Accessibility and Web Design Tools

I have written elsewhere about choosing tools to make your efforts at designing for accessibility easier. However, since I wrote my article, the W3C has stepped up with Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines 2.0. The guidelines give information about making the design tool itself accessible, and what the design tool should do to help the designer create accessible sites.

Tip: Workaround for poor longdesc support

W3C standards call for the use of a ‘longdesc’ attribute for images or other possibly inaccessible page elements. The longdesc attribute in a tag links to an HTML file that gives a long description of the inaccessible element. But browser support for longdesc is still somewhat problematic. So many people are now using a workaround that involves putting a ‘d’ after the element. The ‘d’ is made into a link to the long description. This practice is understood by people who need the long description information.