Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Don't let a lack of web accessibility leave others out

Have you ever tried to navigate the Internet without your eyes, hands or ears? Sounds pretty tough, eh?

Is your website and social media posts accessible?
Web accessibility is critical to people with disabilities to fully participate in society. Making the web accessible to those with visual, hearing and motor control disabilities is law for government websites under the Rehab Act and ADA, and it is just good business.

It is estimated that 20 percent of the population has a disability, so excluding them from participation online would be unwise.

There are many great tools available to learn about and make websites and social media accessible. 

WebAIM offers their WAVE web accessibility tool which evaluates the various features of a website. 

Google Chrome is now offering a variety of extensions for your browser that have accessibility in mind. 

The ATbar is an open-source, cross-browser toolbar to help users customise the way they view and interact with web pages.

Make your social media posts accessible using these tips from HowTo.gov:

  • Save the service-specific speak for the end (the parts that sound confusing).
  • If possible, avoid using unfamiliar acronyms that would sound strange if read by a screen reader. If space allows, try to spell out the acronyms instead or use a different way to convey the information.
  • Use hashtags at the end of posts.
  • Use "CamelCase" for multiple words for hashtags; that is, capitalize the first letters of compound words (use #SocialGov not #socialgov).
  • Include descriptions of photos and include captions on videos.
Happy web surfing, and remember to keep it accessible!

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