It makes me feel a little sad whenever I see people saying that making your website accessible is such a waste of time and resources because it only deals with the blind. When, in fact, that is one of the misconceptions about accessibility.
What is Accessibility?
Just look for its root word — access. It doesn’t only mean that blinds and other visually-impaired people should be your focus when it comes to making your site accessible. It means making every people using any kind of browsers, any kind of devices to browse the web, any kind of settings on their browsers, no matter how slow or fast their connection is must be able to view your site just fine.
Accessibility to what we have here given portable plasma cutter reviews is not only making your site well-structured that those using screen readers won’t be exasperated in using your site but also making your site accessible to:
- people who have problems with their visions because they are suffering from color blindness and other stuff related to it, or because of old age — the most popular
- people using lynx or other text only browsers
- people who don’t use mice because they are suffering from locomotive disorders
- people who have turned off images to save loading time
- people who have turned css off
- people who are using PDA, their mobile phones, iPhone, iPod, PSP, etc
- people who are using their TVs for screen
- people who are using browsers older than I am
- people who are on dial up
- people who have a connection slower than a dial up
- people who are using monitors with low screen resolution
So maybe you can already understand what I’m trying to say. Accessibility is not a waste of time. Rather it is giving more than one ways to your users to see, surf and visit your site.
Do you know that if you’re a business owner in the United States (and in some other countries as well) and or someone who owns a website in that (those) area/s, you can be sued if your site is not accessible?
As a matter of fact, back in June 1999, the Sydney Organizing Committee for the Olympic games was sued by a single individual by the name of Bruce Maguire due to web inaccessibility. To make long story short — the International Olympic Committee lost the case.
So despite what other people say, making your site accessible is not an option.
For content creators, the lesson of this case is simple: Accessibility is easy, it is not optional, and if you keep ignoring it you may someday find yourself in court. If an organization as powerful as a national Olympic organizing committee – with effectively unlimited resources and, on the part of its paterfamilias, the International Olympic Committee, a century-long history of exclusion and inaccessibility – can lose a case like this, other cases resting on similar legal principles are likely to prevail.
Reader’s Guide to Sydney Olympics Accessibility Complaint
How to Make your Site Accessible
The following are just simple steps in making your site accessible:
- Add skip links so that people who are using screen readers or who are interested in reading your content right away can skip your menu items.
- Make sure that your background and foreground colors have enough contrast
- Images must have
alt attributes that describes or says what is in the image, this way, if the image did not load at all then the user will know what the image is all about
- If the image is too complex to describe in a few words the you should provide long description for that
- If the image is only there for decorative purposes then you should either put it in your stylesheet or if it can’t be helped, then make sure that your
alt attribute be blank so that screen readers can just skip it
- If you have a video or audio file in your site then you should provide a transcript for that for people who are too lazy to watch or listen or do not want to download the file will still be able to understand what the file is all about
- Provide the right hierarchy for your document, it’s the same with what I said in my last post where a document should only have 1
h1 which will be followed by
h2(s) and then
h3 where an
h3 should never follow an
- Keep moving objects in your site at a minimum
- Make sure that your document will still make sense even if the style sheet is not present
- Tables should only be used if you’re presenting a tabular data
- Optimize images so that it will not take too much time to load
Those are just the simplest steps that one can do to make sure that your site is accessible, it won’t ensure 100% accessibility of your site but it’s still better than 0%, right?
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