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Web Accessibility Task Force: Divide and Conquer

By Brian Egan on December 1, 2009 4:33 PM | Permalink

In the previous blog post I discussed the guidelines I suggested we follow with regard to web accessibility. Although that discussion remains open, and I encourage more feedback, I think it would make sense not to get too hung up on that conversation.

Today, I would like to discuss the various action items this task force needs to accomplish and the timeframe in which they can be accomplished, and then begin dividing up the work.

Action Items

Here are the major action items I think would make sense for this task force to undertake, with the proposed name of the leader for that action item, proposed start date, and a few sub-items to give a little more information on the work involved with each part. It should be noted, the “leader” just means who will head up a particular subsection of this effort. For example, I don’t expect Cory to rewrite the style guide herself, but I would hope that she could take responsibility for that part of the task force to get the guide rewritten.

  1. Style Guide Revisions (Cory Lampert) – Start Date: January
    1. Formalize coding standards everyone has to follow
    2. Require Alt Tags
    3. No “Click here” links, etc…
  2. Automated Accessibility Testing (Brian Egan) – Start Date: January
    1. Choose the tool(s) (AChecker/CynthiaSays/Lift/etc)
    2. Create a plan to check all current pages with AChecker and our determined guidelines
    3. Build Accessibility into the Drupal Publishing workflow
      1. Use an editor with Achecker built in
    4. Generate lists of updated/modified pages that need testing
  3. Live Accessibility Testing (Alexis & Michael) – Start Date: January, testing begins when new CML site is finished
    1. Establish Working relationship with DRC
    2. Identify Tests that need to be run
    3. Which browsers need checking?
    4. Which pages are most important at first?
    5. Establish testing standards / methods of testing
    6. Who will run tests?
    7. How will they be scheduled?
    8. How often will they occur?
    9. Recruitment
      1. Work with DRC to find students who can help us perform live tests
      2. Possibly coordinate incentives
  4. Web Developers Training (Kee) â€“ Start Date: January
    1. Create Screencasts / Presentations for Web Dev Meetings
    2. Common Accessibility Pitfalls
    3. Working with the automated accessibility checker in Drupal
  5. Modify / Add to our website (Brian Egan) – Start Date: January
    1. Accessibility Feedback Form, something like:


Ok, I’ve been kind enough to put some of your names on these items (you’re welcome! =P), but that was just my best guess as to who would be interested in leading each particular section. In addition to leaders, we need a volunteers to help with each section, particularly the Live Testing. If you have an interest in helping out with one of these sections, please let us know in the comments!


Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I would like to help with the live accessibility testing.
Submitted by ehernandez on
Count me in! I'll volunteer for the Live Testing section.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Hi, I am very excited to hear about your efforts to ensure access for patrons with disabilities. When user testing becomes available I am willing to inform some of the students we work with about this effort so they can test your system. A couple of thoughts about issues we have delt with previously: 1. Instructor Reserves - Some students with vision disabilities struggle with the quality of the images of pages on reserve. Enlarging the text distorted the images. 2. Scrolling - Many of our students with physical disabilities have problems with scrolling so the less they have to do the better with regard to navigating single pages. 3. Tab order - a logical tab order is always helpful for our jaws users or for individuals that cannot physically use a mouse. Again, I am very pleased to see the work that your are doing. Regards
Submitted by clampert on
Thanks, Brian. I'm happy to help where suggested. As WMC Chair, I can also provide communication channels, as needed between, various groups as we work on projects and want to open up dialogues/get feedback. Also, just as a FYI- I am arranging a meeting with the campus Communications web team to share info and learn about any mobile web initiatives on the campus level. When I have the date, this interest group will be welcome to attend.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I volunteer for #4
Submitted by began on
Hi Clark, Thanks for dropping by and giving us some feedback! It's great to hear the DRC is so receptive to our efforts to improve the accessibility of our site as we aim to make significant updates in the coming months. I'll certainly take your list of trouble-spots into consideration as we redesign the site, and I actually hadn't even considered the quality of the instructor reserves -- thank you for pointing that out! Does anyone have ideas for how to begin solving this problem? Take care, and I look forward to working with you in the near future! Brian


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