DevOps

Knowbility OpenAIR Competitors Expand Inclusive Design Skills with IBM Accessibility Tools

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To help designers and developers create accessible websites and content, IBM is supporting the annual OpenAIR web accessibility challenge by making its accessibility testing tools available to the competitors. Organized by Austin-based Knowbility, the 19th annual OpenAIR pairs participating teams of web developers and designers with registered non-profits to create or improve their website and make it more accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities.Knowbility logo. Knowbility is spelled out with the "o" replaced by a person in a wheelchair.

Knowbility supports the independence of children and adults with disabilities by promoting the use and improving the availability of accessible information technology. IBM has been working Knowbility for more than 15 years, and by providing access to its tools it is helping further inclusive design and development expertise for the 30 teams participating in this year’s competition.

IBM is giving participants access to the following tools to help speed development and design efforts, and manage conformance to industry standards as it creates accessible websites:

  • Dynamic Assessment Plugin (DAP): a browser extension that integrates automated, accessibility testing with standard browser development tools. DAP is designed to allow OpenAIR developers to quickly identify accessibility issues and evaluate potential fixes, including those related to Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) implementations. The DAP also provides teams with issue details and examples to help them understand potential approaches for addressing accessibility issues.
  • Digital Content Checker: a web service that allows users to easily upload and verify the accessibility of HTML content and EPUB documents. The service quickly examines content, provides a detailed report of all accessibility violations, and then recommends how to fix the issues so the content conforms to standards and regulations before being published.
  • Automated Accessibility Tester: a web service designed to automate accessibility reporting and auditing capabilities directly within the Selenium testing framework. Users can improve the quality of their testing environment by adding accessibility checkpoints that run repeatedly during development so violations can be corrected before deployment.

The two cloud-based accessibility services, Digital Content Checker and Automated Accessibility Tester, are also available for a free trial to anyone who signs up on IBM Bluemix.

OpenAIR runs from Oct. 11 – Nov. 11, 2016 with winning teams announced at an awards ceremony in December 2016.

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