Accessible Computing
Course code
old course code
Course title in Estonian
Digitaalse ligipääsetavuse töötuba
Course title in English
Accessible Computing
ECTS credits
approximate amount of contact lessons
Teaching semester
autumn - spring
Assessment form
lecturer of 2019/2020  Autumn semester
Vladimir Tomberg (inglise keel) tavaline kursus
lecturer of 2019/2020  Spring semester
lecturer not assigned
Course aims
- To provide the student with a critical understanding of design for all principles and the latest practices with respect to a range of current and novel ICT solutions.
- To provide the student with a real world understanding of the complex needs of older and disabled people when using ICT and people who use assistive technologies.
- To provide the student with an understanding of the social, economic, political and legislative issues of web accessibility
- To provide a sound basis for designing and developing accessible websites
- To provide an understanding of the role of accessible tools (e.g. authoring tools) and user agents (e.g. web browsers)
- To provide a sound basis for both automated, expert, and user testing
- To equip the student to subsequently be able to address technical issues of the underlying structures and tools which support accessibility, or the human issues of social interaction inherent in the applications.
Brief description of the course
The course covers the following topics:
- Key principles of universal design;
- National and international level guidelines of best practice, standards and recommendations (as applied);
- User diversity;
- Knowledge of stakeholders (marketing, software developers, designers, engineers);
- Research paradigms (e.g. participatory design, inclusive design);
- Understanding web accessibility and the benefits to people with and without disabilities;
- Guidelines, recommendations and the national, EU and international framework;
- Introduction to web components: accessibility guidelines for user agents (including assistive technologies), authoring tools, and web content;
- Design and planning of accessible content;
- Design and planning of accessible presentation and navigation;
- Planning for user evaluation and automated evaluation tools
Independent work
Essay will be made by students independently.
Learning outcomes in the course
On successful completion of the module the student will have the knowledge to be able to:
- Understand how Design for All (‘DfA’) can be applied as an enabler of accessibility and participation in the information society
-Demonstrate an understanding of the concepts of web accessibility and the role of web authoring tools and user agents in relation to the needs of people with and without disabilities, including users of assistive technologies, ageing, people with cognitive impairments or levels of literacy.
- Critically examine current national, EU and international issues of eInclusion including economic and social issues and the legal framework of web accessibility
- Demonstrate a critical appreciation of the appropriate use of established accessibility guidelines, automated testing, and expert and live user testing in the design and evaluation of accessible websites, and methods of reporting results to different addressees e.g. to managers or designers
- Demonstrate an understanding of the practical and ethical issues of working with vulnerable groups of users
Assessment methods
Student work should be assessable and gradable. The practical nature of this course can be assessed through the completion of 100% course work on different aspects of the design and evaluation of part of a website or more formally:
40% — design exercises;
20% — collaborative work;
40% — essay on the course topic and a short presentation in class

The evaluation criterias:
Grading criteria:
A - 90- 100% of the work is done - excellent: outstanding work with only few minor errors.
B - 80- 90% of the work is done - very good: above average work but with some minor errors.
C - 70- 80% of the work is done - good: generally good work with a number of notable errors.
D - 60- 70% of the work is done - satisfactory: reasonable work but with significant shortcomings.
E - 50- 60% of the work is done - sufficient: passable performance meeting the minimum criteria.
F- less than 50% of the work is done - fail: more work is required before the credit can be awarded.
Vladimir Tomberg
Study literature
Caldwell, B., Cooper, M., Reid, L.R., Vanderheiden, G. (2008): Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. Available from
Additional information
This course in delivered partialy online. Online activities are organized in biweekly modules, each focusing on a specific set of topics.
The part of the course will consist of lectures and interactive learning sessions using real examples of good and bad practice, as well as the development of an early stage concept development, including:
- Individual and group work to assess common barriers and best practice in accessible web design
- Demonstrations of use of assistive technologies
- Group work to apply automated tools and give feedback on the issues identified.
- Individual development of prototype accessible web pages, using wire frame, storyboards or sample interactive demonstrations.
- Working with code: testing and improving HTML code to make it compliant to WCAG 2.0, examination of WAI ARIA semantics in HTML.
Replacement literature
Chisholm, W., May, M. (2008): Universal design for web applications that reach everyone. O’Reilly.
Harper, S., Yesilada, Y. (2008): Web accessibility. Springer
Lawton Henry, S. (2007): Just Ask: Integrating Accessibility Throughout Design. Available online at
Lloyd, I. (2008): Build Your Own Web Site the Right Way Using HTML & CSS. SITEPOINT; Edition 2 (30 Nov 2008)
Thatcher, J., Burks, M., Heilemann, C., Lawton Henry, S. (2006): Web Accessibility: Web Standards and Regulatory
Compliance. Friends of ED, 2006
Web Accessibility Initiative: This W3C website includes materials which are in the process of being updated to reflect WCAG 2.0, and new work on ageing from WAI-AGE and on accessibility using mobile devices.