Standards 101: The Many Shades of Grey

Handouts Media

Scheduled at 4:00pm in Cotton Creek II on Thursday, November 15 (2018).



  • Naveesha Maharaj, Accessiblity Consultant/SME, Deque

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: Beginner
  • Type of session: General Conference


Violation of standards or a best practice? As much as we all want an exceptional web experience for our users, we don’t have the resources to follow every best practice while also ensuring that our process is efficient and effective. Let’s focus on clarifying some of the most confusing, debated and misinterpreted areas in the realm of accessibility requirements and best practices.


Although WCAG 2.0 has many well-defined checkpoints, we still wind up asking ourselves “Is this a fail, and if it is a fail, what Service Criterion does this fail under, and at what level? Do we follow the letter of the law, or do we lean toward the spirit of the law and loosen up our interpretations as we learn to apply accessibility guidelines to new and evolving technologies? In this session, lets discuss grey areas and why some issues are considered best practice and what potentially makes others a failure. We need to be clear about what is a ‘Nice to have’ vs ‘What you MUST have’. Confusion on how to best interpret and enforce the guidelines can lead to create big problems with company budgets and project timelines, so we need to be as clear as possible on which issues are accessibility best practices and which issues are accessibility violations and remediate as needed


  1. The perfect measurement of instructions and feedback on user input and how to be predictable
  2. Understanding the purpose of criteria to push all the right buttons
  3. Sometimes design speaks louder than words and then there is overkill

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Alternate Format, Legal, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Naveesha Maharaj

Naveesha currently consults primarily for Deque Systems, The Carrol Center for the Blind, Ogilvy, and Brightworks on web, mobile and PDF accessibility, ensuring clients are producing not only compliant content but usable to as well . Previously she worked as a Web Accessibility Analyst at TD and as an Accessibility Systems Testing/QA Specialist at the Ministry of Community and Social Services Children, Youth and Social Services I&IT Cluster testing internal and external sites against WCAG 2.0 standards. Technical writing, presentations and assistance in remediation were also part of her daily activities. She was an active member of the Accessibility Consulting team at CNIB focusing on internal and external AODA and WCAG 2.0 Compliance. Since 1999 she has also worked in the Pharmaceutical, Financial and Corporate Retail industries where her responsibilities have ranged from, Technical Team lead, Merchandise Business Associate to E-Business Specialist. Naveesha graduated from both University and College as a Computer Programmer/ Technical Administration receiving Leadership, Best Speaker and Communication Awards thus; enabling her to bring forward the knowledge and expertise to CNIB in order to organize Accessibility training, Seminars as well as providing continuous support. In her current role as an Accessibility Consultant, Naveesha provides accessibility audits for clients, Usability assessments, Document conversion and promotes accessibility awareness & services to organizations within Ontario while assisting anyone in need of accessibility information ensuring compliance with the current Section 508 of the U.S. Rehab Act, WCAG 2.0, W3C and AODA standards. These duties compliment her interests of volunteering for fundraising events and helping others in need either internationally or in local organizations.