. Use CSS for layout and style where possible.
  • Graphs & charts. Summarize or use the longdesc attribute.
  • Scripts, applets, & plug-ins. Provide alternative content in case active features are inaccessible or unsupported.
  • Frames. Label with the title or name attribute.
  • Tables. Make line by line reading sensible. Summarize. Avoid using tables for column layout.
  • Check your work. Validate the HTML. Use evaluation tools and text-only browsers to verify accessibility.

File Formats

The Browser

  • WAI User Agent Accessibility Guidelines
  • Internet Explorer and Netscape
  • Text Browsers
  • Audio Browsers

The Authoring Tool

  • Accessible user interface
  • Creates accessible content

Accessible Software

Keyboard Access

  • Keyboard equivalents for all mouse actions
  • Logical tab order between buttons and lists
  • Keyboard shortcuts for commonly used objects.
  • Document keyboard controls
  • Do not interfere with system based equal access features
  • Allow adjustable response time

Object Information

  • Provide visual focus indicator, exposed to assistive technologies
  • Provide information about user interface objects to assistive technologies (e.g., object is a text box with label "enter password," or a check box which is checked).


  • Text label for Icons (text next to icons, tool tips, bubble help)
  • Consistent use of icons


  • Provide a visual cue for all audio alerts.
  • Present audio information in text format (e.g. captioning)
  • Allow the user to disable sound and adjust the volume.


  • Provide text through an API (application programming interface) supporting interaction with assistive technology or use system text drawing tools.
  • Do not use color coding as the only means of conveying information or indicating an action.
  • Provide a wide variety of color and font settings. Inherit and respect system-wide color settings.
  • Allow users to turn off patterned backgrounds.


  • Bobby
  • A-Prompt
  • HTML verification

A-Prompt Toolkit

  • The A-Prompt Toolkit is the first utility to combine detection of HTML accessibility problems with extensive repair facilities.
  • The toolkit will be produced as an integrated module that can be used by developers of conventional authoring (courseware) tools.
  • Reference:

Corporate Training

Points of Influence

  • Web templates
  • Specifications
  • Audits
  • Documentation
  • Authoring tools
  • Policies
  • Education


  • No compromises
  • No "special" accommodation
  • Transparent inclusion