Macromedia and UsableNet have announced the availability of an extension for Dreamweaver 4 and Dreamweaver UltraDev 4 that checks Web content for compliance with federal accessibility guidelines.
The extension is available for download and is also available as part of the new “Macromedia Accessibility Starter Kit” that helps developers ensure that their existing and future Web content is both usable and accessible to people with disabilities.
Macromedia says the kit is part of their ongoing commitment to enable all users to access Web content and specifically addresses the issues raised by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. Under this section, federal Web sites are required by law to make all content and programs offered on their Internet and intranet sites accessible by June 21. The free kit is available on the new Macromedia Government Resource Center.
“With looming federal deadlines to make government Web sites accessible, Macromedia created the resource center to address the issues of developers working toward compliance,” said Pat Brogan, Macromedia vice president of education and learning. “The accessibility kit contains the federal Section 508 guidelines, tutorials, trial software, design guidelines, and product extensions to assist developers in designing, diagnosing and retrofitting content.”
The Section 508 Accessibility Suite for Macromedia Dreamweaver 4 and Dreamweaver UltraDev 4, created by UsableNet, lets Web sites be checked for accessibility in the same way a document is spell-checked. The extension helps ensure Web content meets Section 508 and Level 1 W3C/WAI guidelines and reports can be run on one page, a complete site, selected sections, or any folder, he added. The extension can also connect users to an additional online service from UsableNet that allows tests to be automatically scheduled on live Web sites.