Winter Olympics Web Site Not Accessible

On February 12, Jebswebs and I twittered that the Vancouver Winter Olympics web site is not accessible. Jebswebs reported 58 errors on the home page alone using the WAVE tool. (View the re-tweet from Jennison.) I listed examples such as several navigation issues and Flash and JavaScript issues.

Ten days later, Joe Clark published an excellent article Vancouver Olympics Web sites are inaccessible to disabled people. He first points out that John Furlong (CEO of VANOC) broke a promise to make the web site accessible. (Even after a a blind man in Australia won a human-rights case against the Sydney Olympic organizing committee and IBM for an inaccessible web site.) Joe provides a report on the inaccessible content and also publishes responses from the VANOC and his replies.

home page of Vancouver Winter Olympics web site

It doesn’t take an expert to find areas where the Winter Olympics site needs improvement. Even for alternative text, one of the most basic and important guidelines for web accessibility, the site is lacking. This includes inadequate alternative text for Flash content and the fact that many images do not have alternate text.

In addition, the following points are for navigation only!

  • Dropdown menus require JavaScript.
  • Redundant title attributes
  • No skip-to links
  • No focus state on links (only mouse-over)
  • No ARIA
  • No menu heading

My suggestion for those who need more accessibility? Try Yahoo’s Vancouver Winter Olympics coverage.

This post is sponsored by: Dedicated Web Server


  1. Pingback: Olympian Anger – Is It So Hard to Remember Accessibility? – Accessible Techcomm

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