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The new W3C website and its overhauled accessibility section

Alex Christie

11 November 2009

w3c_logoOn the 13th of October 2009, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) launched their new website. There was a bit of an uproar when people ran the new site through the W3C’s very own HTML and css validators. The HTML (with the pages using the XHTML 1.0 Strict doctype), validated on all of the pages, but people discovered that the CSS on the otherhand didn’t completely validate. The flagged errors were from a few CSS hacks that had been used, mainly from vendor specific extentions for Gecko and Webkit based browsers and from a few IE specific hacks.

The best thing about the website, apart from the clean and minimalist design, is the overhauled accessibility section of the website. This provides a good resource for convincing those who may not view accessibility as something which should be taken seriously – by clearly defining the benefits of accessibility and why accesibilty is so important. It provides a great overview of web accessibility as well as providing essential links to related resources for more in-depth further reading.

One quote which I found particularly prominent was:

“It is essential that the Web be accessible in order to provide equal access and equal opportunity to people with diverse abilities. Indeed, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities recognizes access to information and communications technologies, including the Web, as a basic human right.”
source: W3C Website

Reading through the content, I was pleased to see that they were mentioning things such as how to make your podcasts and web tools more accessible. The new website and its updated content, was very much needed – since the website is the number one source of guidance for building accessible websites, and therefore needs to reflect the current state of the web. I also particularly liked the ‘views’ menu at the top of the page, which allows you to select between ‘desktop‘, ‘mobile‘ and ‘print‘ views.

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