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Web Design for Accessibility: Policies and Practice Article

, North Carolina State University, United States ; , University of Wisconsin, United States

AACE Journal Volume 10, Number 1, ISSN 1065-6901 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Chesapeake, VA


An essential part of web design today is designing for individuals with disabilities. Many government and educational institutions now require that all web pages follow accessibility guidelines established by the World Wide Web Consortium (http://www.w3.org/WAI/wcag-curric) and specified in Section 508 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act (http://www.section508.gov). As more and more facets of our lives become tied to Internet technologies, it is important that those involved with the placement of information on the Internet consider the obstacles faced online by individuals with disabilities and design with those obstacles in mind.
This article outlines a process-based approach to accessibility policy implementation. This process consists of several steps ranging from identification of applicable standards to final implementation. Identification and adoption of accessibility standards involves determining which standards apply to a given organization and adopting those standards, organization-wide. Validation is the evaluation of the site in terms of the standards adopted. Establishing an approach involves selecting the tools and techniques necessary given the needs and experience in the organization. Implementation is the final step integrating standards, tools and training.


Foley, A. & Regan, B. (2002). Web Design for Accessibility: Policies and Practice. AACE Journal, 10(1), 62-80. Norfolk, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).