David Berman Communications
David Berman will help you repeat your successes

The New Standard on Accessibility: WCAG 2.0 … Web, Office, InDesign, PDF

la version française de ce séminaire et le manuel

(GC Standard On Web Accessibility, W3C WCAG 2.0, AODA, Section 508) course or keynote

For a fully keyboard-accessible alternative for this video, either view it in Chrome or any Android or iOS device, view in Firefox with the YouTube ALL HTML5 add-on installed, or disable Flash in current Internet Explorer.

We’ve put together a comprehensive, powerful and memorable event, where attendees walk away with immediately-applicable tips and techniques to make their sites and documents accessible.


Register For May 19, 2017 – Ottawa
Register For June 26, 2017 – Toronto

“One of the most inspiring speakers I have ever met. I enjoyed learning from him the entire morning and wish it would have been a full day”

– Cherrie Werestiuk-Evans, Government of Manitoba

“Excellent facilitator… great presentation”

– Patricia Slatlen, Shaw Media

“David used real-life examples, got people up and interacting. It was an amazing experience”

– Andrew Davies, Shaw Media

“Very knowledgeable and charismatic. Made the talk about a somewhat dry subject very interesting, and he never faltered on a question.”

– Bjorn Ramroop, Loblaw Digital

Course Description

It used to be that the only way to comply with accessibility standards for persons with disabilities or difficulties was to publish content in HTML. One of the most exciting parts of the new Standard On Web Accessibility and WCAG 2.0 is that it has become feasible for you to choose PDF as the only container for certain content on your Web site … but only if you know how. We’ve worked with industry leaders such as Adobe to put together this comprehensive and powerful course, where attendees walk away with immediately-applicable tips and techniques to make all their pages and sites more accessible.

De-mystify how to make online or offline Web and PDF accessible whether your source is Word, Excel, PowerPoint, InDesign… or existing PDF!

Most adults suffer from some level of disability or difficulty that can be mitigated through accessible technologies. And when we design for the extremes, everyone benefits.

Not only will you comply with the standards (AODA, WCAG 2.0, Standard On Web Accessibility, Section 508, PDF/UA…): you’ll be broadening the audience for your content while enriching the experience of existing users, reduce your publishing costs, and also improve your search results.

Meet the new accessibility laws faster, and with no programming knowledge required. Broaden audiences, improve Google reach, while making sites accessible to all. Spend a day with David Berman or his colleagues, rated #1 on this topic in North America, and learn how to comply with new laws and WCAG 2.0 guidelines on access for disabilities.

Whether you are new to accessibility and WCAG, or already familiar with WCAG 1.0, you’ll learn immediately-applicable tips and techniques in this powerful accessibility course.

This course incorporates adult learning principles and activities appropriate to a variety of learning styles, and qualifies for CEUs (certified by organizations such as the Center For Plain Language and PPAC).

Our course and manual contain everything you need to know in order to pass the CPACC certification examination.

“Inspiring, engaging … techniques I can use.”

– Liv Stenersen, Government Administration Services, Oslo (Norway)

“Easy to understand … passion for his topic…a great presenter…explained our issues in understandable ways.”

– Calline Au, Queensway Carleton Hospital, Ottawa

“The whole thing was incredible … amazing! We are better off knowing now what we didn’t know we didn’t know!”

– Tracy Noonan, Smiling Cat Design, Perth

“Helped me actually understand what we as an organization must do to mitigate.”

– Taylor Linseman, CHEO, Ottawa

“Great mix of humor and knowledge”

– Joy Moskovic, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, Ottawa

We will equip you with arguments why accessibility is important for everybody, then provide in-depth familiarity with federal and international guidelines that will help your Web and PDF content be a more effective resource for your entire audience. You’ll also get familiar with assistive technologies that help people with specific disabilities and difficulties.

Canada’s federal government led the world when it first introduced its accessibility-centric CLF policy, now replaced with its Standard On Web Accessibility and Standard on Web Usability. Our full-day course includes a thorough review of every pertinent standard that apply to accessible Web and PDF, including other policies which call for WCAG 2.0 Level A and AA compliance (such as U.S. Section 508, ADA, and Ontario’s AODA). These new standards allow PDF to be your primary format, but only if your PDF is truly accessible. We’ll cover everything from tables to charts to fillable forms to free testing tools you can start using immediately.

Finally, you’ll venture into where accessibility meets usability. Not only will you leave with ideas you can use right away, you may also gain a whole new attitude towards how technology can improve lives. By the end of the day you will not only be aware of why accessibility and standards affect everyone: you’ll be equipped with a thorough understanding of the best strategies to approach what needs to be done and how, in order to drive down costs, increase reach, and improve SEO.

“Excellent… knowledge I can use.”

– Sandra Clark, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Oslo (Norway)

“Focused and easy to follow.”

-Jason Hollett, gordongroup

“Great. He kept me listening and understanding.”

– Matthew Brunetti, Lixar IT

Each full-day participant leaves with a comprehensive 160+ page learning guide, detailing every relevant accessibility success criterion.


