Digital Accessibility Website: My Reflection

Picture of wheelchair symbol on a laptop keyboard
Picture of wheelchair symbol on a laptop keyboard

“Assistive Technologies for Physical Disabilities” by Inigo is licensed under CC by 2.0

Creating a digital accessible Website for all proved to be a tedious process, especially for the minimal amount of points attached to the assignment. This assignment required numerous research hours to able able to create a concise Website centered on the Disabled and Digital Accessibility for all.

What was learned from this assignment:

Web accessibility means creating digital resources on the web that everyone can use. This involves creating a web that is accessible to people with disabilities that may affect how they use the Web, including but not limited to visual, auditory, physical, speech, cognitive and neurological disabilities.

An accessible web benefits everyone. People with or without disabilities. Web users and web developers. People with diverse needs and preferences. An accessible web gives people the flexibility to access digital materials in whatever way they need or want to.

Take a look at my Digital Accessibility Website

Technical Standards:

Below you will find a list of some key principles of accessible design. Most accessibility principles can be implemented very easily and will not impact the overall “look and feel” of your web site.

  1. Provide appropriate alternative text
    Alternative text provides a textual alternative to non-text content (such as pictures and images) in web pages. It is especially helpful for people who are blind and rely on a screen reader to have the content of the website read to them.
  2. Provide appropriate document structure
    Headings, lists, and other structural elements provide meaning and structure to web pages. They can also facilitate keyboard navigation within the page.
  3. Provide headers for data tables
    Tables are used online for layout and to organize data. Tables that are used to organize tabular data should have appropriate table headers (the <th> element). Data cells should be associated with their appropriate headers, making it easier for screen reader users to navigate and understand the data table.
  4. Ensure users can complete and submit all forms
    Ensure that every form element (text field, checkbox, dropdown list, etc.) has a label and make sure that label is associated to the correct form element using the <label> element. Also make sure the user can submit the form and recover from any errors, such as the failure to fill in all required fields.
  5. Ensure links make sense out of context
    Every link should make sense if the link text is read by itself. Screen reader users may choose to read only the links on a web page. Certain phrases like “click here” and “more” must be avoided.
  6. Caption and/or provide transcripts for media
    Videos and live audio must have captions and a transcript. With archived audio, a transcription may be sufficient.
  7. Ensure accessibility of non-HTML content, including PDF files, Microsoft Worddocuments, PowerPoint presentations and Adobe Flash content
    In addition to all of the other principles listed here, PDF documents and other non-HTML content must be as accessible as possible. If you cannot make it accessible, consider using HTML instead or, at the very least, provide an accessible alternative. PDF documents should also include a series of tags to make it more accessible. A tagged PDF file looks the same, but it is almost always more accessible to a person using a screen reader.
  8. Allow users to skip repetitive elements on the page
    You should provide a method that allows users to skip navigation or other elements that repeat on every page. This is usually accomplished by providing a “Skip to Main Content,” or “Skip Navigation” link at the top of the page which jumps to the main content of the page.
  9. Do not rely on color alone to convey meaning
    The use of color can enhance comprehension, but do not use color alone to convey information. That information may not be available to a person who is colorblind and will be unavailable to screen reader users.
  10. Make sure content is clearly written and easy to read
    There are many ways to make your content easier to understand. Write clearly, use clear fonts, and use headings and lists appropriately.
  11. Make JavaScript accessible
    Ensure that JavaScript event handlers are device independent (e.g., they do not require the use of a mouse) and make sure that your page does not rely on JavaScript to function.
  12. Design to standards
    HTML compliant and accessible pages are more robust and provide better search engine optimization. Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) allow you to separate content from presentation. This provides more flexibility and accessibility of your content.

* This list comes from WebAIM’s Principles of Accessible Design. This list does not present all accessibility issues, but by addressing these basic principles, you will ensure greater accessibility of your web content to everyone.

You can learn more about accessibility at webaim.org.

Watch: World Wide Access: Accessible Web Design Video

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