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An Introduction to Building an Accessble Site


Chaos
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Hey EveryoneHere is an Article I wrote a few months ago on Accessibility. Hope you find it useful.WAI or Web Accessibility Initiative was set up by the W3C in order to provide guidelines and techniques for making webpages accessible to people with disabilites.The WAI guidelines are made up of three priorities. If you want your site to be available to everyone then it is important you at least comply with priority one.This article aims to provide basic techniques and checkpoints so you can start making your site accessible. I will write a longer and more indepth article at some point in the future which will provide an indepth look into how to make an accessible site.Basic PracticesIn order to comply with Priority 1 the following checkpoints must be checked. Most of these are common sense and you will find most sites only fall short on one or two points. * Always use the Alt attribute when using the IMG tags * Dont use Marquee or Blinking text * Make sure the document can still be read, and understood, without a style sheet * Provide text links when using image maps * Dont use tables for layout - only use them to convey data in a table format * Title each frame to facilitate frame identification and navigation. * Ensure that pages are still usable if all applets/scripts etc are turned offThese are the basic guidelines your site should follow if you wish it to be accessible to the majoirty of uses.Onto Priority TwoPriority two focuses on the interoperability of the web page(How well it can be transfered from one browser to another) The majoiry of the guidlines involve good web programming practices. If you already markup your sites the the XHTML 1.1, you will find your site complies with most guidlines. * Labels must be used to designate form fields. * Ensure background and Foreground colours contrast - this is for obvious reasons.Onto Priority ThreePriority three expands on priority two, most of the things covered in Priority three tend to be for older and less complex text readers. * You must identify the natural language of the document * Adjacent Links must be seperated by something more than whitespace, seperating with break or paragraph tags will not work * Place holders must be used in otherwise empty input boxes.Rounding offOk, that completes my introduction to the WAI this should be enough to get you started.ValidatingIt is always important to use a validator to check the main points of your markup. Remember to also check things validators cant such as colour contrasts.Bobbyhttp://bobby.watchfire.com - A great validator to check your sites. Also gives a list of things for users to check independantly.If, after best efforts, you cannot create an accessible page, provide a link to an alternative page that uses W3C technologies, is accessible, has equivalent information (or functionality), and is updated as often as the inaccessible page. This will ensure your content is available to anyone who wants it.Hope this helps, if you have any questions please feel free to askChaos

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Hey EveryoneHere is an Article I wrote a few months ago on Accessibility. Hope you find it useful.WAI or Web Accessibility Initiative was set up by the W3C in order to provide guidelines and techniques for making webpages accessible to people with disabilites.The WAI guidelines are made up of three priorities. If you want your site to be available to everyone then it is important you at least comply with priority one.This article aims to provide basic techniques and checkpoints so you can start making your site accessible. I will write a longer and more indepth article at some point in the future which will provide an indepth look into how to make an accessible site.Basic PracticesIn order to comply with Priority 1 the following checkpoints must be checked. Most of these are common sense and you will find most sites only fall short on one or two points.    * Always use the Alt attribute when using the IMG tags    * Dont use Marquee or Blinking text    * Make sure the document can still be read, and understood, without a style sheet    * Provide text links when using image maps    * Dont use tables for layout - only use them to convey data in a table format    * Title each frame to facilitate frame identification and navigation.    * Ensure that pages are still usable if all applets/scripts etc are turned offThese are the basic guidelines your site should follow if you wish it to be accessible to the majoirty of uses.Onto Priority TwoPriority two focuses on the interoperability of the web page(How well it can be transfered from one browser to another) The majoiry of the guidlines involve good web programming practices. If you already markup your sites the the XHTML 1.1, you will find your site complies with most guidlines.    * Labels must be used to designate form fields.    * Ensure background and Foreground colours contrast - this is for obvious reasons.Onto Priority ThreePriority three expands on priority two, most of the things covered in Priority three tend to be for older and less complex text readers.    * You must identify the natural language of the document    * Adjacent Links must be seperated by something more than whitespace, seperating with break or paragraph tags will not work    * Place holders must be used in otherwise empty input boxes.Rounding offOk, that completes my introduction to the WAI this should be enough to get you started.ValidatingIt is always important to use a validator to check the main points of your markup. Remember to also check things validators cant such as colour contrasts.Bobbyhttp://bobby.watchfire.com  -  A great validator to check your sites. Also gives a list of things for users to check independantly.If, after best efforts, you cannot create an accessible page, provide a link to an alternative page that uses W3C technologies, is accessible, has equivalent information (or functionality), and is updated as often as the inaccessible page. This will ensure your content is available to anyone who wants it.Hope this helps, if you have any questions please feel free to askChaos

that post was great a lot, u have described all the important features that one need to know about,and http://webxact.watchfire.com/ is really great. but also u need to mention how to create a site with a scripting langauge like: JavaScript, and the basic HTML langauge
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Unfortunatly Client Side Scripting Languages are not supported by all browsers, especially text based browsers like lynx. This means that people using these browsers wont be able to use the Javascript. If you want your site to use javascript, use it. But make sure that if Javascript was swicd off that your site ca still function, or provide a link to a text based version of the site.As for Basic HTML, its an old technology. Building a site with HTML is like building a wooden house. It will never be as strong as a brick house i.e. as XHTML. XHTML has the advantage of being structured so you can be asured your site will be interpretted the same by different browsers.Chaos

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Unfortunatly Client Side Scripting Languages are not supported by all browsers, especially text based browsers like lynx. This means that people using these browsers wont be able to use the Javascript. If you want your site to use javascript, use it. But make sure that if Javascript was swicd off that your site ca still function, or provide a link to a text based version of the site.As for Basic HTML, its an old technology. Building a site with HTML is like building a wooden house. It will never be as strong as a brick house i.e. as XHTML. XHTML has the advantage of being structured so you can be asured your site will be interpretted the same by different browsers.Chaos

mmm, It is nice that I have know about XHTML, since I want something more powerful than the basic HTML, but what do u mean that lynx can't interpret javascript? is that lynx or linux!!
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No Lynx is not Linux :)Lynx is a text based browser, there are several of them out there,As a general rule if your site cant be interpretted correctly by a text based browser then a screen reader wont be able to interpret it either.Chaos

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