– Morten Budeng, King Design


– Sylvie Nyman, Indian and Northern, Affairs Canada

“Great, easy to understand, not overwhelming.”

– Steve Wong, Olson

“The talk was very useful because technical details were not glossed over, and specific examples were used to demonstrate possible solutions.”

– Bjorn Ramroop, Loblaw Digital


Impressions on David Berman e-Accessibility course at OCAD, 29 June 2015


Shaw Media talks about David Berman Communications onsite accessibility course

What’s Wrong

Computer-mediated accessibility to information represents the greatest liberation in human history. Most people in our societies live with some amount of physical or mental difficulty, and that can stand in the way of clear communication if proper design steps are not taken.

Although most professional development teams now create their products with the latest responsive and platform issues in mind, they still experience difficulty meeting or exceeding meeting accessibility standards. And when they do, they often spend more time and effort than they need to reaching and maintaining their products to those standards. By not understanding why each standard or technique exists, they risk doing unnecessary work, making the site less attractive or useful to the mainstream audience … and with perhaps mediocre results for people living with disabilities.


“Very good speaker – good sense of humour.”

– Johan Fong, House of Commons


– Sjur Kristiansen, Telenor Telecommunications Group

“Eye-opening. Love your method of teaching.”

– Jean Descrochers, National Research Council

“I enjoyed it all.”

– Robert Hallat, Public Service Commission

“Right on target.”

– Marius Monsen, Reaktor ID

“He knows what to do! This will guide us for the AA Standards”

– Bassil Wehbe, Agriculture Canada

What Makes This Course Unique

Our course developer, David Berman, is a consultant on strategy for large Web sites, and has worked on Web accessibility projects for many organizations including Statistics Canada, the National Research Council, BMO, and IBM. He has been the project manager of numerous accessible Web projects, has developed strategy and design for CFIA, CRA, CMHC, Health Canada, Canadian Heritage, Industry Canada, Veterans Affairs, and the International Space Station … as well as many private sector and non-profit organizations.

By addressing and understanding accessibility issues, Web developers can more effectively deliver their message to their whole audience, while complying with the legal and moral responsibilities, regardless of physical or mental impediment.


What You Will Learn

You will learn how to make your current sites more accessible by complying with current standards and guidelines. Specifically, you will learn:

First Half (morning of a full-day course)

  • why accessibility matters to everyone, not just those with disabilities
  • the major disabilities and challenges: what they are and how most of us have some level of difficulty that can be assisted by accessible design
  • assistive technologies we can typically use to mitigate these issues
  • examples of accessible multimedia
  • how accessibility will help your bottom-line
  • overview of regulations

Second Half (afternoon of a full-day course)

  • W3C WCAG 2.0 guidelines
  • current standards (AODA, Section 508, Canada’s Standard on Web Accessibility)
  • specific technologies and design techniques used to satisfy accessibility concerns
  • testing frameworks for accessibility issues
  • how to make PDF files more accessible
  • specific techniques to save money through accessible coding
  • where accessibility meets usability
  • draft standards on developing accessible PDF and metadata
  • specific technologies and design techniques used to satisfy core PDF accessibility issues
  • how to make PDF files more accessible
  • understanding of how enterprise-wide document development processes can save money and time while automating PDF generation
  • testing frameworks for PDF accessible

“Very good: made me think…”

– Bente Mollevik, Norwegian Savings Bank Association

“Great: very comprehensive. Touching on all aspects of accessibility.”

– Marc Iafelice, CFIA

“David really knows his topics. Very well done: got the point across in a way that can be apply to everyone.”

– Sean Strasbourg, CFIA


At the end of this event, you will:

  • know many techniques you can apply right away to make content more accessible
  • have a comprehensive understanding of W3C WCAG 2.0, PDF/UA, AODA, ADA, and other current government accessibility guidelines and how to meet them
  • be able to make informed decisions as to what degree to comply with accessibility standards
  • be aware of techniques that can vastly reduce the cost of publishing online
  • understand better the experience of those with disabilities using the Web, multimedia, and apps
  • know you’re doing the “right thing” by ensuring accessibility for all


– Steinar Sandum, Adax, Svelvik (Norway)

“Interesting content, really well delivered. Visual and engaging. Gives us a common language and approach.”

– Chris Cook, CFIA

“Although I am from a program with no technical background, this seminar will change the way we prepare/write/present documents, policies, directives, forms, etc for posting on the Web.”

– Sharon Drolet, Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Typical Agenda for Full Day Course

9:00 to 10:15: Why We Should Care, Deficits, Assistive Technologies

10:15 to 10:30: break

10:30 to 12:00: WCAG 2.0, AODA, PDF/UA, Section 508, and the new Standard on Web Accessibility, WCAG 2.0 Principle 1

12:00 to 13:00: lunch

13:00 to 14:30: WCAG 2.0 Principles 2 and 3

14:30 to 14:45: break

14:45 to 16:30: WCAG 2.0 Principles 4, Beyond AA: social media, email

16:30: David sticks around as long as you have more questions!


