At last month’s 3PlayMedia webinar on Global Accessibility Awareness Day, Janet Sylvia, Web Accessibility Group Leader at the University of Georgia, gave an introduction to web accessibility and offered 10 tips for creating accessible web content.
Here are my notes from her presentation.
- Use page titles, headings, and semantic structure on your pages. Use the
titletag to provide a descriptive title for the page. All web web pages need an
h1which should be similar to the title tag.
Sylvia recommends using the Web Accessibility Toolbar (Internet Explorer only) to evaluate page structure, headings, and table code. You can also use the Firefox Web Developer add-on or WAVE Evaluation Toolbar extension on Chrome.
- Use descriptive link text. Text used in links should make sense out of context. Avoid “Click here” and “Read more.”
- Include ALT text for non-text content. Alternative text provides a clear concise description that conveys function, meaning or purpose of the image.
- Create accessible documents. Ensure your PDF, Word, and Excel documents are accessible.
- Create accessible multimedia. For audio, include a text transcript. For video, include video description.
For video with audio, include captions, text transcript, and a video description.
- Don’t auto-play video. Let the user be in control of sound.
Auto-playing when a page loads can be annoying for all users, especially for screen reader users who navigate by listening.
- Ensure keyboard accessibility. Often overlooked, keyboard accessibility is easy to test.
Unplug your mouse, and user your Tab and Enter keys to navigate a page.
- Make sure your site has sufficient color contrast. Have a high contrast color scheme between foreground and background colors.
- Add an accessibility statement and contact information. Include information on whether your site complies with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and conforms to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0.
Include contact information (email and phone number) as well as details on when requests will be answered (within 24 hours or one business day).
If you can design a website, you can design an accessible one.
I liked the webinar because it focused on basic steps everyone involved with web content could follow. When we talk about making content accessible on the web, we can get too detail-oriented.
Focusing on the basics will encourage people to build accessibility into the projects from the beginning.
Do you have any tips to share on making web content accessible? Share your suggestions in the comments.