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3 Simple Ways To Make a Website Accessible

Author: Carl Heaton
He is our senior instructor and originally from Manchester UK. Carl teaches our Web Design and Online Marketing Courses.
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My name is Carl and I am passionate about accessibility. Why? Because it is a way of giving back to the user while also Big G happy.
how to make a website accessible

My name is Carl and I am passionate about accessibility. Why? Because it is a way of giving back to the user while also Big G happy.

I was recently lucky enough to be asked to be a speaker at a Inclusive Business for People with Disabiliies in Manilla last month. The event was run by both UN ESCAP and APCD, I won`t delive into acroynms but essentially ESCAP does that talking and APCD promotes action. The event was deeply inspiring to me especially as the last presentation I did I was partering with an amazing gentleman who is an architect and 100% blind. To see him using a computer is litterally awesome (yes Yanks this is the right time for that word).

Seeing him use the internet, his email and word gave me a unique insight into how acessilibity is actually used. We have all ready the why’s, then how’s (like this post) but I bet a small percentage of people actually seen how blind users use a website? If you have, please comment below and give me your impression.

Right, lets get down to it, 10 easy wasy to make a website accesisbile to not only blind users but those with additional cognative requirements.

First Watch This

A JAWS demonstration for Visually Impaired by Blindnoahlong

1. Use alt=”” tags on images

Look at DSC40009.jpg, wow, what an amazing picture, the way the lighting is, the composition, the balance is awesome. To you and I we can see how aswesome a picture is, but if you are blind you need a way of the browser to explain what a picture is of. Enter stage left the alt attribute. When a screenreader hits an image it reads the alt text to the user, so make sure the description is short and to the point. Also put the most discriptive words at the start as many blind users only listen to the first couple of sylabols of anything as they search arround for what they want. So my advise is alt=”Thailand sunset over the temple of the dawn” describes DSC400009.jpg very well.

2. Get To The Point! Skip to #content

skip content html code

Imagine having to read the header, banner, navigation every time you wanted to read the contents of a blog post? Well don`t make your blind users do it either by adding a skip to content at the top of your page. Somewhere you will have a <div> or <article> or even a <section> that contains the main content, slap a id=”content” and then just below the body add a <a href=”#content”></a>. Now move over to your CSS and displaay:none that a#content bad boy. See that was easy!

This is one of the most useful things you can do, so thanks for doing it!

3. Right Tag, Right Meaning and Right Place

how to teach html

Headings are not just pretty big text, they give context to the paragraphs and un-ordered lists below them. If you see a heading features then you expect features below. Giving your website a good structure using headers is very important for Search Engine Optimisation and not only Accessibiliy. Have one <h1> and then the <h2>’s should be directly releated to that main heading.With any <h3>’s they should inturn be related to the <h2> they are under.

Remeber heading tags are not about size they are about meaning.

We Teach Accessibiliy

accessibility web courses

All of our web design courses have accessibility at their core. We are very passionate about web standards and how to build websites in an inteligent way that makes life so much easier in the long run. If you new to web design I recommend taking our Web Design Beginner course and then moving onto WordPress Training within our Intermediate course.

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We are lucky to get a lot of Stumbleupon love, but don`t stumble to the next post just yet, give us your feedback on the post.

Thanks, Carl

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