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Make TWiki accessible according to US (Federal) law Section 508

It is important that sites made with TWiki are accessible to disabled people. When TWiki is used in a US government (federal departments and agencies) setting, it is required that the site builders adhere to the law known as "Section 508".

On this page:

The number of disabled persons is perhaps larger than you think. To give some percentages:

  • 3.5% of the American population has "vision problems" (7,310,000 people)
  • 3.0% of the American population has "difficulty using hands" (6,272,000 people)
(from Building Accessible Websites)

TWiki already has a VoluntaryProductAccessibilityTemplate and is compliant with virtually all accessibility guidelines.

TWiki has some accessibility problems. Take Bobby for a spin with the TWiki.WebHome page.

How TWiki can improve

to write...

Related twiki.org topics

Issues/bugs/possible improvements:


General resources:

Creating accessible web sites:

Testing for accessibility:

-- Contributros: ArthurClemens, PeterThoeny


This subject should be taken seriously. It probably does not take much time to make TWiki accessible to disabled people; with the low RequiredEnvironmentForTWiki we are probably already closer to accessability then many other web sites.

-- PeterThoeny - 26 Sep 2003

I've edited the text above to reflect the fact that this is a US (Federal, not state) law. Most European countries probably have similar laws or are in the process of enacting them. I agree this is important - like I18N, it's about ensuring a wider audience can use TWiki, but in this case it's a legal requirement. From looking at the Bobby report, it seems that a large number of quite small changes may be required.

(I also fixed the non-ISO-8859-1 apostrophe in "Joe Clark's" above, which would probably confuse screen readers.)

-- RichardDonkin - 26 Sep 2003

For clarity, making TWiki accessible does not mean you can't use CSS. On the contrary: separating markup and content makes content more accessible to text browsers and screen readers. CSS should not be applied thoughtlessly, just to make the layout fancy. If carefully designed, CSS and usability and accessibility go hand in hand. TWikiSystemRequirements (CSS: no) should be updated in that respect.

-- ArthurClemens - 26 Sep 2003

I agree about the use of CSS - it is possible to do this in such a way that older browsers and Lynx can still use TWiki quite efficiently. I think the move to CSS should happen for a number of reasons, including accessibility.

-- RichardDonkin - 26 Sep 2003

Dive Into Accessibilty is the best site I've encountered for understanding how to build an accessible website using CSS.

-- MattWilkie - 27 Sep 2003

I am changing this to a ParkedProposal until we have an owner.

-- PeterThoeny - 2009-11-24

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Topic revision: r16 - 2009-11-24 - PeterThoeny
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