Book Excerpt: Drupal User's Guide: Building and Administering a Successful Drupal-Powered Web Site
Provide clear instructions to help users complete forms without error on their first attempt. Clearly explain what exists on the other side of a link. Don’t make people guess what a ducky icon means on your site. Make people feel smart, not stupid, when they use your site. Test your site with friends and colleagues. Ask them where you could have made things a little clearer. If it makes sense, include a “help” area that answers commonly asked questions and tours people through each of the features of your site.
Testing Your Site
There are a lot of ways to test your site for accessibility. One of the easiest tricks you’ll need up your sleeve is a simple one. In your Web browser, disable the CSS and the images and try navigating around your Web site. It won’t find all the problems, but it will often find quite a few.
Drupal sites appear as a linear page of text when viewed in Links. Note the accessibility enhancement “Skip to main content” link at the top of the page.
Text-only browsers are available online from http://www.delorie.com/web/lynxview.html and http://www.standards-schmandards.com/projects/fangs/.
Automated Testing Tools
After creating, or updating, Web pages, immediately check to see the page is using valid HTML markup and complies with your site’s accessibility standard. Retrofitting a site will take a lot longer than ensuring only accessible pages are produced in the first place. The tools for checking Web sites for accessibility guidelines will typically return either a summary table of errors that were found or an overlay of your site showing you exactly where the errors are. Figure 17.4 shows a WAVE report for Drupal.org reporting no errors. Figure 17.5 shows the same report run on Microsoft.com with a few minor errors. Figure 17.6 shows a second automated test for Drupal.org
WAVE, online accessibility checker for Web sites (http://wave.webaim.org/http://fae.cita.uiuc.edu/)
Truwex Online, web accessibility testing tool: WCAG and Section 508 compliance (http://checkwebsite.erigami.com/accessibility.html)
Stanford Online Web Accessibility Checker for Web sites (http://www.stanford.edu/group/accessibility/cgi-bin/accessibilitychecker/checker/index.php)
Worldspace accessibility checker (includes a test for PDFs) (http://-worldspace.dequecloud.com/worldspace/wsservice/eval/checkCompliance.jsp)
Run FAE; by creating a free user account you can also test multiple pages via Web crawling and produce a sitewide report (http://fae.cita.uiuc.edu/)
TAW Online also tests for mobile devices (http://www.tawdis.net/)
Drupal.org passes the WAVE automated accessibility test.
Microsoft.com fails the WAVE automated accessibility test with four very minor errors.
Drupal.org fails the WCAG 1.0, priority level 2, automated test using Truwex online.
Browser-based tools will perform checks of the page you are currently viewing. Figure 17.7 shows the pop-up window summary of the accessibility errors from one Web site, and Figure 17.8 shows the “summary” with additional information about the accessibility errors on this page.
Firefox Accessibility Extension (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/5809/)
Firefox Colour Contrast Analyser (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/7313/)
Firefox Accessibility Extension provides on-page summaries of potential accessibility problems.
A detailed summary of the accessibility problems is also available from the Firefox Accessibility Extension.
This excerpt is from the book, 'Drupal User's Guide: Building and Administering A Successful Drupal-Powered Web Site' by Emma Jane Hogbin, published by Pearson/Prentice Hall Professional, published Sept. 2011, ISBN 0137041292, Copyright 2012 Pearson Education, Inc. For more info, please visit the publisher site: www.informit.com/title/0137041292
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