SEO, Mobile Web and Accessibility: The Trinity of Inclusive Web Development

a11yYOW 2011

Ottawa — December 2nd, 2011

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2011. Fully licensed under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

  • Attribution
  • NonCommercial
  • ShareAlike 2.5 Canada


Denis Boudreau

  • Over 11 years in the field of web accessibility
  • Chairman, Coopérative AccessibilitéWeb
  • Co-editor, Quebec Accessibility Standards (SGQRI 008)
  • Invited Expert, W3C
    • WCAG Working Group
    • Education and Outreach Working Group
    • WCAG Evaluation Methodology TaskForce
    • HTML5 Accessibility TaskForce

Before We Start

Global Accessibility Awareness Day. May 9th 2011. Worldwide. Contribute to the conversation at

Accessibility : A Tough Sell?

What was your experience? // What were the challenges?

  • Selling accessibility within the organizations?
  • Making accessibility happen within the industry?

The Times, They Are A-Changin'

Reviewing the Approach

  • Reviewing the accessibility game plan?
  • Some practices are sexier than others
  • If you can't beat them, join them!

A Few Positive Signs...

Screen capture of two tweets - in french: 1) L'accessiblité, pour donner des résultats, doit s'inscrire dans une logique progressive d'amélioration continue. 2) Le plus grand signe de maturité en accessibilité, c'est pouvoir reconnaître que les standards n'ont pas à être monolithiques.

KISS - Have We Lost Our Ways?

What if KISS simply meant going back to basics?

  • What is the intent of Web Accessibility?
  • Forget the obligations: aim for results!
  • Don't be paralyzed by the enormity of the task

How about: Keeping Information Semantically Structured?

Towards A Goal Of Inclusion

Crossing the distance, one step at a time

  • Progressively
  • Pragmatically
  • Realistically

Accessibility should not be about what legislators want. It should be about embodying inclusion and meeting the adaptation needs of end users.

Trinity Of Inclusive Web Development

Rethinking the Web Development Strategy

The 80/20 a11y Rule

Chain breaking.

Most recurrent accessibility problems encountered

Could we maybe just focus on covering the basics!?

Because What It Comes Down To Is...

Everybody Wants to Change the World, but Nobody Wants to Change.

How can we turn this around?

Accessibility And Mobile Web

W3C Recoomendation: Mobile Web Best Practices 1.0 - Basic Guidelines.

Mobile Web Best Practices 1.0

Mobile Web Best Practices 1.0 - Basic Guidelines

From WCAG 2.0 to MWBP (W3C Note)

From WCAG 2.0 To MWBP 1.0

Capture d'écran - Meilleures pratiques du Web mobile.

Bridging WCAG 2.0 and MWBP 1.0

Common Barriers

Screen Capture - Shared Web Experience (W3C).

Bridging WCAG 2.0 and MWBP 1.0

Shared Web Experiences: Barriers Common to Mobile Device Users and People with Disabilities

Accessibility And SEO

Rubick's cube with Google logos on some faces.

Search engines, including Google...

Again, some interesting parallels between specific SEO best practices and WCAG 2.0 success criteria!

SEO And Text Equivalents

Clusters of small cardboard tiles, each bearing a letter of the alphabet.

No salvation beyond text content!

Criteria WCAG Criteria Detail Level
1.1.1 Non-text content A
1.2.1 Audio or video content only A
1.2.2 Captions (Prerecorded) A
1.2.3 Audio Description or Media Alternative (Prerecorded) A
1.2.4 Captions (Live) AA
1.2.5 Audio Description (Prerecorded) AA
1.4.5 Images of Text AA
1.2.6 to 1.2.9 Additional Criteria AAA

SEO And Keyboard Navigation

Mousetrap with a piece of cheese.

No navigation possible beyond the mouse

Criteria WCAG Criteria Detail Level
2.1.1 Keyboard A
2.1.2 No Keyboard Trap A
2.4.3 Focus Order A
2.4.7 Focus Visible AA
2.1.3 Additional Criterion AAA

SEO And Content Structure

Schematic representation of a wireframe.

Table of contents and page organization

Criteria WCAG Criteria Detail Level
1.3.1 Info and Relationships A
2.4.2 Page Titled A
2.4.6 Headings and Labels AA
2.4.10 Additional Criterion AAA

SEO, Refreshes And Delays

Deux flèches en boucle symbolisant un refraîchissement accompagné d'un chronomètre.

Infinite loops and barriers to information

Criteria WCAG Criteria Detail Level
2.2.1 Timing Adjustable A
2.2.2 Pause, Stop, Hide A
2.2.3 Additional Criterion AAA

SEO And Efficient Navigation

Série de symboles représentant des éléments de navigation.

Coherent mechanisms and semantic structure

Criteria WCAG Criteria Detail Level
2.4.1 Bypass Blocks A
2.4.2 Page Titled A
2.4.3 Focus Order A
2.4.4 Link Purpose (In Context) A
2.4.5 Multiple Ways AA
2.4.6 Headings and Labels AA
2.4.7 Focus Visible AA
2.4.8 Additional Criterion AAA

SEO And Significant Hyperlinks

Series of interconnected spheres.

Determination of reputation

Criteria WCAG Criterion Detail Level
2.4.4 Link Purpose (In Context) A
2.4.9 Additional Criterion AAA

Overview - Setting An a11y Baseline

A winning combination on many levels

Criteria to Consider WCAG WMBP SEO
Text Equivalents
Keyboard Navigation
Content Structure
Significant Hyperlinks
Refreshes and Delays -
Efficient Navigation -
Color Contrasts -
Forms Associations -

SEO and Accessibility Overlap

Bringing Down Barriers, One at a Time

Selling accessibility inclusion more efficiently

  • Rely on other best practices to valorize access
  • Broaden the spectrum and increase the value
  • Propose a realistic plan that will ensure results
  • Get a commitment support from management
  • Transform the accessibility perception
  • Engage in a measurable process

Beyond Best Practices, "Web Quality"

Accessibility within a global quality process

  1. Recognize the progressive aspect of the process
  2. Give up on the desire to do everything at once
  3. Divide the work among the various stakeholders
  4. Prioritize every team member's action items
  5. Adapt the production lifecycle to the game plan
  6. Provide "real means" to achieve set goals

Start considering Web sites and Web applications as products meant to be constantly improved and bring down existing barriers, one at a time.

Finding Your WAI (way)


The W3C provides a lot of great resources

Finding Your WAI (way) to New Accessibility Resources

Lots of good stuff!

Keep Spreading The Word

Don't stop believing.

Thank You!

Denis Boudreau,

Coopérative AccessibilitéWeb
1751 Richardson street, suite 6111
Montreal (Quebec), Canada H3K 1G6
Toll Free: +1 (877) 315-5550

Twitter : @AccessibiliteWb / @dboudreau

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