Monica's Accessibility Statement

last updated: June 03, 2004

Many of you may never notice the improvements to my site unless you are either using a current visual browser such as Opera, Mozilla, or Firebird, or a text browser. (For those wondering, IE6 is three years old as of this writing.) Even if you did notice some site changes, you probably hadn't considered why they were there. Some features help those on slow connections; some make it easier for you to resize the page so you can easily read it; and some help those who may be easily lost leave quickly. As an example, you can set cursors for specific items, change colors, sizes and views with these new browsers. You can even control the repeat on animated images.

Access keys

Most browsers support jumping to specific links by typing keys defined on the web site. On Windows, you can press ALT + an access key; on Macintosh, you can press Control + an access key. Opera presents their Keyboard shortcuts within the browser when users hold down the ctrl key and press the "b" key. Mozilla Firefox publicizes their most-used keyboard shortcuts. Mozilla Suite users can learn the keyboard shortcuts for their version by viewing the Help|Help Options menu area. Check your own browser help files for more specific instructions.

Nearly all pages on this site define the following access keys:

Standards compliance

  1. Pages which meet the published HTML and CSS standards have the matching banners near the bottoms of the pages.
  2. I am currently working toward accessibility standards compliance.
  3. Most pages on this site use structured semantic markup. H2 tags are used for main titles, H3 tags for subtitles, UL tags for the unordered lists, OL for the ordered lists, and LI for the items in those lists.

Navigation aids

  1. This site has a navigational text menu on nearly every page for fast page loading and navigation through the site.
  2. Navigation menu loads last on on most pages so text readers can skip over it. Exceptions are the Prestigious Events which use a pageset standardized for that event.


  1. Many links have title attributes which describe the link in greater detail, unless the text of the link already fully describes the target (such as the headline of an article).
  2. Links are written to make sense out of context.
  3. Many links have alternate text for the text browsers.
  4. With the exception of the Prestigious Pages, unvisited links use a shade of blue and visited links use a shade of red. Links do have underlines again. I have also created a color and border for items as you highlight them.


  1. Most content images used in this site include descriptive ALT and TITLE attributes. Purely decorative graphics such as pagesets include null ALT attributes. Example is the page dividers I use have ALT="--" and TITLE="".
  2. Please keep in mind there are several pages with animation which could flash and trigger a seizure if you are sensitive to animated images.
  3. Also, the SSI and script found on every page on this site can cause a flashing monitor in some cases.
  4. Warnings of pages with animated images appear on hover or mouseover in the link title="" attribute.

Visual design

  1. This site uses cascading style sheets for visual layout.
  2. Stylesheets call for font-families with a cross-platform selections of fonts. ie., windows, L*nux, and Apple operating systems users can see fonts likely installed on their systems.
  3. This site loads the page content before the navigation menu and page set both for faster surfing on a slow connection and to help the text browsers as well.
  4. If your browser or browsing device does not support stylesheets at all, the content of each page is still readable, and the navigation menu moves to the page bottom.
  5. Words underlined with dotted lines use the acronym tag to declare the nonabbreviated form of the acronym.
  6. Acronyms show the default cursor change into the Help cursor when the mouse moves over the specific text.
  7. I have attempted to create a color scheme for the site overall which has good contrast between the various elements for those with color recognition issues. Modern browsers allow you to bypass this scheme and choose your own overriding color, text and size preferences via CSS stylesheets.

Accessibility references

  1. W3 accessibility guidelines, which explains the reasons behind each guideline.
  2. W3 accessibility techniques, which explains how to implement each guideline.
  3. W3 accessibility checklist, a busy developer's guide to accessibility.
  4. U.S. Federal Government Section 508 accessibility guidelines.
  5. Dive into Accessibility: 30 days to a more accessible website walks you through modifying your own website for five different people.

Accessibility software

  1. JAWS, a screen reader for Windows. A time-limited, downloadable demo is available.
  2. Home Page Reader, a screen reader for Windows. A downloadable demo is available.
  3. Lynx, a free text-only web browser for blind users with refreshable Braille displays.
  4. Links, a free text-only web browser for visual users with low bandwidth.
  5. Opera, a visual browser with many accessibility-related features, including text zooming, user stylesheets, image toggle. A free downloadable version is available. Compatible with Windows, Macintosh, Linux, and several other operating systems.
  6. Mozilla Browsers, browsers with many accessibilty features and standard compliant.

Accessibility services

  1. Bobby, a free service to analyze web pages for compliance to accessibility guidelines. A full-featured commercial version is also available.
  2. Cynthia, a free service to analyze web pages for compliance to accessibility guidelines. A commercial version is also available.
  3. HTML Validator, a free service for checking that web pages conform to published HTML standards.
  4. Web Page Backward Compatibility Viewer, a tool for viewing your web pages without a variety of modern browser features.
  5. Lynx Viewer, a free service for viewing what your web pages would look like in Lynx.

Related resources

  1. WebAIM, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving accessibility to online learning materials.
  2. Designing More Usable Web Sites, a large list of additional resources.

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