Don’t Forget About Web Accessibility
Web accessibility is the inclusive practice of eliminating the barriers that hinder the interaction or access to the websites. Web accessibility relies on eight components. Here is the list of the significant components:
- The website itself is the most important component of web accessibility. The mark-up code and natural information including sound, images, and text defines the website’s presentation and structure.
- User agents, including media players and web browsers
- Assistive technologies, like input devices that are used as an alternate to mouse and conventional keyboard
- Users’ experience and knowledge using the web
- Authoring tools
- A defined web accessibility policy or standard, for the organization
- Evaluation tools
All the above-mentioned components interact with another in order to create a web environment that is easily accessible to people.
Guidelines- Web Content Accessibility
The Web Accessibility Initiative is a project that was initiated in 1999 by W3C (World Wide Web Consortium). Under this project the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines were published, which are collectively known as WCAG 1.0.
The WAI released the published guideline as a Recommendation on 11 December 2008. WCAG 2.0 aims to be up to date and more technology neutral. The WCAG 2.0 has been accepted widely as the definitive guidelines for creating accessible websites. The web designers have the option of choosing the either standards that they want to follow, though. Even the governments are adopting the WCAG 2.0 steadily as the accessibility standard for the websites.
Many have criticized the W3C process. The critics claimed that it doesn’t put the user sufficiently at the process’s heart. Even there was a formal objection to the original claim of WCAG 2.0 that it will address the requirements for individuals with cognitive limitations and learning disabilities. The objection was signed by 40 people and organisations and was headed by Lisa Seeman. The objection articles stated that WCAG 2.0 costs too much as far as testability is concerned. The WAI has also been criticised for permitting WCAG 1.0 to get out of step with the techniques and technologies for consuming and creating web content, for making the new guidelines harder to understand and navigate, for the slow pace of development of the guidelines, and other argued failings.
How To Create Best Accessible Content?
Make sure to keep the following considerations in mind when creating digital content-
- Don’t consider colour as your navigational tool or the only way of differentiating the items.
- Alt text should be added to the images in the code/mark-up. Add more extensive descriptions to the complex images (perhaps as descriptive summaries or a caption)
- Functionality should be made accessible through keyboard and mouse and be tagged with voice-control systems to work.
- Transcripts should be provided for the podcasts
- If you’ve a video on your website, provide visual access through in-sync captioning to the audio information
- Consider 508 testing for ensuring your website’s compliance with web accessibility guidelines.
How To Make Web Tools and Website Accessible
The basics of web accessibility should be less expensive and easier than providing transcripts. There are a number of techniques that are integrated poorly into some development and education processes and web tools. The popular reason behind this is lack of knowledge. It takes some effort and time for learning the common solutions and issues if you’re new to accessibility. Amateurs should start with introduction to web accessibility.
Few accessibility barriers are far more complicated and some the solutions take more development effort and time. W3C WAI provides wide range of resources to help. Know about the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 before implementing.
Using authorized tools that support web accessibility eases out the work of the website developers. Keep in mind that the browsers also play a crucial role in accessibility. The relationships between the various components of web interaction and development are explained by the essential Components of Web Accessibility.
Accessibility is highly essential for the organizations and developers that look forward to create high-end web tools and websites.
The Bottom Line
Accessible websites present the information through various sensory channels including sight and sound. In addition, they also serve as an additional means of website interactivity and navigation beyond the typical click – and- point interface. The combination of a multi-interactivity approach and a multisensory approach allows the users to access the information quite easily.