What You Get

When David Berman Communications hosts this course*, regular ticket holders receive:

  • a complimentary, comprehensive 160+ page learning guide, detailing every major accessibility guideline (also available separately for $97 with optional 1-on-1 distance coaching)
  • meals, snacks and beverages
  • a signed course certificate, suitable for framing
  • a thirty-minute one-on-one personal coaching tele-session with David within a month
  • the option to attend this course again in the future, as a refresherat no additional cost
  • the option to attend the first half on one date and the second half at a future date
  • money-back guarantee: if, after coaching and refresher, you don’t think you’ve got your money’s worth, we’ll refund your entire registration fee

(*If you are attending one of our courses hosted by another organization, confirm which of these items apply.)
Register or call 1-613-728-6777… or bring this event to your site: for a keynote, half-day, or full-day event, customized for your group.

Choose your date and register now

Prerequisites: None (no programming experience required)

photo of David addressing a theatre audience of over 100 people

Berman leading a workshop on accessibility in Oslo, Norway

“Clear and entertaining: will allow more strategic planning rather than just reactionary stumbling.”

– Steve Doody, Justice Canada

“This will make us better communicators.”

– Luc Bergeron, SSHRC


– Jean Leclair, Environment Canada

“Loved the examples. David is very engaging and knowledgeable facilitator. His passion is obvious. Will help me better evangelize.”

– Patrick Dunphy, CBC

“Excellent: very engaging speaker.”

– Jean-Marc Mondoux, Elections Canada

About our Expert Speakers

David Berman, the developer and trainer for all our course material and course leaders, is the principal of David Berman Communications. He has over 25 years of experience in graphic design and strategic communications.

David was appointed a high-level advisor to the United Nations on how universal design and accessible IT can help fulfill the Millennium Development Goals more rapidly.

In 2013, The World Wide Web Foundation had David personally audit the accessibility of benchmark Web sites from over 40 countries for their global report on the state of the Web.

He is a member of the ISO standards committee on accessible PDF documents.

His book (Do Good Design, Pearson/Peachpit, 2009) about how design can be used to create a more just world speaks about universal design and accessibility, and is now available in 6 languages, as well as braille.

He has worked extensively in adapting the printed word for electronic distribution, including software interface development.

He has much experience as a senior consultant in applying accessibility and standards to government Web sites, as well as to private sector clients such as IBM and BMO, both as a strategist and compliance testing/coaching leader. He regularly teaches accessibility principles as part of his professional development workshops, and developed custom workshops for the National Research Council and Ontario’s largest school board. His plain writing, design, and accessibility work include award-winning projects for the City of Ottawa, the Ontario government, and the federal government. Clients include Justice Canada, Canada Revenue Agency, Health Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food, the Region of Ottawa-Carleton and the Ontario Literacy Coalition.

David’s opinions have been featured in the Financial Post, the Globe And Mail, the Ottawa Citizen, the Montreal Gazette, Marketing, Applied Arts, HOW, and Communication Arts magazines, as well as ABC and CBS.

David ranks #1 on speakerwiki.org on this topic for a reason. His arc as an internationally-celebrated expert speaker has brought him to over 30 countries. He is a National Professional Member of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers (CAPS) and the Global Speakers Federation (GSF).

David is currently Ethics Chair of the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada, was named a Fellow (the highest professional honour for graphic designers in Canada) in 1999, and has served as a director and sustainability chair of ico-D, the world body for graphic and communications design.

Guest Presenters

We include guest subject matter experts within a full-day course. For example, he has been joined by:

  • Jeff Braybrook (CEO, Blueprint), former Deputy Chief Technology Officer for the Government of Canada

Who Should Attend

This course is targeted to all writers, editors, designers, programmers, developers involved in developing Web sites, documents, or new media projects.

  • communications professionals
  • writers
  • editors
  • content owners
  • word processors
  • graphic designers
  • instructional designers
  • software developers, mobile app and game developers
  • quality controllers
  • people who need to get their Web site compliant with current and future government accessibility standards (e.g. W3C WCAG 2.0, ADA, Section 508, AODA)
  • people who coordinate people who build Web sites

This course delivers all the knowledge required for Level A and Level AA awareness training as documented in the Government of Canada’s Accessibility Responsibility Breakdown (WCAG 2.0). This course incorporates adult learning principles and activities appropriate to a variety of learning styles, and qualifies for CEUs.


English or French available on-site.


One-day course, half-day course, or keynote presentation (we also provide this course customized on-site for your organization).

To be notified via e-mail of when we schedule new instances of this topic, subscribe to our E-Newsletter.

Comparison to Similar Courses from Other Providers

Course David Berman Communications Canadian School of Public Service (CSPS)
Course Name The new Standard On Web Accessibility Web Accessibility Standard for the Government of Canada (T710)
Duration 1 day: 0900-1615 with 1-on-1 follow-up 3 days: 0830-1630
Price: $354 to $649 $900
Location Multiple locations Ottawa
Track record of course: Since 2002 Since 2011
Presenter David Berman: ranked #1 on this topic in Canada (speakerwiki.org), national member CAPS ?
Open to: all public servants only


“Wonderful handout! The way extra information, like links and explanations, is included works beautifully.”

