Accessible design is not just about making sites easier to navigate and read for people with disabilities, it's also about making web sites easy to use for anyone who has an alternative browser. There are browsers with text-only modes, browsers on hand held devices, monochrome displays, kiosks and aural browsers. We should design for everyone who uses the web, not just those in front of a desk, looking at a monitor.
Achieving a high level of accessibility has been one the main goals in the development of the MKDoc content-management system.
Web sites produced using MKDoc comply with the majority of the W3C WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
Some of the specific Web Content Accessibility Guidelines which MKDoc web sites automatically comply with are:
- Natural language usage
- MKDoc editors can specify the language of documents. This results in the language being set in the document and its HTTP headers. In addition, dynamically-generated links to that document specify the language. More information on language properties can be found in the Help documentation.
- W3C technologies and guidelines
- MKDoc has been designed to comply with most applicable W3C specifications. All document content is parsed to ensure that documents are valid XHTML. RDF metadata is dynamically generated.
- Clear navigation mechanisms
- MKDoc's Link Component is designed to assist authors to ensure that all created hyperlinks make sense when read out of context. MKDoc automatically provides metadata to add semantic information to pages and sites. MKDoc has a dynamic site map that ensures easy site navigation. The MKDoc template system ensures that site navigation is consistent.
All content on an MKDoc web site can be edited via a web interface. This interface has been designed to comply with W3C WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines level A, W3C WAI Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines level A, XHTML 1.0 Transitional and CSS 1 and 2.
Some of the Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines that MKDoc conforms with are:
- Accessible authoring practices
- MKDoc allows direct editing of document content using Text and HTML components. Alternative text descriptions for images are supported by the MKDoc Image Component.
- Standard markup
- MKDoc ensures that all documents are valid XHTML by passing all content through HTML Tidy before it is added to the database.
- Accessible content
- MKDoc ensures the separation of content from presentation through the use of templates.
- Accessibility to authors with disabilities
- Much of the MKDoc editor interface is the same as the public interface. However an additional navigation bar means that editors can navigate, search and control the structure of the site in an accessible fashion.
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