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Aims of BIK Test Development

To contribute to the creation of more accessible web and intranet sites and thereby, improve the employment opportunities of people with disabilities: that is the main concern of the BIK project.

The BIK project module "Test Development" creates and maintains the BITV-Test and other tools which help assess the accessiblily of public web sites as well as intranet sites used at the work place. A main task is to improve the applicability of the BITV-Test for the evaluation of web applications. Last not least, we safeguard the continuous qualification of BITV testers.

We co-operate with our partners in the second project module, "BIK@work", which focuses on the implemetation of accessibility in public administrations and corporations.

The BIK@work module partners with large public and private organisations. Project activities include awareness raising and knowledge transfer to ground accessibility in all IT processes of the partner organisation. The aim is to reach comprehensive and binding target agreements that cover all important aspects of the work flow: from the procurement of accessible software and assistive technology to the improvement of legacy systems. For more information, visit the web site of BIK@work (German only).

Our Approach

The BIK Project is committed to a pragmatic approach. The BITV-Test procedure provides testers with comprehensive support for their assessment of web site accessibility by translating success criteria into clear, well-documented and easy-to-use test steps.

Over the past years, many resources about accessibility and accessible web design have become available. Web sites and blogs give recommendations, feature new desgin techniques, or discuss the development of web standards.

However, quite a few wrong or questionable views of accessibility are still being passed around. Often, accessibility is equalled with standards compliance.  Some believe that the deployment of a modern Content Management System would create accessibility automatically, without extra effort.

BIK has a decidedly user-oriented approach to accessibility. For us, what counts is not the particular technical implementation of a web site. Instead, we investigate step by step whether the actual page output is accessible to users with disabilities.

Sometimes we are asked for web design advice. While the BITV-Test concentrates on spotting accessibility deficiencies, it does not provide a blueprint for best practice design. This is why our articles (the German content of the Infothek) focus on particular design topics, for example the appropriate structuring of web content or accessible navigation mechanisms. We do not aim at providing detailed instructions for technical implementation (there are many of these around), but rather, evaluate the host of sometimes incompatible accessibility advice from a user perspective.

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