The Pearson Guidelines are corporate accessibility guidelines designed to address international and US standards as well as to improve the accessibility of media products in a practical way today.
Author: Suzanne Taylor
Lead Consultant / Contributor: Jim Thatcher
Mobile Techniques Author for Version 2.0: Kathy Wahlbin
Word, PDF & PowerPoint Techniques Author for Version 1.5: Kathy Wahlbin
Glossary Author for Version 2.0: Nicholas Bromley
Reviewers of Version 1.0: Wendy Chisholm, Thea Eaton, Derek Featherstone
What's New in 2.0.2?
Techniques for guideline 34 updated.
What's New in 2.0.1?
Techniques for guidelines 12, 23 and 27 updated.
What's New in 2.0?
- More and Updated Mobile Techniques
- More Widget Explanations and Examples
- More WAI-ARIA techniques
- There is now a Glossary in the Getting Started Section
These guidelines reference and speak to the following US and international standards:
- Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 W3C Recommendation 11 December 2008
- Section 508 Standards, Web-based intranet and internet information and applications, § 1194.22 and Software applications and operating systems, § 1194.21 (Current Version)
- Report to the Access Board: Refreshed Accessibility Standards and Guidelines in Telecommunications and Electronic and Information Technology (This is a draft that provides insight into the nature of the new Section 508 Guidelines, which are currently being developed and are not final.)
The Section 508 and W3C standards form the basis for understanding of accessibility requirements in the United States and throughout the world and the Pearson Guidelines would not be possible without these standards.
While the Pearson Guidelines reference these standards, the Pearson Guidelines have not been reviewed by or endorsed by the associated standards organizations.
We are working on mappings to other national and usability standards. If any particular mapping is important to you, please let us know.
Many of the Pearson Guidelines allow people with visual impairment to access the media through software that reads the contents of the media aloud. Such software programs are called screen readers.
Several of the guidelines that improve access for those with visual impairment also help provide access for:
- People with limited mobility who can't use a pointing device (e.g. mouse, stylus, trackball)
- People who use screen readers to compensate for learning disabilities that impact their reading skills
Additional guidelines improve access for those with:
- Color blindness
- Hearing impairment
- Low vision
- Minor vision issues
- Dexterity issues
- Photosensitive epilepsy
- Learning disabilities such as dyslexia, auditory processing dysfunction and ADHD
The Pearson Guidelines address:
- Web media accessibility
- Interactive media that is published on CD or DVD and that plays in the same user agents (e.g. Web Browsers, PDF Readers, Flash Players) as Web media
- Documents that are delivered through email, ftp or Web download that play in the same user agents as Web media
Although applicable, the Pearson Guidelines do not fully address:
- Live Web events
- Authoring Tools
- Software applications that run on the operating system without user agents
If you need information on the additional requirements for these, contact Suzanne Taylor.
The Pearson Guidelines do not address:
- Games written for game consoles
These media types have a different, parallel set of requirements and regulations. The Pearson Guidelines are NOT applicable to television, film and games written for game consoles. However, when these media types are reused online, the accessibility features (e.g. captions, audio description) should be evaluated for reuse. This is often less expensive than recreating the accessibility features.
The Pearson Guidelines primarily affect:
- Front-end mark-up and coding
- Document formatting
Some of the Pearson Guidelines affect:
- Functional requirements
- Visual design
About the Design of Version 1.5
Thanks to Carolyn Wagner for her significant contributions to the new design.
Thanks to Ron Spezial, Allyson Graesser, Rich Feitelberg and Heather Johnstone for their help creating the opening "high-level" view of the guidelines.
Thank you to all of the Pearson Accessibility Advocates and Liaisons who have provided feedback on this site. Please keep sending feedback so we can make the site work as well as possible for you and your teams.