Thursday, June 02, 2005

The Meaning of Accessibility


Accessibility in the context of the web means building a web that everyone is able to access, regardless of their level of physical or mental ability.
  • Consider users with motor deficiencies or cognitive disabilities or blindness
    -Motor deficiencies: keyboard navigator (shift-tap-enter) and access keys which are keyboard shortcuts that replace the need to use the mouse for navigation in browsers that support them. In Internet Explorer on Windows, you can press ALT + an access key (on Macintosh, you can press Control + an access key). Then press Enter to activate the link.

    -Cognitive disabilities: clear simple layout not relying too greatly on the user memorizing thing (Usability)
    -Blind users:
    >Screen magnifier
    >Common assistive technology called “screen readers’ which are browsers read the content of a website word-by-word

    Note: Flash in its last 2 versions can make its content accessible to use screen readers and keyboard navigator
  • Images, using alts for the most images are using in the website, Images used for headings are applied using style sheets – since the heading exists as text behind the graphic, alt attributes are unnecessary.
  • Colors, the site's font and background color combinations should be checked against the different color blindness conditions and ensured that all information is still clear.
  • Font sizes, should be able to change the size of the webpage to the user’s preference through his browser:
  • In Internet Explorer, from the browser’s tool: view / text size / and then preferred size.
  • In Netscape from the browser’s tool: view / text zoom / and then preferred percentage size.
    » Notes and References could be used in websites as standards grantee (Standards compliance): Level A compliance as specified by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. The majority of Level AA and AAA requirements are also met.
    All pages validate as XHTML 1.0 Transitional and use structured semantic markup. The CSS also validates.

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