SharePoint Accessibility Resources

I've been working on implementing accessibility requirements for a public facing site on MOSS. Though keywords such as "SharePoint accessibility" provide a number of results on Live Search or any other engine, I had difficult time in searching the appropriate resources. Thought it would be worthwhile sharing the resources that I found and providing a context around them. Here are these resources:

Microsoft's Statements/Papers on SharePoint Accessibility

We have couple of white papers and articles on this topic, however, search engines are yet to rank them better to come towards the top. Here are these:

  • Article: Accessibility features (as provided by Office Online)

  • Blog: Improvements in accessibility – Blog entry on SharePoint Team blog by Lawrence Liu. Though it's pretty old entry (April 2006) and was written for pre RTM version, but you can find a good summary of new and improved accessibility features. Most of this holds for RTM also. The blog groups the improvement areas in categories such as Headings, Navigation, Keyboard, Graphics, High Contrast – Low Vision, HTML Controls and also relates them to specific checkpoints from WCAG 1.0

  • Whitepaper: Deliver accessible solutions by using Office SharePoint Server - This downloadable white paper provides information and guidelines about the issues that organizations face when delivering Web solutions, including those built by using Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 that are accessible to people with disabilities. It's a pretty good paper to read when you are starting your journey on accessibility. It describes the available out-of-the-box (OOB) accessibility features in MOSS 2007 and also provides a very good summary on Accessibility Kit for SharePoint (AKS). If you want to know all about AKS in 4 pages, this is the article to read. However, if you are looking for best practices or implementation approaches – you need to look for a different paper. Have a look at the next one

  • Whitepaper: Best practices for developing accessible Web sites - This downloadable white paper provides information about designing and developing accessible Web sites in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. If you are looking for implementation best practices that you couldn't find in the white paper listed above, this is a very useful resource. In this paper, Waldek Mastykarz, provides tips and techniques that are categorized in different areas such as General (HTML, javascript), .Net, MOSS, and IIS. You'll find tips such as appropriate MIME type, things to ensure while writing custom controls e.g. use Render method RenderControl

Other Resources


Accessibility in General

  • E-Book: Understanding Accessibility - A Guide to Achieving Compliance on Web Sites and Intranets will assist you in achieving compliance with U.S. federal standards and W3C Guidelines for Web content. From the book home page – "This book is for Web Authors, Project Managers and basically any individual or team that is faced with the challenge of creating an accessible Web site or retrofitting a Web site to make it accessible. If you are new to accessibility we suggest you start at the beginning and read the entire book. If you are tasked with repairing sites that are not accessible, this book will serve as a reference and guide. If you review sites for accessibility this book will help you to select tools and understand accessibility requirements."

  • W3C Resources:

    • Official W3C Recommendation for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 -

    • Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) – Provides all resources from W3C such as Introductions, Techniques and Guidelines on Managing and Evaluating Accessibility

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