Working Toward an Accessible Web (AccessComputing News - Jan 2010)

Tamitha Tidwell, AccessComputing Staff

In summer 2009, a dozen students attended a five-day Web Accessibility Workshop to learn how to evaluate the accessibility of websites and computer applications. Wendy Chisholm was the instructor. The students spent time discussing what it means for technology to be accessible and developed a set of criteria to measure the accessibility of a website. After measurable criteria were determined, the students learned about a variety of tools that are used to determine accessibility. Finally, students learned how to document their test results to provide constructive feedback to website developers and managers. Throughout the workshop, students evaluated actual websites to determine their accessibility. The class curriculum is available at

A few students were selected to become paid Interns. The Interns evaluated the accessibility of twenty-five different academic computing departments' websites. These websites had been evaluated several years prior to the 2009 Interns' evaluation. The goal was to determine if the websites had become more or less accessible, or if there had been no change since the previous evaluation. Findings from this evaluation will be sent to the website managers. The evaluation form is available at

If you would like the accessibility of your website evaluated, contact Wendy Chisholm at