Meeting WCAG 2.0 for inclusive museum websitesPaper
Kate Chmiel, Museum Victoria, Australia
WCAG 2.0 recommends techniques and approaches to making web content more accessible. For museums, meeting these standards is the online equivalent of a ramp in a gallery: a logistical challenge that ultimately makes things better for everyone. Traditional objections to building a ramp—'it will ruin the design of the space', or 'it will consume resources we could use elsewhere', or 'so few people will use this, it's not worth doing'—are now echoed in the online sphere. How are digital practitioners in museums and galleries meeting countering these objections? What are pragmatic ways for museums to meet WCAG 2.0 standards, and who within institutions can facilitate it?
This paper will formalise ad-hoc and ongoing investigation by Museum Victoria staff working in this area, drawing from published resources aimed for audiences at various levels of expertise, including
* Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/
* How-to guides, such as http://www.artbeyondsight.org/mei/wp-content/uploads/web-access-and-screen-reader.pdf\ and http://museum.wa.gov.au/explore/blogs/morgan-strong/top-3-tips-website-accessibility
* Publications intended for broader applications from which museums can draw, e.g. 'A Web for Everyone' by Sarah Horton & Whitney Quesenbery [Rosenfield Media, 2013] and 'The Visual Made Verbal: A Comprehensive Training Manual and Guide to the History and Applications of Audio Description' by Joel Snyder [Dog Ear Publishing, 2014]
I will also interview staff working at institutions selected for case studies for their tips and tactics.