Constructing Accessible Web Sites

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There is a great book on web accessibility, five stars on

Indeed it is a great book - but it has been superceded by a new edition, called Web Accessibility - Web Standards and Regulatory Compliance - also 5 stars.

Constructing Accessible Web Sites, by Jim Thatcher, Paul Bohman, Michael Burks, Shawn Lawton Henry, Bob Regan, Sarah Swierenga, Mark D. Urban, and Cynthia D. Waddel was published by glasshaus in the UK, April, 2002 and republished by Apress, San Francisco, CA, July, 2003. ISBN: 1590591488. You can order the book now from

Some of my chapters of the book expand on the content of the Web Accessibility course that you will find here, including much more detail on techniques for web accessibility and on the way assistive technology responds to web content both with and without accessible coding techniques.

Other chapters, written by leaders in the field, include the most thorough presentation of accessibility and the law that I have read (Cynthia Waddell, ICDRI), a study of how web development tools deal with accessibility including a ranked comparison of the tools (Paul Bohman, WebAIM), and a chapter on Macromedia Flash (Bob Regan, Macromedia). Chapters introducing accessibility (Shawn Lawton Henry, UI Access), on Cascading Style Sheets (Sarah Swierenga, Usability and Accessibity Center, Michigan State University), on emerging technologies (Michael Burkes, ICDRI) and on web accessibility for the enterprise (Mark Urban, ICDRI) round out the picture.

As one reviewer on put it: "If you're going to buy one book on accessible web sites, this should be at the top of your shopping list."

An accessible version of the book

If you have purchased Constructing Accessible Web Sites and need an accessible HTML version because of a print disability, then write to me and I will see to it that you get the accessible CD.

Table of Contents

Here's the Table of Contents of Constructing Accessible Web Sites.


  • What is in This Book
  • Support/Feedback
  • Web Support

Chapter 1. Understanding Web Accessibility

  • Accessibility - Usability Synergy
  • Many Reasons To Provide Accessible Web Sites
  • Debunking Myths
  • Opportunity
  • Citations and Resources for More Information

Chapter 2. Overview of Law and Guidelines

  • What is the Problem?
  • Complaints Filed Due to Inaccessible Web Design
  • Development of Accessible Web Design Guidelines and Laws

Chapter 3. Assistive Technology and Accessibility

  • Screen Readers
  • Voice Browsers
  • Screen Magnification
  • Using your Browser to Check for Accessibility

Chapter 4. Creating Accessible Content

  • Text Equivalents
  • Color
  • Creating Accessible Tables

Chapter 5. Accessible Navigation

  • Skipping over Navigation Links
  • Creating Accessible Frames
  • Accessible Image Maps
  • Accessible Links

Chapter 6. Accessible Data Input

  • Accessible HTML Forms
  • Accessible PDF Forms
  • Forms for People Who are Deaf
  • Timed Responses

Chapter 7. Testing for Section 508 Compliance

  • Section 508 Testing
  • Bobby
  • LIFT

Chapter 8. Web Development Tools and Accessibility

  • Dreamweaver
  • FrontPage
  • GoLive
  • HomeSite
  • BBEdit

Chapter 9. Separating Content from Presentation

  • CSS Basics
  • W3C Working Group - CSS1 and CSS2 Specifications
  • Specific Techniques for Separating Content and Presentation
  • Testing and validation

Chapter 10. Accessibility and Macromedia Flash

  • Flash Player 6
  • Flash MX

Chapter 11. Implementing Accessibility in Enterprise

  • Model Accessibility Organization
  • Integration Strategy Overview

Chapter 12. Emerging Technologies

  • Data-Centric Technologies
  • Web Page Specific Technologies
  • Assessment and Repair Tools
  • Custom presentation and Device Independence

Chapter 13. U.S. Accessibility Law in Depth

  • Americans with Disabilities Act and the Internet
  • Section 255 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996
  • Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility

Appendix A. Quick Reference Guide

Appendix B. Glossary of Terms

Appendix C. Section 508 Guidelines

Sample content

Most of Chapter 7, "Testing for Section 508 Compliance" is available here.

Chapter 7 includes a section reviewing each of the Section 508 Provisions as to what can be checked algorithmically and what requires human judgment. That section is included here as "Testing for Section 508 Web Accessibility" The next section is an evaluation of Bobby WorldWide. And the following section is an evaluation of LIFT Online.

I chose two tools to discuss in the book. The number of these tools is growing. The following is a list of other web accessibility evaluation and repair software.

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