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Knowledge Society Agency (UMIC)
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AccessMonitor - Automatic Evaluator Developed by UMIC for the W3C Web Accessibility Guidelines

 - 02/02/2011

AcessMonitor LogoOn February 2, 2011, the Knowledge Society Agency (UMIC) made publicly available the beta version of AccessMonitor (text in Portuguese), the automatic evaluator developed by UMIC for the WCAG 2.0 – Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 approved by the W3C – World Wide Web Consortium on December 11, 2008, after a process of more than 8 years of open collaborative development of standards adopted by W3C and after the publication of 15 working versions before the final version. This new tool for assessing compliance with standards of accessibility of websites content, publicly available at no cost, results from the evolution of the tools developed and applied since 2005 by UMIC for the WCAG1.0. In fact, it builds up on the accessibility evaluation tool eXaminator (text in Portuguese) which was developed by UMIC for the WCAG1.0 and is freely available at no charge since December 2005.

The AccessMonitor (text in Portuguese), as the eXaminator (text in Portuguese) for WCAG1.0, considers as analysis levels the HTML element, the Web page, the website, and the directory (aggregations by ministries, sectors, etc.), allowing the submission for assessment of one Web page in the style of the W3C validations. It automatically performs 86 validation tests on three aspects, namely (x) HTML syntax, CSS (CSS2.1 and CSS3) syntax and compliance with the other WCAG2.0 rules, and provides an instantaneous accessibility report and a summary of results for immediate reading, contributing for an easier manual validation and correction of detected errors.

The AccessMonitor (text in Portuguese) has the following innovations: it can be used from any device that runs a web browser, being fully universal; it uses an index of overall rating on a scale of 1 to 10, following the philosophy of the web@x (text in Portuguese)  index for the eXaminator (text in Portuguese); it presently is the only tool in the world for the WCAG2.0 that has a dynamic certification seal.

The AccessMonitor (text in Portuguese) was developed with the intention of also being a learning tool on accessibility errors and on ways to overcome them. It also allows the analysis of a single webpage, of a whole website and of a set of sites (e.g., sectoral directories). The provision of information on accessibility errors is contextualized, rendering the W3C documentation easier to apply. It is noteworthy that at the initiative of UMIC, this documentation on the WCAG2.0 is available in Portuguese since February 25, 2009, less than two and a half months after the publication of the original versions in English by the W3C, namely the following documents in Portuguese, which together are over 700 pages:

At the time, on the UMIC initiative the Portuguese became the 2nd world language in which a translation of the WCAG2.0 recognized by the W3C was published, just a few weeks after the release of a Hungarian translation, which however did not involve all this documentation. Even today, Portuguese is the only language other than original English in which this whole set of documents is available. In fact, the Portuguese is also today the only language other than English in which the entire set of WCAG1.0 documentation is available, and that also through UMIC.

The eXaminator (text in Portuguese), on whose development and application experience the AccessMonitor (text in Portuguese) was built, has become one of the most popular evaluation tools for the WCAG1.0 in Portuguese and it also was provided by UMIC openly and at no cost since it was launched in December 2005. For more than 5 years it produced instantaneous web pages accessibility reports, supported professional self-learning on Web accessibility, was the basis for training in Web accessibility, was used as a diagnostic tool in Web accessibility studies, and it is used for monitoring the accessibility according to the WCAG1.0 of websites and of sets of websites organized in directories, for instance of government or business sectors.

UMIC itself used intensively the eXaminator (text in Portuguese) to ensure that its sites on the Internet fully meet the top level, "AAA", of the W3C accessibility guidelines. In 2005, any of the pages of UMIC on the Internet had many accessibility errors, which was considered unacceptable for the public body that has as one of its tasks the promotion of ICT accessibility. UMIC then started the development of a new website from scratch based on the open source content management system Joomla with the aim of being able to adapt the programming according to the needs to be detected. The new UMIC website was publicly released on November 1, 2006. In 2007, intensive work supported on the eXaminator (text in Portuguese) was initiated to ensure the complete fulfillment of the accessibility norms by all website pages, an objective that at the time  was considered by technicians linked to websites development as incompatible with the usability and graphical presentation requirements. In early 2008, it became possible to ensure the satisfaction of the "AAA" accessibility level for all the pages of the main UMIC site and since then this was gradually extended to all sites of UMIC on the Internet, which meanwhile grew to be 11 sites with more than 8,000 pages altogether. The fulfillment of the "AAA" accessibility level on every page of all UMIC sites on the Internet is already provided since 2009. It was also using eXaminator (text in Portuguese) that the major Portuguese bank, the Caixa Geral de Depósitos assured by mid-2009 the "AAA" accessibility level in all its Internet portal which had about 2,800 pages, joining UMIC as the initial core entities that fully ensured the top level accessibility top of their presence on the Internet.

Last updated ( 30/08/2011 )