A11y First Project

1. Background

From Remediation to Proliferation– Mainstreaming the Accessibility of Web

This project seeks to change the website model into one where the authoring environment supports accessibility by default when making or editing new web pages. As a result, website creators will be able to make accessible products without needing the same understanding of the complex reasoning behind the current accessibility standards or the actual technical processes needed to enact those requirements.

This project has been heavily influenced by the OneNet WYSIWYG editor developed by the Illinois Department of Human Services.

2. Goal

Beyond Accessibility Checking and Accessible Authoring

New features will be implemented as plugins that modify the behavior of, and add functionality to CKEditor such that authors produce documents that are accessible to all users, including those with disabilities.

These new features either prompt authors to provide accessibility information for particular components (e.g. images, tables) as they are being added to the document, and which typically lack such information. These features will guide authors to insert elements with the proper semantics (e.g. heading, list), such that readers using assistive technologies are provided with relevant semantic information (e.g. “heading level 3” or “list with 7 items”).

3. Key Technologies

CKEditor API

The project started with the goal of creating a WYSIWYG editor for making accessible content. After some research, CKEditor was chosen as the base WYSIWYG editor to work from, as opposed to other WYSIWG editors, or building one from scratch.

The project will develop CKEditor (a WYSIWYG editor) plugins, A11y First Editor, that promote the creation of accessible content and the remediation of inaccessible content.