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Web accessibility

 

Introduction

Information technology is flourishing at  King Saud University, especially with the emergence of new electronic services epitomized to its students, faculty, and personnel. This IT boom changed the methods and means of research and communication among its members. Moreover, KSU website is increasingly providing  specialized sites and services  for all its information resources, deanships , colleges and university centers.

        King Saud University is always seeking to have a leading role in establishing the foundations of the information society which uses modern technology to advance scientific research and prepare a generation of students who excel  in  communication skill. KSU website is always adding to its database an increasing number of on-line services including news and information, as well as learning resources for a wide range of users (current and prospective students, staff, parents, etc.). Therefore it is the duty of the university to ensure that these resources can be accessed by all regardless of their capabilities. A web page accessible to everyone means that it is easily accessible and understood by all, regardless of their capacity, location, experience, and in-hand technology. Based on its leading role, KSU initiated the process to configure its web pages accessible to everyone by publishing the guidebook  "University Guide for Web accessibility."

This initiative  is the first step towards implementing the university's policy for Web accessibility. The university's policy for Web Accessibility is an intuitive added value to the  university's policies and plans aiming at fitting the campus for all through the commitment to provide whatever is necessary to facilitate the access of its  students, staff, and visitors to benefit from the programs, services, and opportunities to the maximum extent possible. By adapting the policy, we are aiming to  achieve the following objectives:

  • Establish a legal framework to ensure that the contents of the electronic university pages are available to all who wish to access, in compliance with KSA laws and ethical principles, and in accordance with the principles of UAP.
  • Enable all Web pages that contain official information of the University and that have been created, updated, or modified after the effective date of this policy to be  compatible with the global access  standards.
  • Maintain a minimum level of accessibility standards for the Web pages directed to the local  community.
  • Encourage IT designers to exceed the minimum web accessibility standards so they become accessible to all.
  • Maximize the principle of Equitable Use for stakeholders of the university electronic resources and services. 

 

 

Technical regulations for building Web sites for people with disabilities

Accessible websites are the most important technical applications to provide electronic services through the Internet to all users. Accessibility means that people with disabilities can perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the Web, and that they can contribute to the Web.  An accessible website not only helps deliver messages wider across, but also improves the general usability for all users. It also helps building a caring and inclusive society. When designing an accessible web page, developers should take these key factor into consideration:

First, accessible template:  the structural organization is built to gain  access to the information, services and materials through menus, windows,  forms and tables.

Second, accessible content: ensure  access to the data and information, whether this data was in the text or image or video clip or animated template.

Third, compatibility with web browsers: ability to browse the website through various web browsers without malformation of the website's structure and  content.

Fourth: compatibility with assistive technology: ability to access the services and content without errors when using  screen-reading devices, or assistive software and hardware designated to individuals with disabilities  such as alternative keyboard or Braille Sense device.

 

accessible template

is The ability to access the site template is one of the web accessibility standards. The structure of the site makes it easy to access information, services and materials through the menus, frames, forms, tables, and it provides a better focus on the site content. It also makes it more visible to search engines, including Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.

 

(W3C Global), established a set of standards to regulate connect accessibility in website. These standards are shared  with about 350 organizations interested in the web development field such as Apple, Adobe, BBC, Canon, CWI, Cisco , Ericsson, Google, HP, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, and many others.

 

 

The following design principles guide W3C's work.

Web for All

The social value of the Web is that it enables human communication, commerce, and opportunities to share knowledge. One of W3C's primary goals is to make these benefits available to all people, whatever their hardware, software, network infrastructure, native language, culture, geographical location, or physical or mental ability.

Web on Everything

The number of different kinds of devices that can access the Web has grown immensely. Mobile phones, smart phones, personal digital assistants, interactive television systems, voice response systems, kiosks and even certain domestic appliances can all access the Web.

Web for Rich Interaction

The Web was invented as a communications tool intended to allow anyone, anywhere to share information. For many years, the Web was a "read-only" tool for many. Blogs and wikis brought more authors to the Web, and social networking emerged from the flourishing market for content and personalized Web experiences. W3C standards have supported this evolution thanks to strong architecture and design principles. 

Web of Trust

The Web has transformed the way we communicate with each other. In doing so, it has also modified the nature of our social relationships. People now "meet on the Web" and carry out commercial and personal relationships, in some cases without ever meeting in person. W3C recognizes that trust is a social phenomenon, but technology design can foster trust and confidence. As more activity moves on-line, it will become even more important to support complex interactions among parties around the globe.

 

 W3C standards define an Open Web Platform for application development that has the unprecedented potential to enable developers to build rich interactive experiences, powered by vast data stores, that are available on any device. Although the boundaries of the platform continue to evolve, industry leaders speak nearly in unison about how HTML5 will be the cornerstone for this platform. But the full strength of the platform relies on many more technologies that W3C and its partners are creating, including CSS, SVG, WOFF, the Semantic Web stack, XML, and a variety of APIs.

W3C develops these technical specifications and guidelines through a process designed to maximize consensus about the content of a technical report, to ensure high technical and editorial quality, and to earn endorsement by W3C and the broader community.