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Assistive technology

Read more information about refreshable braille displays.

The following screen readers are mostly used by blind users, and offer the most advancedlevel of functionality:

JAWS for Windows by Freedom Scientific

Window-Eyes by GW Micro

HAL and Supernova (which also handles screen magnification) by Dolphin ComputerAccess.

Accessibility guidelines

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), developed by the W3C WebAccessibility Initiative are most widely accepted guidelines for accessibility, and a goodstart for achieving an acceptable level of accessibility for a website.

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act is similar to the W3C Web Content Accessbilityguidelines, but can be obligatory for certain organizations (for example federalorganizations).

Automated evaluation tools

The following tools detect accessibility issues in a given website and explain to webdesigners how to fix these issues.

The Bobby evaluation tool, provided by Watchfire.

The Web Content Accessibility Checking Service, provided by the W3C.

TIDY: an HTML cleanup tool.

Section 4: Resources

Accessibility related links


The following tutorials can be used by web designers who are interested in makingaccessible websites.

Tutorial on how to make your website 508 compliant.

'Web Accessibility In Mind', also known as WebAIM, provides a short tutorial on how tomake your website accessible as well as a range of products and tools related to Webaccessibility including simulations of what it is like to be a blind user.

Techniques for following WCAG guidelines

Additional Software tools

Resources http://www.id-book.com/preece/resources.html

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Mozilla Firefox Extensions

Mozilla Firefox is an open source browser which is compatible with major screen readerssuch as JAWS and Window-Eyes. Because Mozilla browsers are open source, it ispossible for developers to create extensions for them, including accessibility relatedextensions such as the following:

Charles Chen (University of Texas) has developed Fire Vox: an open source screenreader for Mozilla Firefox.

The Illinois Center for Instructional Technology Accessibility developed the 'Mozillaaccessibility extension' which helps web designers detect their site's accessibility issues.

The Fangs screen reader emulator is a Firefox extension that turns a website into textthe same way a screen reader would.

Hans Hillen is working on a project called 'NavAccess', of which at the time of writingone module has been implemented in the form of a link list with advanced filteringfunctionality. For more information about this project visit the NavAccess homepage.

American Foundation for the Blind

Royal National Institute for the Blind (United Kingdom)

World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)

Mozilla accessibility pages


Resources http://www.id-book.com/preece/resources.html

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