I’m following up on my post about LJ accessibility. I would have simply replied in the comments, but I think it’s an important topic.

Web site accessibility, just like building accessibility, is about making resources available to everyone regardless of any physical disabilities they may have. You want to have all your friends able to visit your home, or all potential customers able to enter your business, right?

What about having everybody able to read your website?

Many people who have visual impairments use screen readers. Websites that aren’t designed with accessibility in mind are very difficult to take in with a screen reader.

Other people may be unable to use a standard pointing device and need to use alternative navigation. Accessible websites work for them. Others don’t.

While I don’t assume that my website or LJ is very high on anyone’s reading list, I’d like to make them as accessible as possible as a matter of principle. (If I had my druthers, our entire home would be wheelchair accessible, too—and someday, it will be.)

If you are in charge of any organization’s site, I urge you to take accessibility into account when designing it. Here are some links for you.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines

These guidelines explain how to make Web content accessible to people with disabilities. The guidelines are intended for all Web content developers (page authors and site designers) and for developers of authoring tools. The primary goal of these guidelines is to promote accessibility. However, following them will also make Web content more available to all users, whatever user agent they are using (e.g., desktop browser, voice browser, mobile phone, automobile-based personal computer, etc.) or constraints they may be operating under (e.g., noisy surroundings, under- or over-illuminated rooms, in a hands-free environment, etc.). Following these guidelines will also help people find information on the Web more quickly. These guidelines do not discourage content developers from using images, video, etc., but rather explain how to make multimedia content more accessible to a wide audience.

Cynthia Says Portal (How can I not like that name?

Cynthia is a web content accessibility validation solution, it is designed to identify errors in design related to Section 508 standards and the WCAG guidelines. The main purpose of this portal is to educate web site developers in the development Web Based content that is accessible to all. This online test only validates one page at a time. Note this demo will test about one (1) page per minute / per site.


This free service will allow you to test web pages and help expose and repair barriers to accessibility and encourage compliance with existing accessibility guidelines, such as Section 508 and the W3C’s WCAG. To learn about products to test websites of all sizes for accessibility issues, please visit the accessibility section on

Section 508: The Road to Accessibility

In 1998, Congress amended the Rehabilitation Act to require Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities. Inaccessible technology interferes with an individual’s ability to obtain and use information quickly and easily. Section 508 was enacted to eliminate barriers in information technology, to make available new opportunities for people with disabilities, and to encourage development of technologies that will help achieve these goals. The law applies to all Federal agencies when they develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology. Under Section 508 (29 U.S.C. ‘ 794d), agencies must give disabled employees and members of the public access to information that is comparable to the access available to others. It is recommended that you review the laws and regulations listed below to further your understanding about Section 508 and how you can support implementation.

Cyn is Rick's wife, Katie's Mom, and Esther & Oliver's Mémé. She's also a professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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