Web Design References
Web Design Glossary: A
attribute can be used in conjunction with
element to give the long form of an abbreviation, allowing
screen readers to speak the full word or phrase. Use of
abbr element is part of the University of Minnesota
Web Accessibility Standards because screen-readers sometimes
attempt to pronounce abbreviations. It is also in WCAG
(priority 3). Example markup:
<abbr title="University of Minnesota
For more information consult
Abbreviations & Acronyms.
- Accessibility (Web)
"Accessible" means a person with a disability is afforded the opportunity to acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services as a person without a disability in an equally effective and equally integrated manner, with substantially equivalent ease of use. The person with a disability must be able to obtain the information as fully, equally and independently as a person without a disability. Although this might not result in identical ease of use compared to that of persons without disabilities, it still must ensure equal opportunity to the educational benefits and opportunities afforded by the technology and equal treatment in the use of such technology.
- Department of Justice and The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights: South Carolina Technical College System Resolution Agreement (PDF), University of Cincinnati Resolution Agreement (PDF), Youngstown State University Resolution Agreement (PDF)
- Accessibility Supported
- An accessibility supported technology means that it works
with assistive technologies and the
accessibility features of operating systems, browsers
and other user agents.
accesskey is an
attribute. It is meant to help users who navigating without
a pointing device, such as a mouse. Access keys are intended
to be a means of specifying a keyboard shortcut for moving to
- Adaptive Technology
- Sometimes known as assistive technology. It is software
or hardware that has been specifically designed to assist
people with disabilities in carrying out daily activities.
Assistive technology includes wheelchairs, reading machines,
devices for grasping, etc. In the area of Web Accessibility,
common software-based assistive technologies include screen
readers, screen magnifiers, speech synthesizers, and voice
input software that operate in conjunction with graphical
desktop browsers (among other user agents). Hardware
assistive technologies include alternative keyboards and
- Affinity Diagram
- Affinity diagramming is a categorization method where
users sort various concepts into several categories. This
usability method is used by a team to organize a large amount
of data according to the natural relationships between the
items. Basically, you write each concept on a Post-It note
and tack them onto a wall. Team members move the notes to
groups based on how they feel the concept belongs with other
concepts. For more information consult
Object Model, and XML to create interactivity on the web. For
more information consult
alt attribute is used to provide
equivalent content for those who cannot process images or
who have image loading disabled. That means that it serves the
same function as an image. Users of screen readers or other
devices cannot directly access images. Similarly, some
users choose to turn image loading off- especially those
with slower connections. These users rely on
attributes to obtain content.
- The term "alt tag" is sometimes incorrectly used instead
of the correct term "
alt attribute". In HTML their is no such thing
as an "alt tag". Technically, tags are things like
<p> or </p>
that you use to mark up your page and the alt attribute sits
inside a tag, like this:
<img alt="">. Calling an attribute a tag
is a common mistake.
- Alt text is generally a phrase or short sentence that
forms the content of the
alt attribute. It is contained
within the quotation marks:
This simple idea has great power as good alt text can help make a web
site accessible to people with disabilities. While there is no
official restriction on the length of alt text, it should be terse.
Many experts recommend 125 or fewer characters.
- Alternate Style Sheet
- These style sheets can be selected by the visitor as
alternatives to the preferred style sheet. This allows the
visitor to personalize a site and choose his or her favorite
scheme. They can also be used for accessibility (larger fonts
- Alternative Interface Access Protocol
- A technology under development by the National Committee
on Information Technology; it will allow a user to get web
pages in the form they choose for the device they choose.
- Americans with Disabilities Act
- United States public law enacted in 1990 guaranteeing
rights for people with disabilities. This law mandates
reasonable accommodation and effective communication.
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- A fatal, neuromuscular disease that causes rapid
deterioration of minor cells in the brain and spinal cord,
ultimately leading to impairment of mobility, speech, and
respiratory functions. It is more commonly known as Lou
- Anti-alias is a feature used to smooth out jagged edges
of an electronic graphic image.
- API stands for Application Programming Interface. It
a provides set of routines, protocols, and tools for building
software applications. For more information consult:
Application programming interface.
- A Java program or application designed to be embedded in,
and invoked from, a web page, or other application. It cannot
be run by itself.
- A-Prompt (Accessibility Prompt)
- A tool developed to assist Web authors in improving the
accessibility and usability of
documents. It is made available through a joint
collaboration between the Adaptive Technology Resource Centre
at the University of Toronto and the TRACE Center at the
University of Wisconsin. Although it's free, it's currently
only available for the Windows platform. For more information
- ARIA stands for Accessible Rich Internet Applications. It
is a bridging technology that can help make web applications more
accessible to a diverse range of users, including those who
use assistive technologies. It adds semantics for role, state,
and functionality of interface controls, such as menus, sliders,
trees, and dialogs as well as structural information for landmarks,
regions, and grids. For more information consult
- In programming, an array is an indexed collection of data
values. For instance in PHP, and array is a container for a
number of variables which all have the same name, but each
has a different index. Each member of the array is called an
element. You can create arrays in the same way you create
variables, as long as you remember to put square brackets
around them to denote the index. By default, arrays are
zero-based, that is, the first element of the array has an
index of zero.
- Assignment Operator
- In programming, assignment operators assign a value to a
variable. The equal sign is the most common assignment
- Assistive Technology
- Sometimes known as adaptive technology. It is equipment
or software that assists people with disabilities in
performing every day activities. Examples include screen
readers and voice input software.
an attribute is a characteristic of an element.
- Audio Description
- An Audio Description (AD) is narration, spoken out loud. It describes key visual elements that make visual media accessible. AD is used when visual content provides information not available through the audio alone. The descriptions include actions, gestures, scene change or any other important visual information that someone who cannot see the screen might ordinarily miss. An audio description can take a video and talk you through it. The narrator tells you what is happening on the screen that you cannot figure out just from the soundtrack alone. A good way to test is to listen to the audio without the video and check to see if the same information is being provided. If it is not, audio descriptions need to be provided. People with visual disabilities benefit most from audio description. People with cognitive disabilities can also find this information helps them to process visual content more easily. For more information, consult WCAG Success Criterion 1.2.3.
- Authoring Tool
- A software application used to create web pages and web