Information Regarding Accessibility (Section 508)

Last Updated 24-Nov-2003

General Description

This BLAF accessibility guideline summarizes BLAF compliance to accessibility standards, points to internal and external accessibility resources, and points to initial research conducted within the UI group regarding accessibility standards. The goal of this guideline is to inform UI designers and development teams of how BLAF guidelines are compliant with accessibility requirements.

This guideline document is organized as follows:

Guideline Attributes

Spec Version # - 3.1
Spec Contributors - Betsy Beier, Craig Louis, Mervyn Dennehy, Lisa Serface
UI Models - all models
Example Products - all products
Related Guidelines - all

BLAF UI Guidelines Accessibility Compliance

General Principles

There are many resources with detailed tips and guidelines on ADA accessibility compliance and web page development. For a recap of some of these tips, see initial W3C standards research, and for internal Oracle developers, Oracle Accessibility Program. This guideline document summarizes specific BLAF UI implementation recommendations and provides links to internal and external resources.

Research and Definitions

It is a federal requirement that Oracle web-based applications and guidelines are compliant with Section 508; federal procurement officers may not purchase electronic and information technologies that are not accessible to people with disabilities. This act ensures that people with disabilities will have equity in the use of electronic and information technology. From documentation found on the web, it is reported that 10-20% of many populations are affected with disabilities (not all are web accessibility issues, but many). For more details, see Initial Accessibility Definitions, Who is Affected by Accessibility Issues, and Oracle Accessibility Program.

Accessibility Mode

UIX supports an Accessibility Mode API which allows the level of accessibility support to be personalized. By default, UIX generates accessible HTML for all users. Currently three different levels or modes are supported:

If the application is set in one of the accessibility modes (Accessible or Screenreader), elements of the UI may be streamlined for Section 508 compliance or to take advantage of specific assistance technologies (currently limited to screen readers). For example, redundant links that may aid a sighted user but be confusing to a non-sighted user are turned off.

Note: A fourth mode, Low Vision mode, is under investigation to improve accessibility for people with low vision disabilities who use screen magnifier assistance technology. For these users, disabled UI elements (such as disabled buttons or tabs) may not have enough contrast to be visible. However, increasing the contrast between colors for these elements may cause people without disabilities to think the element is active or enabled. If Low Vision mode is implemented, certain colors may be changed in this mode, but not in other modes (if implemented, the Text and CSS Guideline will provide details).

BLAF recommends implementation of an end-user preference setting (in the global Preferences area) to allow the user to personalize his or her level of accessibility support for all his/her applications. See the Preferences Global Page section of the Global Page Templates guideline for details regarding end-user preferences. Also see the Accessibility section of the UIX Developer's Guide for more details.

BLAF Accessibility Compliance Summary

Given these external accessibility standards and Oracle's corporate stance, BLAF UI guidelines has chosen specific UI implementation recommendations to be compliant. Below is a summary. See individual guidelines listed below for details.


Internal Oracle ADA Resources

External Accessibility Resources

Open/Closed Issues