– Elizabeth Strand, Making Waves, Oslo (Norway)

“Very understandable and fun.”

– Liz Breines, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Oslo (Norway)

“Highly valuable.”

– Maureen Quirouet, Parliament of Canada


– Sylvie Nyman, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

“Excellent storytelling. Thanks!”

– Sarah Rosenbaum, Norwegian Knowledge Centre for Health Services

“Makes you feel you are part of the course.”

– Arup Ghosh, BMO Financial Group (Bank of Montreal)

“Excellent, eye-opening, and not preachy!”

– Carrie Walker-Boyd, Canadian Food Inspection Agency


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Reviewed March 30, 2016



For the convenience of course attendees, we provide this list of hypertext links and books cited in this course's learning guide roughly in the order they appear in the course/learning guide:

Instructional design software

Adobe Captivate accessibility
Adobe Captivate Help / Creating accessible projects
Adobe Captivate Accessibility Best Practices
Adobe Captivate 8 VPAT

Legislation, lawsuits, and standards

More examples of accessibility legal negotiations and settlements
Ontario's AODA Integrated Accessibility Standards (Ontario Regulation 191/11, April 2011)Ontario's AODA Accessibility Standards for Customer Service (Ontario Regulation 429/07) Compliance Manual

AODA rules for business and non-profits
The Accessibility for Manitoba Act
Manitoba's Bill 26

Argentina's accessibility legislation

Israel Standard 5568

Italy: The Stanca Act is the Italian law for government accessibility, from 2004, and is a mashup of WCAG 1.0 Level 1 and Section 508
Spain: Spanish Law 34 of 2002 for government accessibility that uses the Spanish standards organization, AENOR, standard UNE 139803:2004, broadly based on WCAG 1.0
Netherlands: 2006 decision legislates accessibility for government sites by end of 2010, and Web Guidelines broadly based on WCAG 1.0

Norway’s Anti-Discrimination and Accessibility Act, Section 14
eNorway 2009: Norwegian Ministry of Modernization strategy for e-government

“Section 508” of USA’s federal Rehabilitation Act Amendments (1998)
“Section 508” full standards
Australian government web accessibility standards and guidelines
Other International Government Policies Relating to Web Accessibility (CH, DE, DK, ES, EU, FI, FR, HK, IL, IN, IT, JA, NZ, PT, UK)
UN Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities
United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0
Techniques for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 by WAI (Web Accessibility Initiative)
Guidance on Applying WCAG 2.0 to Non-Web Information and Communications Technologies (WCAG2ICT)
EPUB 3.0 Overview
WebAIM’s WCAG 2.0 Checklist
Techniques and Failures for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 (latest version)
Comparison of WCAG 1.0 Checkpoints to WCAG 2.0 Success Criteria in Numerical Order
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 (latest version)
WCAG 2.0 Checklist (Appendix B)

Section 508
Sample Section 508 product VPAT
Empty VPAT 1.6 form
Sample VPAT 1.6 filled
Illinois IITAA – WCAG 2.0 Mapping
New York State Web policy points to Section 508
Web accessibility laws by states of the USA
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Individuals with Disabilities Act
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
ADA and schools
DOT’s Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA)
HHS Section 508 Accessibility Checklists
ACCESSIBILITY FOR ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT, 2005: AODA Integrated Accessibility Standards (Ontario Regulation 191/11, April 2011)
Introduction to Ontario’s Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation

ADA Accessibility Checklist For Existing Facilities (with New York State building code references)
The Americans with Disabilities Act Checklist for Readily Achievable Barrier Removal
Mobile Accessibility: How WCAG 2.0 and Other W3C/WAI Guidelines Apply to Mobile (2015)
W3C Standards for Web Applications on Mobile

Standard on Web Usability
Government of Canada’s new Standard on Web Accessibility
Standard on Web Interoperability
Standard on Optimizing Websites and Applications for Mobile Devices
WCAG 2.0 Conformance Levels
Sample Accessibility Notice
How to Make Presentations Accessible to All
Guidance on Applying WCAG 2.0 to Non-Web Information and Communications Technologies (WCAG2ICT)

