To Serve Them All – Web Accessibility in Digital Humanities

Requirements for universal design of websites have been a Norwegian regulation since 2014, last revised on 1 February 2022 with a one-year implementation period. The regulation refers to the EU’s Web Accessibility Directive (WAD) and the standard Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1), an ISO standard. There is similar legislation within the EU.

But do we fulfil these requirements? At the University of Bergen Library, we have more than twenty web services running, including the two Norwegian standard dictionaries Bokmålsordboka and Nynorskordboka (https://ordbø with a broad user group from pupils to professors; a special service for PhD theses (; and old services as the Norwegian Newspaper Corpus ( which we only support because no other institutions do. 

How will it be possible for us to make sure these services are available for everyone? For example, the linguistic researchers who are visually impaired, the primary school pupil with dyslexia and the student sitting in full sunshine in a café working on a PhD thesis? 

Aim of the workshop 

The purpose of the workshop is to raise the attention in the field of digital humanities that accessibility issues are essential for the outreach of our research when we create websites, applications, PDFs, or write papers.

Websites developed for research projects often have a specific user group in mind, like students or researchers. They are, in many respects, thought of as a very well-skilled group, and accessibility issues might not be the top priority. However, researchers and students are like anyone else in their need to have user-friendly tools, and for some, it is essential to take these issues into account to be able to participate in academic life. 

Accessibility is also important when it comes to research papers. A simple case is the need to make graphics understandable.


The participants will get basic knowledge about what web accessibility is, what recommendations and standards to follow, and how to test their websites to make them more accessible. 


  • WAVE Evaluation Tool, free plug-in to web browsers.
  • Siteimprove, from free plug-ins to high-cost professional tools for large sites.
  • Accessibility Insights, free plug-in with Integration to Git, reporting facilities and testing management. 
  • Pa11y: Several free tools, including integration with CI.
  • Lighthouse (included in many web browsers) may report on accessibility issues.
  • More tools and literature: see the A11y project resource list: 

Preparation by the participants before the workshop 

  1. Pick one or two websites to test at the workshop. Choose websites that you are working on or are familiar with. It is best to choose a website made for researchers or somehow research related.
  2. Install at least one of the tools in the list of tools on your computer. WAVE is recommended if you are unsure about what tool to pick and have not yet worked with these kinds of tests. It might not be the best tool, but it is easy to start with.



Tone Merete Bruvik, University of Bergen Library

Session Format

The workshop will be held online via Zoom.

Details will be communicated in due time.


Please register for the conference and send an e-mail to to sign up for the event.

Date & Time

Monday, 6 March 2023, 09:00-12:00.

Intended Audience

Researchers and developers who design, create or supervise the development of web pages for research infrastructures or tools, as well as any content providers to webpages.


09:00-09:10 Welcome
09:10-09:50 Introduction to Web Accessibility
09:50-10:00 Short break
10:00-10:20 Introductions to tools and techniques for testing
10:20-10:50 The participants try one or two tools on a website of their choosing
10:50-11:00 Short break
11:00-11:45 Discussion: Looking at cases, problems, and solutions.
11:45-12:00 Wrap-up