Accessibility of any kind is really about eighty percent attitude and the other twenty percent know how. When it comes to web accessibility the same applies. If you want to do it you can. Your web site is usually your front door to the world so make sure everyone can use it in the way that suits them, not the way it suits you and your brand advisers.
It takes a bit of thinking and planning, but the web is full of good and practical advice. In honour of Global Accessibility Awareness Day I have summarised a few basics to get you started.
The list does not guarantee an accessible web site, but if you do all of these things you will be on your way.
- Accessibility should be part of all design considerations and plans from the outset.
- Information on the web should be in accessible HTML.
- Navigation should be clear, easy to follow and consistent, not changing in structure from page to page.
- Web pages should be laid out clearly with correct mark up for headings structures and links etc
- Use “alt” text to provide meaningful descriptions of images and graphics.
- Colour contrast should be high, at least 70%. There are a number of free tools to test for this. Avoid hot colours.
- Audio or audio-visual material should be captioned or have transcripts.
- Pages should still be useable when images are turned off and when pages are enlarged to twice their normal size.
- Pages should be usable by keyboard only.
- You can upload audio files and Sign Language video, providing the same information in a range of formats.
- Avoid using blinking text, throbbing, pulsing or flashing graphics or buttons.
- Include a site map to help with navigation.
- Use tagged files optimised for accessibility, both Word and PDF.
- Regularly audit your site to make sure you maintain accessibility.
Your users will thank you.
“Global Accessibility Awareness Day is a community-driven effort whose goal is to dedicate one day to raising the profile of and introducing the topic of digital (web, software, mobile app/device etc.) accessibility and people with different disabilities to the broadest audience possible.”