Assistive technologies and techniques

Zimmerman Low Vision Simulation Kit is by Pittsburgh’s Dr. George J. Zimmerman
Cambridge Simulation Glasses
Cambridge Simulation Gloves
Impairment simulator software
Best source in Canada for JAWS software (as well as many other assistive technologies)
Filter Keys for Windows
Slow Keys for MacOS
Read Regular font, by Natascha Frensch
Comparison of accessibility features in various versions of Microsoft Windows
Search for assistive technology products
JAWS for Windows
NVDA (NonVisual Desktop Access)
Tingtun PDF Checker
Tingtun HTML Checker
Characters as Read by JAWS and Window-Eyes
Braille displays for MacOS
Braille displays for iOS
Braille commands for VoiceOver navigation from a braille display
BrailleBack: braille display third-party app for Android: (search Google Play for BrailleBack)
English to Braille online translator
BANA Guidelines and Standards for Tactile Graphics, 2010
Advanced on-screen keyboard example: ScreenDoors 2000
Tobii EyeMobile for Windows tablet
CaptionedText.com demo
aDesigner visual disability simulator (including HTML, OpenOffice ODF, Flash, Flex, Microsoft Active Accessibility (MSAA), IBM/Linux’s IAccessible2 (IA2) GUI)
Flash Techniques for WCAG 2.0
Plain Text Techniques for WCAG 2.0
Creating Accessible Adobe PDF Files
Preferred PDF reader for many power users with visual challenges: Qread used in conjunction with their screen reader
PDF/UA Implementation Guide
Berman's PAC flag import
PDF and WCAG 2.0 are non-contradictory (meeting one will never invalidate the other). See more at
W3C’s PDF Techniques for WCAG 2.0
Adobe’s PDF Accessibility Overview
Guide to the essentials of creating accessible PDFs with Microsoft Word and Acrobat Professional 8
PDF and WCAG 2.0 Webinar
Adobe’s WCAG 2.0 techniques for PDF
Adobe’s PDF Reference (fifth edition, for Version 1.6)
XML Forms Architecture (XFA) Specification 2.8
Adobe Captivate accessibility
Adobe’s Accessible PDF from Microsoft Word (2007)
Save As Daisy add-in for Word 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013
“Preparing InDesign Files for Accessibility”
Adobe Acrobat X Pro Accessibility Guide
Adobe Acrobat X Action Wizard for Accessible PDF
Adobe InDesign CS6 Accessibility Overview
Creating accessible PDF documents with Adobe InDesign CS6
InDesign accessibility facts
Importing Word files (into LiveCycle Designer 10)
Understanding the differences between static and dynamic pdf forms
W3C’s PDF Techniques for {Flash}

iOS Accessibility

Making Your iOS App Accessible
Debug Accessibility in iOS Simulator with the Accessibility Inspector

Quick Reference Guide for VoiceOver on iOS
Test Accessibility on Your Device with VoiceOver

Android, Windows Phone Accessibility

Making Applications Accessible by Android Developers
Windows Store apps: Guidelines for Accessibility


WCAG 2.0

WCAG 2.0 Conformance Levels

Success Criteria Level A and AA, in order

Guideline 1.1 Text Alternatives

WCAG 2.0 Success Criterion 1.1

WCAG 2.0 technique PDF1
WCAG 2.0 technique PDF4
MathPlayer example
NVDA extension that supports MathML and ChemML project funded by Stanford
MathHear (which has MathSpeak integrated)

Wiris's alternative text implementation

Guideline 1.2 Time-based Media

WCAG 2.0 1.2

Guideline 1.3 Adaptable

WCAG 2.0 1.3
Netflix films that include audio description
YouTube wrapped with Ajax
WCAG 2.0 1.4
Timed Text Markup Language (TTML) 1.0
STAMP (Sub-titling text add-in for Microsoft PowerPoint)
Magpie (for creating captions and audio descriptions for rich media)
Amara crowdsourced subtitling, free Amara editor, and Amara On Demand (paid service)
More guidance on how to deal with special situations
Shift Times command in Aegisub for Windows, Mac, or Unix
Improving the Accessibility of Tables
WCAG 2.0 technique PDF6
WCAG 2.0 technique PDF20
WAI-ARIA 1.0 technical specification
WAI-ARIA 1.0 primer
Can I use WAI-ARIA Accessibility features?
WCAG 2.0 technique PDF9
WCAG 2.0 technique PDF21
WCAG 2.0 technique PDF17
WCAG 2.0 technique PDF3

Guideline 1.4 Distinguishable

WCAG 2.0 1.4
Colour deficiency simulator (and image corrector)
Colour deficit palette tester
Corrective Lenses For The Colorblind by Dave Ludwig
An excellent explanation of colour contrasts for accessibility
Designing for an audience under a year old? See what human babies see
aDesigner visual disability simulator (including HTML, OpenOffice ODF, Flash, Flex, Microsoft Active Accessibility (MSAA), IBM/Linux’s IAccessible2 (IA2) GUI)
Colour Contrast Analyser for Windows in 10 languages
Colour Contrast Analyser for Mac in 8 languages (for the eyedropper, Colour Select> Colours> magnifying glass icon)
WCAG Contrast Checker Firefox Add-on
Jonathan Snook’s Colour Contrast Check
Contrast Analyser from The Paciello Group that has eyedropper for graphics … and in both official languages!
Check My Colours
GrayBit (browser based removal of all colour from a URL of your choice)
Luminosity Colour Contrast Ratio Analyser (Juicy Studio)
Pixel to Em conversion free tool
Google makes image recognition leap
Adobe Typekit
Adobe Edge Web Fonts
Font Squirrel
Google Web Fonts
WCAG 2.0 technique PDF7

Guideline 2.1 Keyboard Accessible

WCAG 2.0 2.1
WCAG 2.0 technique PDF11
WCAG 2.0 technique PDF23
User Agent Accessibility Guidelines
Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines

