By checking your web pages for accessibility issues and fixing them, you improve the site visitor experience for people with disabilities. In addition to many other types of accessibility concerns, people with disabilities can have difficulty reading text or might not be able to use a keyboard or mouse.
By using the accessibility checker on web pages you create or edit in Microsoft Expression Web, you discover issues that are identified as being in conflict with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which outline priorities for making sites accessible to people with disabilities, or the accessibility guidelines for Section 508 of the U.S. Rehabilitation Act, which outlines the U.S. government accessibility standards for a wide range of information sources and technologies.
Issues that are in conflict with these guidelines can make it difficult or impossible for people with disabilities to use your site. The accessibility checker, which can be activated with a single key press, also works for pages that are not part of a site. When you use the accessibility checker, you can also add a checklist to the report that is generated. You can use this checklist to help review and track the accessibility issues as you fix them. The report and optional checklist can either be printed or saved as a web page.
When you use the accessibility checker on one or more pages, the results are displayed in a dialog box. Each item is displayed on a separate line, and the dialog box results indicate which guidelines the item violates. In addition, the dialog box displays a description of the issue, a hyperlink to the online guidelines for that issue, and the line in the HTML code for your page where the issue was identified. Because the issues appear in a list, they can be reviewed one at a time, printed, or saved for a later review. By saving the results, which are stored as a web page, you can edit that page in Expression Web, or save it to a site or intranet site.
The WCAG guidelines explain how to make web content accessible to people with disabilities. There are Priority 1 and Priority 2 guidelines.
By not complying with Priority 1 guidelines, "One or more groups of users will find it impossible to access information." An example of a Priority 1 issue is, "Provide a text equivalent for every non-text element (for example, via "alt", "longdesc", or in element content)." A non-text element is a graphic, a Macromedia Flash animation, a Java applet, and so on.
By not complying with Priority 2 guidelines, "One or more groups of users might find it difficult to access information." An example of a Priority 2 issue is, "When an appropriate markup language exists, use markup rather than images to convey information."
To run an accessibility report
Do one of the following:
On the Accessibility panel, click Run Accessibility Checker.
On the Tools menu, click Accessibility Reports.
In the Accessibility Checker dialog box, specify the pages you want to check for accessibility issues.
To specify all pages in a site, under Check where, click All pages.
To specify only the pages you have open, under Check where, click Open page(s).
To specify pages from the Folder List, select the pages you want, and then under Check where, click Selected pages.
If the Folder List is not available, click the arrow next to Toggle Pane, and then click Folder List.
To specify the active page, under Check where, click Current page.
Specify the accessibility guidelines you want to check for conflicts.
Specify the types of items you want to show in the accessibility report.
To include items that are considered errors, select the Errors check box.
To include items that may need to be adjusted, select the Warnings check box.
To see a list of items the report does not list that you need to check manually, select the Manual checklist check box.
The check may take some time to complete, depending on the number of options you selected. The Accessibility panel opens when the check is complete.
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