Web Accessibility

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Glossary

This section serves as a glossary and clarifies some of the terms you may be unfamiliar with when we talk about accessibility

Accessible PDFs:
Electronic PDF documents that can be used by anyone, whatever their special needs may be, without any barriers or restrictions.
Audio description:
When someone cannot perceive all the information conveyed in a message because the information contained is visual and sound information is either unavailable or insufficient, a voice recording is used to describe the parts of information that would normally be captured visually.
Accessibility compatibility:
This means that the web page is accessible to support products. This enables anyone using this kind of software to interact with the functionality of the web pages and read their content with no accessibility barriers.
Accessible videos:
Audio-visual content with alternatives for ensuring accessibility for any user with a sensory impairment or disability (visual or auditory). To do this, they may need to use audio descriptions, subtitles, textual transcriptions or sign language.
Browser:
Also known as web browser. The computer program that enables information to be interpreted and presented in HTML language.
Certificate of compliance:
When all the pages in a web site comply with all the WCAG 2.0 guidelines, the web site owner can obtain a certificate or seal of compliance to prove accessibility.
Device independence:
According to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) device independence is based mainly on the idea that no matter the device or devices used for accessing information, it will always be available and accessible to users, making the web universal and accessible to anyone, anywhere, at any time and using any device, preventing the web from being fragmented into areas that are accessible only to certain devices. The main aim is to improve users' experience and reduce costs by developing standards that enable information to be accessed from any device. For example, a web page that functions no matter which device is used means that being able to interact with it will not depend only on using a mouse.
Disability:
The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines disability as any kind of limitation or absence (owing to an impairment) of the ability to do an activity in the way or within the margins of what is considered normal for a human being.
Device:
Depending on the context, the word device can be used to describe any of the components of a computer or its peripherals, and as a general term for an artificial object with a particular mechanism.
Double A or AA levelAA:
The level set by web content accessibility guidelines (WCAG 2.0), which a web site owned by a public authority in the Spanish State must comply with by law. The WCAG 2.0 guidelines set out three accessibility levels:
Level A:
A basic requirement for some user groups. Failure to comply prevents some people from accessing information.
Level AA:
Aimed at removing major barriers to access. Failure to comply could make it difficult for some people to access information.
Level AAA:
Improves accessibility, but failure to comply does not prevent users from accessing information.
Electronic documents:
These are documents produced in electronic format by a computer application or a digital version of a paper document. Some of the most common electronic documents are those generated by word processor, spreadsheets and PDF format documents.
Font or typography:
The model or design used for a particular character (letter) or text.
ICT
Information and communication technology.
MWI:
(Mobile Web Initiative) Initiative of the W3C mainly aimed at improving users' experience in accessing the web from a mobile device. Some of the MWI technical recommendations are the Mobile Web Best Practices.
MWBP guidelines:
This is version 1 of the Mobile Web Best Practices and they explain how to ensure that accessing web content from a mobile device is a rewarding experience for the user.
Program objects using other technologies:
Web pages are requiring increasingly dynamic content and greater interaction. To achieve this, developers sometimes include program code within the web page code (such as JavaScript) or objects designed using other technologies, like Flash.
Screen reader:
A program that reads screen content to users via a voice synthesiser. Screen readers are used mainly by visually impaired or blind people. Screen readers can normally only read text (or textual alternatives to graphic objects) on the screen.
Screen magnifier:
Programs developed to enable visually impaired or partially blind people to see the content displayed on a computer screen in an enlarged format.
Smartphone:
Smartphones allow users to choose which applications they want to install and use. This means that users can personalise the range of applications installed on their smartphones depending on their needs and preferences. A smartphone is a mobile phone with features that up to now were only available on a personal computer.
Standard:
A set of standard rules describing the requirements that a product, process or service must comply with, aimed at establishing a basic mechanism for ensuring that various elements of a machine or a program are compatible with each other.
Style sheets:
Cascading style sheets (CSS) are a simple way of describing how a document will be shown on screen or how it will look when printed, or even how the information in a document will be spoken via a reading device. This way of describing styles offers developers full control over the style and format of their documents. CSS is used for giving styles to HTML and XML documents, separating content from presentation. Styles define the way in which HTML and XML elements are shown.
Subtitle
Text that appears on video screens and is the written transcription of the information being spoken on the video soundtrack.
Support products:
Also known as technical aids. Programs and machinery designed especially for helping people with disabilities to carry out their daily activities, for example, wheelchairs, reading machines, devices to hold on to and so on.
Textual equivalents:
Also known as text alternatives. Textual equivalents convey the same information as shown in a visual object (images, for example) enabling this information to be perceived by users of support products (also known as technical aids), cases where users cannot or do not wish to download images, search engines and so on.
User interface:
This is the medium through which the user and the device (PC, laptop, television, etc.) interact or communicate with each other. Examples of interfaces include a keyboard, screen, mouse, and so on.
Voice recognition:
Software program used as an interface between human and machine that converts oral instructions into data that can be recognised by the computer, enabling someone to interact with their computer or other device by using their voice.
W3C:
The initials of the World Wide Web Consortium. Defines itself as an international community that develops standards (technical specifications and directives) that serve as reference for building an accessible, interoperable and efficient web, where increasingly robust web applications can be developed.
WAI:
The initials of the Web Accessibility Initiative working group of the W3C, responsible for developing international accessibility standards such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), that oversee the creation of accessible web pages.
WCAG 2.0 guidelines:
This is version 2 of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and they explain how to make web content accessible for people with some kind of disability.
Web accessibility:
Enabling anyone with a disability or special needs to use the web.
Web site:
A set of common pages (in the same domain, sub-domain or internet directory) adapted for the web and accessed via a web browser.