Guideline 2.2 Enough Time

WCAG 2.0 2.2

Guideline 2.3 Seizures

WCAG 2.0 2.3
Photosensitive Epilepsy Analysis Tool (PEAT) for Windows (or Mac via emulation) of avi files
Online Flash Test (for broadcasters, filmmakers,…)
Web Accessibility Toolbar for IE (from Paciello group)

Guideline 2.4 Navigable

WCAG 2.0 2.4
WCAG 2.0 technique PDF18
WCAG 2.0 technique PDF13
WCAG 2.0 technique PDF2

Guideline 3.1 Readable

WCAG 2.0 3.1
WCAG 2.0 technique PDF16
WCAG 2.0 technique PDF19

Guideline 3.2 Predictable

WCAG 2.0 3.2
WCAG 2.0 technique PDF15
WCAG 2.0 technique PDF14
WCAG 2.0 technique PDF17

Guideline 3.3 Input Assistance

WCAG 2.0 3.3
HTML5 form input types
WCAG 2.0 technique PDF10
WCAG 2.0 technique PDF5
WCAG 2.0 technique PDF22
University of Toronto’s AChecker
Total Validator Pro (discontinued online, better than ever offline)
CSS Validator
CSS Analyser (Juicy Studio)
Html Validator add-in for Firefox
JavaView (for standalone validation of XML against its DTD)
What is SMIL
Accessibility Features of SMIL

Guideline 4.1 Compatible

WCAG 2.0 4.1
WCAG 2.0 technique PDF12
W3C’s Understanding WCAG 2.0
Web Experience Toolkit
BBC Mobile Accessibility Guidelines
Conforming alternative versions
More on ROT
YUI Target Environments
W3C HTML Test Suite for WCAG 2.0
W3C CSS Validation service
W3C Markup Validation
W3C Link checker
W3C RSS feed checker
W3C’s complete list of Web Accessibility Evaluation Tools
Browser compatibility testing
Adobe Browserlab
Browser emulator for really early browsers
Fangs (Firefox extension) screen reader emulation
Screen size testing
Colour deficiency simulator (and image corrector)
WAVE Chrome Extension

Karl Grove Diagnostic CSS
HTML_CodeSniffer (and the Accessibility Auditor Bookmarklet)
aDesigner visual disability simulator (including HTML, OpenOffice ODF, Flash, Flex, Microsoft Active Accessibility (MSAA), IBM/Linux’s IAccessible2 (IA2) GUI)
W3C mobileOK Checker
Fangs (Firefox extension) screen reader emulation
David’s fave NVDA add-on
NVDA voices
Arabic NVDA
Tenon online accessibility tester for code or URL
IBM Bluemix Digital Content Checker
Deque’s FireEyes Worldspace Firefox extension to Firebug
Hacker’s Keyboard for Android (yes, you can have your Tab key back!)
PAC PDF Accessibility Checker
Excellent discussion threads on fixing PAC 2.0 errors
PDDOMView has not changed since 2003. It is part of every Adobe Acrobat SDK including the latest for Acrobat 11
AxesPDF QuickFix
CommonLook PDF
CommonLook PDF Manual
CommonLook Clarity
AxesPDF for Word features
CommonLook Office
Axaio MadeToTag
CKEditor 3.x Accessibility Guide
Creating Accessible Content

Accessible content management

AEM 6.0: Creating Accessible Content
Drupal Accessibility
Drupal Accessibility Group
Drupal Modules that Improve Accessibility
Accessible templates for Joomla
WordPress Accessibility
Make WordPress Accessible
Gravity Forms – WCAG 2.0 Form Fields plugin
Simone accessible WordPress theme


WCAG 2.0 Technique PDF8
Dublin Core Metadata Initiative
HTML5 differences from HTML4
Can I Use HTML5? (by browser)
WAI-ARIA 1.0 technical specification
WAI-ARIA 1.0 primer
Use Google Docs with a screen reader
David Woodbridge excellent stream of how-to posts
Making a blog accessible
Article example on accessible accordion view
HTML Writers Guild – AWARE Center
IBM Human Ability and Accessibility site
Evaluation, Repair, and Transformation Tools for Web Content Accessibility
Accessible Document Design Using Word 2010: An Overview
Accessible Digital Office Documents (ADOD) project
Assistive Technology for Students with Disabilities
Assistive Technology | FAQs
Family Health – Guide to Learning Disabilities
Rehabilitative and Assistive Technology: Overview
Benefits for People with Disabilities
Medicare and Social Security Disability: Benefits for Disabled Individuals
American Association on Health and Disability
Local Doctor Finder: Search by Disability
Home Modifications – Funding Sources
Disability Home Accommodation Cost Guide
Fire Safety & Disabilities Guide

Ten Reasons to Choose ATutorSpaces

White papers

G3ICT white paper on CRPD implementation

3Play Media white paper on Solving Web Accessibility


Poster on Carleton's READ initiative presents "The New Standard on Accessibility: WCAG 2.0" course on Friday November 1 2013.Poster on Carleton's READ initiative presents "The New Standard on Accessibility: WCAG 2.0" course on Friday November 1 2013.







