Web Accessibility Best Practices

Campus Information Technologies and Educational Services (CITES) and Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES)

University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign

Overview

The primary purpose of these HTML/XHTML Best Practices is to improve the accessibility of web resources at the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign for students, faculty, staff, and the general public. The typical approach to web accessibility is a "repair" approach which focuses on meeting the technical requirements of either the Section 508 or W3C WCAG 1.0 accessibility standards. This accessibility repair usually results in the resources becoming more "technically accessible" but still remaining functionally unusable by many people with disabilities. These Best Practices avoid this problem by focusing on the functional requirements that improve access to all users, including people with disabilities. They are inspired by the needs of people with disabilities but are designed to give all users more options and control when accessing web resources, hence the name "user-centered" design practices. In this user-centered approach, less assumptions are made about what technologies will be used to access a web resource and more options are provided that allow use of a broader range of technologies and the ability to restyle information for their own needs. Since all users benefit from this design approach, developers can functionally test their web resources using common web browsers and extensions to see if their resources conform to the user-centered design approach.