Tools for Accessibility
Three tools have been used to test the level of accessibility of the NJ State portal. The three tools, Wave, A-Prompt, and the 508 Accessibility Suite for Dreamweaver all reported similar results.
WAVE by WebAim
508 Accessibility Suite for Dreamweaver
JAWS (Job Access with Speech), a screen-reading assistive technology, allows blind or visually impaired users to access their computer and the Internet by use of keyboard strokes and shortcuts. While testing the NJ State portal for accessibility, JAWS had few problems reading the content of the page. Overall, the State portal is a very accessible site, but there are a few minor issues. Issues such as missing ALT tags were the most common accessibility issue. Spacer images and bullet images must have ALT tags under Section 508 guidelines. ALT tags beginning with "link to" should not be used because JAWS, when reading the screen and finding a link, announces to the user that it found a link. For example, if there is an ALT tag of "Link to OIT," JAWS will find the link and read it as "Link Link to OIT." Special characters used for aesthetic effect as in Em@ll NJ are not readable in screen-reading software. The image for Em@ll NJ must have an ALT tag that JAWS can read, such as "Emall NJ."
Accessibility Issues with NJ State Portal
A description should explain the content of the image and its role in the document so that users without graphics-enabled browsers or blind/visually impaired users can still effectively navigate the page.
Spacer images should include an empty ALT string (ALT="") or a blank one (ALT=" ") so that non-graphical and speech-based browsers skip these images.
The META tag provides a brief description of the document when the search engine presents the result list of a query. Providing a good description will help users deciding whether to view this document.
Many users rely on the fact that new links are #0000FF, blue. Users of the page will not be able to rely on their previous experience, and may risk getting lost while visiting the site.