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David Berman speaks at edUI 2010: Beyond Green: Designing Our Sustainable Future


edUI 2010
Virginia Foundation for The Humanities, Charlottesville VA | November 2010


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11 Responses to “The New Standard on Accessibility: WCAG 2.0 … Web, Office, InDesign, PDF”

  1. Geordie Graham says:

    Hi David,

    I wanted to say that I loved taking your course last week. I do have one major question though. How would you recommend performing accessibility checks with native mobile applications for iOS and Android after they have been released? Are there any apps that can do this yet?

    • David Berman says:

      Hi Geordie,

      Thank you for the kudos on the course. I really enjoyed your level of participation and kind words about it. And OCAD is so awesome.

      Regarding your question about performing accessibilty audits on native mobile applications (iOS, Android, Windows, Blackberry,…): absolutely yes: we have techniques for testing every WCAG 2.0 criterion on apps. (In fact we have an entire course and manual on this). It is trickier than desktop, because the tools are not as plentiful. Many of the techniques are easiest using emulators on the desktop, or attaching a bluetooth keyboard, or mirroring to larger monitors. However there is always a way!

  2. Jennifer Beer says:

    I have to say, I find it somewhat amusing that you include a poorly captioned video in a post on making sure web presences are accessible… or should I say “making sure their web presence is art sesame” since that’s what your captions say! Closed captioning is included in WCAG 2.0 level AA, is essential for the Deaf and hard of hearing, as well as second language learners, people watching media in noisy places or places with a lack of privacy, adds clarity where speakers have unfamiliar accents or there is unfamiliar terminology, and has the added benefit of enhancing SEO. If you’re committed to web accessibility, caption your video!

    • David Berman says:

      Jennifer, mea culpa! We had Google’s raw machine translation wrongly enabled on that version. We’ve swapped in our proper captions so it is now as it should be. “art sesame” indeed! What a great example of machine captioning gone wrong: I’ve screen captured it for my WCAG 2.0 course where we show people how to use machine captioning as a starting point to efficient excellent manual captioning. Thank you again for taking the time to point it out.

      Also thank you for sharing your excellent list of why competent captioning matters: total agreement! One more thing to add to your list: captioned video also created a starting point for manual or machine translation to other languages. One of my favorite examples of when captioning benefits everyone is when we’re at the gym and there are five treadmills and five televisions tuned to different channels: so of course they turn the volume off and turn the captions on! When we design for the extremes, everyone benefits.

      PS. I went to make a thank you donation to chs.ca and there is a security problem on your Donate Now button: your security certificate is reporting as expired which definitely discourages donors.

  3. sjw says:

    Hi David, I have a new question for you. In IE8 when using a select box that contains more than one option there is a browser problem when zooming in to increase the size of the font for a user that has decreased vision. The select box remains at a relatively stable size, so the more the user zooms in the more the option displayed is cut off, and just shows the tops of the word. Do you know of a solution to this issue?

    • David Berman says:

      Hi. This could be one of several issues. Could you please email me a screen capture, and tell what OS version you are running, to make sure I am understanding correctly? Thank you.

  4. sjw says:


    My question relates to the use of acronym tags, however, I realize that this tag is being deprecated in HTML5. Regardless, the use of the tag whether it be acronym or abbr remains the same. As you know the federal government has its own language in acronyms and often page content can contain not just many instances of a particular acronym but also may have many different acronyms present as well. Understanding the correct implementation of this tag will save hours of rework in the future. Please correct any wrong statements and elaborate on the misunderstood statements below.

    * The correct syntax of an acronym tag is Treasury Board Secretariat.

    *All acronyms can be tagged but the title element is always used in the tag when present.

    *All acronyms should be tagged to force the screen readers to read them as separate letters instead of a word but the title element should only be used in the first instance. For example: ISO.

    *Once the first instance of the acronym has been coded with the correct syntax as in the first bullet, it is not necessary to wrap the other instances of the acronym in a tag.

    *If the tag is presented without the title element most browsers present an indicator that there is attached info. However, for the sighted user this is incorrect but this does allow the unsighted user to get the acronym delivered correctly. Which way should have precedence in your opinion?

    *Acronym tags are not mandatory in WCAG 2.0.

    *Incorrect use of the acronym tag is a fail under Success Criteria 1.3.1 – Technique F43.

