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Make your website more accessible

Following on from the Canadian court case and why accessible websites are a good objective, it’s time to share idea on how to make site accessible.

Principles of accessible websitesAdd access to keyboards and internet

According to WebAIM (Web accessibility in mind), the key aspects of an accessible site are:

  1. appropriate alternative text (ie alt tags for images and graphics)
  2. headings for data tables (ie appropriate table headers in the code, using <th>, not just titles in columns and rows)
  3. ensure forms have labels for every field (ie use
  4. use meaningful text for links so they can be used out of context (ie don’t use ‘click here’ and ‘read more’)
  5. add captions and transcripts for audio materials (including videos)
  6. make attachments (eg a pdf, doc or Powerpoint document) accessible too or convert them into an html format
  7. enable people to skip repeated content (such as navigation menus that are on every page)
  8. don’t rely on colour or font changes to convey meaning
  9. make content clear and easy to read
  10. be careful with the use of JavaScript – make it usable without a mouse and make pages work without JavaScript
  11. design to w3c standards – CSS sheets help readers separate out presentation details from the content; html pages are easier and actually more SEO effective

 Following these principles

Making your website accessible makes sense.

The principles are fairly simple and non-expensive to follow. I know I adhere strongly to some of them – and others I just didn’t know or think about. And some aren’t so relevant (for instance, I don’t use JavaScript on my site).

Which of these principles do you follow all the time? Which did you not realise were possible or an issue?

I know it will take me a bit of time, but I am going to work my way through that list (well, the ones I haven’t done in the past) so I can learn how they work and implement them. Starting with form labels and table headers as I didn’t know these existed before now.

As I learn more, I will share that knowledge – the more awareness we share, the more we can make the internet accessible and inclusive. Will you help make it so?


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