The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has launched W3C Developers avenue, a one-stop page featuring the offerings and tools W3C has for Web Developers.
Among the offerings and tools W3C has for Web Developers are:
- Free and Open-Source W3C validators, checkers and tools
- Discourse, to discuss and learn
- W3C Community Groups to propose and incubate new web technologies
- Learning, in a W3Cx MOOC or a course from W3DevCampus
- Testing the Web Forward
The resources are organized into 4 sections:
In the comfort of your browser, learn Web technologies such as HTML, CSS from the people who create them.
Lead your code to its full potential with great and open source tools.
Get involved in the creation of Web standards. Yes, that’s where cool people hang out.
Test the Web Forward
W3C’s one stop shop for Open Web Platform testing.
Jeffrey Jaffe, CEO of the W3C, explained that W3C Developers would provide free and Open-Source W3C validation tools and accessibility checkpoints.
More info at:
NVDA (Non-visual Desktop Access) is a free and Open Source Screen Reader for Windows operating systems.
With this application, blind and visually impaired people are able to use most of the applications available in the market for windows operating system. It obviously allows even to surf the web with the most popular browsers, such as Internet Explorer, Firefox or Chrome, in a similar way to JAWS and Window-Eyes. NVDA supports 26 hotkeys to quickly move to webpage elements and also has an elements list that provides access to all the links, headings, and ARIA landmarks on a page. NVDA’s “focus mode” is used when interacting with forms, and it works much like JAWS’s “forms mode” to effectively enter form data.
NVDA also works with WordPad, Notepad and supports the basic functions of Outlook Express, Microsoft Word 2000/XP/2003 and Microsoft Excel 2000/XP/2003. Support for the free office suites LibreOffice and OpenOffice.org requires the Java Access Bridge package. Additionally, NVDA supports the WAI-ARIA standard for Accessible Rich Internet Applications, placing web applications within the reach of blind users.
Although at the moment it cannot be compared to the top commercial screen readers in the market, thanks to its Open Source framework is rapidly catching up and it can still be considered a good alternative solution.
Here is the link of the official website: http://www.nvda-project.org and we’d like to also link to a very interesting article named “Using NVDA to Evaluate Web Accessibility”: http://webaim.org/articles/nvda/
NVDA would be a good reference for all the people who are working with web accessibility, and obviously for those who don’t want to spend a lot of money buying a commercial screen reader. You can simply download the portable version, run it and point your browser at the website that you’d like to test. This tool will certainly help you get an idea of whether your website can be easily read from people with sight disabilities.
The ChromeVox screen reader is an extension for the Google Chrome browser that brings the speed, versatility, and security of Chrome to visually impaired users.
Its simple yet powerful navigation is easy to learn and quickly gets new users up to speed browsing web sites and web-based applications eyes-free. Check out the documentation at chromevox.com for the user guide, tutorial, keyboard shortcut and developer reference guides.
Note: ChromeVox is still in development and currently doesn’t work in conjunction with desktop screen readers. In order to best use ChromeVox on your computer, you will need to disable your desktop screen reader when using ChromeVox.
Other Google Accessibility extensions worth checking out are:
- ChromeVis: This extension magnifies any selected text on a webpage. You can change both the lens text color and the lens background color.
- ChromeShades: Reformats everything in your browser as text-only, organizing it more like how a blind user would perceive the page with a screen reader.
- ChromeLite: ChromeLite makes the web to display as text-only, just as how the web was originally conceived and the way a blind person would perceive it.