    • David Berman says:

      Hi! I’m glad you enjoyed our training session, and I thank you for these questions, as I’ve received many inquiries about acronyms lately, and am eager to share some clarity.
      You are correct that ACRONYM is deprecating in favour of ABBR, as an acronym is simply an instance of an abbreviation. Assistive technologies generally treat both the same way (a notable exception being around IE6 which alone supported ACRONYM yet not ABBR).
      Therefore, in my responses to each of your statements I’ll dwell on ABBR though my comments also apply to ACRONYM…

      sjw: * The correct syntax of an acronym tag is Treasury Board Secretariat.
      David: For HTML, the correct typical syntax would be <acronym title="Treasury Board Secretariat">TBS</acronym> for the acronym element, though I recommend you replace acronym with abbr. For PDF, you would use an /E structure instead.

      sjw: *All acronyms can be tagged but the title element is always used in the tag when present.
      David: Almost true. Using the ABBR element to make an abbreviation clearer is one way of doing so, in which case the TITLE attribute should be present. However, there are some situations where an ABBR (or ACRONYM) isn’t technically possible (for instance, within an alt attribute when providing a text description of an image) in which case it is best to simply spell out the term. Also, when an acronym is first used, it is a common technique to spell out the term in parentheses immediately following the acronym) for all to “see”: in such cases also using an ABBR or ACRONYM would by dysfunctionally redundant (as, for instance, someone using a screen reader would then wrongly hear the expanded form twice).

      sjw: *All acronyms should be tagged to force the screen readers to read them as separate letters instead of a word but the title element should only be used in the first instance. For example: ISO.
      David: Untagged, the screen reader is going to read an all caps word as separate letters. And I think that all instances should be coded identically (see my next response…)

      sjw: *Once the first instance of the acronym has been coded with the correct syntax as in the first bullet, it is not necessary to wrap the other instances of the acronym in a tag.
      David: Although there is a debate around whether to TITLE every instance or just the first instance, I’m in the every-instance camp, for many reasons:
      – there are cases where the same abbreviation will appear with two different meanings on the same page, for example “Dr. Bombay, 123 Riverside Dr., Ottawa”.
      – not every assistive technology is going to elegantly apply the one instruction to all instances of an identical abbreviation, and we are always seeking device independence
      – down the road a developer or algorithm may cut and paste a portion of your page into another page, and thus lose the rule
      – it is more difficult to do quality assurance if not all instances are handled the same way

      sjw: *If the tag is presented without the title element most browsers present an indicator that there is attached info. However, for the sighted user this is incorrect but this does allow the unsighted user to get the acronym delivered correctly. Which way should have precedence in your opinion?
      David: I recommend that you always include the title attribute. Also, don’t forget the value of potentially also including a LANG attribute whenever the expanded version is not in the language of the page.

      sjw: *Acronym tags are not mandatory in WCAG 2.0.
      David: Nothing is mandatory in WCAG 2.0 . Rather, for the example of Treasury Board of Canada, their site is governed by the Canadian government’s new Standard On Web Accessibility, which makes compliance mandatory for all WCAG 2.0 success criteria of Level A and Level AA (with some exceptions). Because the WCAG 2.0 success criterion for expanding on abbreviations (3.1.4) is designated Level AAA, including ABBR (or ACRONYM) is not mandatory under the Standard On Web Accessibility.

      sjw: *Incorrect use of the acronym tag is a fail under Success Criteria 1.3.1 – Technique F43.
      David: Yes, that would be a Level A failure. I think what we’re getting at here is someone wrongly using ABBR or ACRONYM to force the visual dotted underline effect in many browsers. Of course, more generally, there are other success criteria which would also be failed with wonton miscoding of ABBR (or any element for that matter).

      All around, ABBR elements are a blessing, and one can even control them further through CSS. And, although designated Level AAA, the folks in marketing for sites seeking A or AA compliance will also appreciate the potential control that the use of ABBR can give to how any abbreviated brand “sounds” online.

      Final tip: don’t forget that you can also use ABBR in the opposite way in table header rows, providing a more terse alternative heading that will have the benefit of reducing the read-out-loud time of phrases that will be read repeatedly by a screen reader.

      • sjw says:

        Thanks for your response David. It will help us to determining how we will implement this tag in the future. In regards to your statement “Untagged, the screen reader is going to read an all caps word as separate letters.”, I have listened to our pages with both Jaws and NVDA and did not find this to be true. Is there a setting in these readers that would be set to ensure that all caps words will be read as separate letters?

        • David Berman says:

          You’re right: my statement is too broad. Both NVDA and JAWS have logic where if the abbreviation has sufficient vowels to be pronounceable AND the phrase is not in their exception dictionary, then they may try to sound it out (i.e. an acronym), rather than spell out each letter (i.e. an initialism). These algorithms are more likely to spell out when the word is all caps, but you still won’t necessarily get the result you desire: further discouraged by the fact that NVDA currently effectively ignores and , while JAWS ships with the user preference to expand them turned off.
          However, if you really want to make sure that a given abbreviation will be spelled out when the assistive technology and user preferences are ready to accommodate, here’s the deeper best practice…
          In your CSS, specify these styles:

          abbr.acronym {speak:normal;}
          abbr.initialism {speak:spell-out;}

          … now that you have established a class that distinguishes initialisms, then for each abbreviation you would prefer spelled out, you would code like this example:

          <abbr class=initialism>ISO</abbr>

          (note that you don’t need a TITLE in this situation, as this assumes you don’t want to present “International Standards Organization” in any case).

          You could go even deeper, with a class for truncations, for instance.

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