Quick Accessibility Quiz - The Answers | July 5, 2004
Thanks to everybody who took part. In the end the quiz turned out to be much harder than I’d expected, with only a couple of people getting all the answers right. I threw in a load of trick questions which tripped quite a few of you up. Still it was worth it just to see the discussions it provoked, which was half of the purpose in the first place. So without further adieu here are the correct answers.
- Q1. To get an A rating you need to
Answer d. None of the above.
- You quite often see the main nav duplicated at the bottom of a page as regular text based anchors. While this is a nice accessibility/usability touch it’s not a requirement. Priority one does require you to “provide redundant text links for each active region of a server-side image map” but using images as nav elements is OK as long as they have alternative text.
- The guidelines suggest creating a simple text/HTML version of a site only if all else fails. Generally this is considered bad form as it segregates the audience and could be seen as discrimination in it’s own right. Think how you’d feel if you were a wheelchair user and were forced to go to a special “disabled cinema” rather than watch the film with everybody else. Sure it’s a quick fix and arguably better than nothing, but separate “accessible” sites are no long term solution.
- It’s perfectly acceptable to use colour to convey important information, just as long as that’s not the only way you do it. For instance, it’s OK to use red text for error messages just as long as you use some other mechanism like emboldening as well.
- As such the correct answer is d. None of the above
- Q2. To get a AA rating you must
Answer b. Use relative rather than absolute units.
- There is a common misconception that frames are inaccessible which isn’t strictly the case. To get AA rating you can use frames just as long as you provide a description of the function of each frame and how it relates to the other frames in the frameset.
- This is the correct answer. For your site to get a AA rating the checkpoints state that you must use relative rather than absolute units. This is expanded in the techniques section where it says you should “Only use absolute length units when the physical characteristics of the output medium are known, such as bitmap images”. However things get a little greyer if you read the example text beneath the checkpoint which says “If absolute units are used, validate that the rendered content is usable”. This seems to almost invalidate what’s been said before and looks very open to interpritation. A good example of how unclear the language of the WAI guidelines can be.
- Obviously this was a trick question. It’s true that you must avoid deprecated tags. However <b> and <i> are not depricated. Another very common misconception.
- Obviously “all of the above” has to be wrong as a and c are wrong.
- Q3. To get a AA rating you must also
Answer d. None of the above.
- Fieldsets are useful to group long forms into smaller, easier to digest chunks. Doing so helps your document comply to checkpoint 12.3. However you only need to do this “when appropriate” so you’re not required to add a fieldset to every form.
- This one was a bit of a trick question. You should obviously try to make sure that any tables used for layout make sense when linearized. However this doesn’t apply to data tables which, when linearized may make little or no sense at all.
- So by a process of elimination, the answer must be d. none of the above.
- Q4. To get a AAA rating you must
Answer c. Make sure all the pages share a similar design.
- There is a common misconception that, to make a site accessible, you must use CSS for layout instead of tables. While it is recommended that you use CSS for layout, a table based site can still get a AAA rating.
- It’s quite common to replicate the main nav at the bottom of the page as a little usability/accessibility bonus. However it’s not a requirement.
- To avoid confusion you should try and make sure that all the pages on your site share a common design.
- Obviously as c. is correct, “all of the above” must be incorrect.
- Q5. Which site is more accessible?
Answer d. Don’t know
- This was the question that got me started with this quick accessibility quiz. Accessibility isn’t about checking boxes, it’s about making the content of a site as accessible as possible to the widest range of users. Unfortunately a lot of people don’t look much further than a specific accessibility rating. It’s quite possible for an A rated site to be more accessible that a AA rated site. Take for instance a site that hits all of the priority 1 and 3 chechpoints, but misses one small priority 2 checkpoint. Such a site is likely to be more accessible that a site that hits all priority 1 and 2 checkpoints, but no priority 3 checkpoints.
- See above
- See above
- The only sensible answer has to be “don’t know” or more specifically can’t tell. The guidelines are called guidelines for a reason. They give you an indication of specific things that you can do to make a site more accessible. However you can’t tell if one site is more accessible than another just by their WAI or 508 rating. Accessibility is about people, not checkpoints, something that is all too often forgotten.
As I said, the questions were quite tricksy. A lot of you got very close, but I’m afraid only two of you got all of the questions correct. So I’m proud to announce that the winners on my quick accessibility quiz GMail give-away are Minz Meyer and Isofarro. Congratulations!
Posted at July 5, 2004 7:12 PM