Current set of guidelines: http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG/
The UK Disability Discrimination Act 1995 has bought about changes in legislation resulting in the need for companies to adhere to accessibility issues. Disability discrimination is illegal in the UK and companies could find themselves being sued if their website is not accessible. Read about the legal issues in the UK.
Compliance with the standards and guidelines takes a significant effort on the part of the website designer and the content editors, and The Big Bible Project strives to meet these principles. The principles are straight forward but the detailed implementation is not so straight forward. The basic principles are:
- Pages that transform gracefully
- Separate content from presentation.
- Provide text and text equivalents of all auditory and visual content. Text can be rendered in ways that are available to almost all browsing devices and accessible to almost all users.
- Create documents that work even if the user cannot see and/or hear. Provide information that serves the same purpose or function as audio or video in ways suited to alternate sensory channels as well. This does not mean creating a prerecorded audio version of an entire site to make it accessible to users who are blind. Users who are blind can use screen reader technology to render all text information in a page.
- Create documents that do not rely on one type of hardware. Pages should be usable by people without mice, with small screens, low resolution screens, black and white screens, no screens, with only voice or text output, etc.
- Make content understandable and navigable
- Making the language clear and simple
- Providing understandable mechanisms for navigating within and between pages. Providing navigation tools and orientation information in pages will maximize accessibility and usability. Not all users can make use of visual clues such as image maps, proportional scroll bars, side-by-side frames, or graphics that guide sighted users of graphical desktop browsers. Users also lose contextual information when they can only view a portion of a page, either because they are accessing the page one word at a time (speech synthesis or braille display), or one section at a time (small display, or a magnified display). Without orientation information, users may not be able to understand very large tables, lists, menus, etc.
W3C has a Accessibility checker: http://achecker.ca/checker/index.php