Tag Archives: Accessibility

How do you present CAPTCHA accessibly?

Following on from my presentation this week on Building an Accessible SharePoint System I had an interesting query from one of the attendees regarding accessible CAPTCHA methods.

For those who haven’t come across the term, CAPTCHA refers to the method of challenging users with a query that a human could pass but computers cannot (typically represented by images that display distorted text).

The query related directly to accessibility, and specifically how would you achieve CAPTCHA methods in an accessible way?

CAPTCHA themselves have the following statement on their website:

“CAPTCHAs must be accessible. CAPTCHAs based solely on reading text — or other visual-perception tasks — prevent visually impaired users from accessing the protected resource. Such CAPTCHAs may make a site incompatible with Section 508 in the United States. Any implementation of a CAPTCHA should allow blind users to get around the barrier, for example, by permitting users to opt for an audio or sound CAPTCHA”

This of course does not account for users who are both visually impaired and audible impaired (for example, a user who was both blind and deaf).

The solution to this could include a number of workarounds, including mathematical questions (“what is one plus two?”) or more “natural language” queries (“What is the colour of the sky on a clear day?”) but these could also present other problems.

Firstly generating enough of these prompts to disrupt predicting the responses to them would be problematic. You then have to consider cultural and language barriers, as well as other impairments such as textual or numerical dyslexia.
It’s certainly a difficult topic and one that is a challenge to get right without either leaving your site in an inaccessible state or leaving it open to programmatic mis-use.

To find out more about CAPTCHA you can visit the CAPTCHA Website or the CAPTCHA Wikipedia article.

Building an Accessible SharePoint System – Slide Decks, Source Code and Downloads (SUGUK London – November 25th)

First of all a big thank you to everyone who attended the session, and many thanks to Chris O’Brien for his presentation on ECM in SharePoint 2010 and also to Matt Taylor for pulling the strings behind the scenes and getting it organised!

You can find links to all of the Slide Decks and Source Code that was used in the Building Accessible SharePoint Systems session below.

There is loads of material, with links to all of the tools and websites I mentioned including the Disability Discrimination Act, the WCAG 2.0 and WAI ARIA guidelines, the new online SharePoint 2010 SDK and the ASP.Net 4.0 Whitepaper … plus links to all of the tools that were mentioned.

The slides also include notes on each of the topics and the demo notes refer to the source files that were used in the demo!

In the mean time if anyone wants to contact me with any questions feel free to use the medium of your choice:

Email: martin.hatch@contentandcode.com
Twitter: @MartinHatch

Cheers, thanks for coming and hope to see you all again soon!

Let me know if you have any trouble accessing them.

Otherwise you can get the individual files below:
[Update – some of the links were broken before – fixed now!]

Thanks again!

Presenting at SUGUK London 25th November

Yep, I’m taking the plunge and finally presenting publicly 🙂
I’m going to take the stand to talk about Developing an Accessible SharePoint System based on our experiences in designing and building the Intranet and Website for the Royal National Institute for Blind People (RNIB).
I’ll be going into technical detail about development techniques for customising the front-end and back-end interface of SharePoint, as well as some of the more rounded issues around accessibility (such as the age old "accessibility versus compliance" discussion).
I’ll also hopefully get the opportunity to show off our new SAS (SharePoint Accessibility Solution) framework and show the audience an example of a WCAG 2.0 AAA system running on MOSS 2007.
Please feel free to come along (assuming you are in the London area on November 25th, arrive 6:00pm for a 6:30pm start!). It’s free to attend, and Microsoft usually do a good show by providing free pizza, tea and coffee! 🙂
You can sign up at the SUGUK forum thread here:
Look forward to seeing you there!

Standards Compliant SharePoint 2010 – Too good to be true??


Well it seems not. Microsoft have really pulled out all of the stops this time around, with standards compliant, cross browser compatibility and even accessibility hitting the conference headlines.


The first item of note is that SharePoint 2010 aims to be W3C XHTML compliant. This is a massive leap towards making SharePoint 2010 a truly robust platform, worthy of both internet facing sites and global internal systems.


I saw a demo of an embedded video in the Monday afternoon Web Content Management  session where a video was streamed from a Document Library (another new SharePoint 2010 feature) and it was loaded in FireFox with no plugins or downloads, full screen streaming and buffering.


But the biggest impact is bound to be around the statement that one of the major release goals for the SharePoint 2010 release is that the entire interface of SharePoint 2010 meets WCAG 2.0 AA compliance! This includes editing and authoring of content! This is absolutely massive, and represents a huge push from Microsoft to really respond to the community feedback that accessibility is a subject to be taken seriously.


Of course, there is bound to be community discussions around the ideology that "compliant" is not the same as "accessible" (which we at Content and Code know all too well, having developed several systems for the RNIB) but this is still a massive step forward and certainly shows a continuing respect of standards from Microsoft and good news for the future of compliant software.

SAS (SharePoint Accessibility Solution) – WCAG 2.0 AAA reusable framework for SharePoint

I am proud to finally announce the official release of SAS (SharePoint Accessibility Solution) by Content and Code.
The release of an accessible framework for SharePoint is a massive step for both SharePoint, Content and Code any organisations looking for an accessible SharePoint platform.
This framework was used (and developed) for the RNIB Website (which I posted about a few weeks back: RNIB – World’s first AAA website launched in SharePoint).

"Accessibility is mandatory for many organisations, allowing access to the web for all. Our SharePoint 2007 Accessibility Framework allows sites to be built rapidly without sacrificing SharePoint functionality."

– Tim Wallis, CEO, Content and Code

By all means check it out and tell me what you think 🙂


RNIB – World’s first AAA website launched in SharePoint

It’s official, I am extremely proud to announce the launch of the world’s first ever AAA accessible SharePoint website…
RNIB – supporting blind and partially sighted people
I am the SharePoint Solution Architect on this project, and I am pleased to present the key features as:
The difference is that ALL functionality on this website is presented accessibly (including backend editing and administration!)
Feature Set:
  • Full WCAG 2.0 AAA XHTML rendering
  • Accessible feature-set
    • WYSIWYG Page editing and publishing
    • Full list item editing
    • Accessible Web Part editing {Add | Remove | Update properties}
    • Full list views and list editing (including document libraries, Check-in Check-out and content approval)
    • Site Administration (Permissions | Navigation | Basic site settings | features | Recycle Bin | View Site Content}
All of this is built on our unique and totally re-usable SharePoint Accessibility Solution (SAS).
If you would like to know more, or have any feedback then please get in touch!