With AvePoint Accessibility Accelerator (AAA), AvePoint has delivered a new accessibility layer that can be applied to your Microsoft SharePoint framework to provide an even more accessible experience for users of your SharePoint solutions and sites. Microsoft SharePoint 2010 made accessibility improvements over Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007 and SharePoint 2013 made more improvements. However, systematic problems still exist, such as legacy markup in Master Pages and page layouts that do not meet web standards. AAA provides a family of solutions that enhance out-of-the-box accessibility (as well as custom implementations) to provide extended support for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 AA Accessibility compliance as well as Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA). By scanning your environment and framework with AvePoint Compliance Guardian, you can spot all accessibility errors and then use the appropriate components of AAA to remediate them. Organizations implementing AAA both increase accessibility and decrease the time required to learn and implement the associated WCAG 2.0 and WAI-ARIA features available in the AAA solution.
Key components of the solution include:
· Master Pages
· Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
· Control Adapters
· Publishing Overrides
Master Pages and CSS
Two of the fundamental components of the solution, which work closely together, are the enhanced Master Pages and CSS. Master Pages are used to stand up a SharePoint site or used as a template to create a new template page that will be used with content. The CSS files provide the styles that are applied to the content, as content and style codes are appropriately separated. The Master Page component delivers new Master Pages and CSS files that are required to augment accessibility.
There are a total of five renamed Master Pages in AAA, including:
· AvePoint_v4.master (Optimization of SharePoint v4.master)
· AvePoint_nightandday.master (Optimization of SharePoint nightandday.master)
· AvePoint_minimal.master (Optimization of SharePoint minimal.master)
· AvePoint_mysite.master (Optimization of SharePoint mysite.master)
· AvePoint_mwsdefaultv4.master (Optimization of SharePoint MWSDefaultv4.master)
There are six new CSS files in AAA, including:
By using the approach of alternative Master Pages and CSS, organizations are given the confidence of knowing that the default pages used are always supported and that AvePoint does not modify any Microsoft code – which is, of course, a best practice for SharePoint environments. Some of the enhancements provided include changing the Master Pages and CSS files to have relative sizing versus fixed sizing, making sites more accessible and easier to read. In addition, both alternatives and/or WAI-ARIA guidelines are applied to enhance accessibility. This sort of approach is preferred because it causes less impact than intercepting the request every time one of the Master Pages is called and then serving different and more accessible information. By building this process in to work seamlessly with SharePoint with AAA – instead of using system processing power to make “midair” transformations of the content – the system itself will run faster overall. Of course, there are still items that will need to be intercepted and corrected at the server level without the need for going through a third-party processer on a different server.
With AAA’s Control Adapters, one of the solutions more advanced features, users can make accessibility updates to some of the specific out-of-the-box Microsoft web parts to make them both more accessible and able to produce valid code that complies with accessibility standards. The Control Adapters are implemented in such a way to allow users to make use one, several, or all of the adapters. By implementing the adapters in this manner, AAA users can specify only the adapters that they require so as not to add unnecessary processing and keep the SharePoint environment optimized. For example, if you are not using blogs in your SharePoint deployment, you would most likely not implement the AveBlogNewItemAdapter control adaptor, which is designed for that purpose.
Another powerful advanced feature of AAA takes advantage of the Publishing Overrides functionality available within SharePoint to actively fix HTML code to match your accessibility requirements. For organizations that must comply with regulations and conformance related to versions of HTML can accomplish this with the Publishing Overrides functionality. With this feature, the page request is intercepted locally at the SharePoint server level and then delivered with needed corrections.
In summary, AAA provides an accessibility overlay to the out-of-the-box SharePoint framework, and this overly can be reused and expanded to not only handle concerns of the framework items but also third-party and custom framework as well as other items. The combination of the solution’s fundamental and advanced features will help organizations meet accessibility standards while reducing the need for labor intensive processes, providing superior system performance, and allowing for better enterprise scalability. AAA comes with a complete installation package designed for an easy deployment into your environment.
AAA is an important part of AvePoint Compliance Solutions, which helps ensure that information is available to the people who should have it and protected from the people who should not. If you would like a demo of AAA and AvePoint Compliance Solutions please contact us today.