At the February 2019 Accessibility Talks online meetup, AmyJune Hineline, Drupal and WordPress Community Ambassador at Kanopi Studios, spoke about inclusive content strategy, what it means, and how to craft content that is accessible to everyone.
Hineline shared practical advice for content editors, with useful tips for moving beyond semantic markup and structured content.
You can watch the captioned 52-minute video below or, if you prefer, read my takeaways from Hineline’s presentation.
Takeaways from Inclusive Content Strategy
- Inclusion can mean different things to different people. One definition: making sure that barriers are removed.
- Accessibility—producing rich, engaging content that is accessible to everyone
- What makes content accessible? Make it easy to see, hear, interact, and understand by accommodating visual, auditory, motor, and cognitive needs.
- Content needs to be accessible no matter what digital device you use to access it
- Basics for accessible content: use plain language, have clear hierarchy and structure (craft short sentences and short paragraphs), provide text alternatives for video and audio (captions/subtitles and transcripts)
- Code doesn’t do any good if you don’t provide meaningful content to your readers
- When writing content, avoid making assumptions about abilities, class, and politics. When was the last time you forgot earbuds or headphones and wanted to watch a video on a plane? That’s where closed captions allow the video content to be consumed.
- Use the phrase “people with disabilities” rather than “disabled people.”
- Crucial: headings in content aren’t for style; they’re for structure.
h1is the most important heading on the page.
- A couple suggestions for inclusive language: use “children” instead of “boys and girls.” “Folks” instead of “guys” or “dudes.”
- WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) should be for entering content, not for styling. Use style guides or stylesheets for your content.
- We train our coders and designers for accessibility; let’s do the same for content editors
- Use the words your readers use, make it easier for readers to understand your content
- For events, include a contact form for people to share their needs: special accommodations, family-style bathroom, accessible venue, dietary restrictions, etc.
- Create accessible presentations: describe videos and images, use large fonts and good color contrast, include live captioning (Google Slides offers live captions), leave space at bottom of your presentation for captions, use a microphone
- Make your hashtags readable. Twitter doesn’t differentiate between upper case and lower case letters. Capitalizing the first letter of word makes your hashtag easier to read.
- Be a good example and an ally! Use tools (for example, WebAIM Color Contrast Checker, Grammarly) to check your content. Be thoughtful. It’s unlikely you’ll be called out for being too considerate.
Shoutout to Carie Fisher for hosting the February 2019 online Accessibility Talks event.
Mark your calendar for the next Accessibility Talks meetup on March 12, 2019 Why and How to Test for Accessibility with Real People at 1:00pm Eastern Time.