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Highlights from Digital Breakfast ‘Online Accessibility - making the web accessible to all’

Highlights from Digital Breakfast about ‘Online Accessibility - making the web accessible to all’ Thanks to all those who came to the APA Digital Breakfast this week, which was about ‘Online Accessibility'.

It was a great session that gave everyone both a practical, and thought provoking look at accessibility of the web to those with disabilities - an important topic that anyone involved in online work should have an understanding of.

Please see highlights from the breakfast below, and if this is a topic you would like to learn more about we will be running a more in-depth training workshop on Tues 6th Oct. For more information or to book your place >>

Online Accessibility
Accessibility is about making websites accessible to all levels of consumers so that people with disabilities are not disadvantaged in any way i.e. they are able to easily access and view content and interact with the website accordingly, regardless of ability or technologies being used.

To present we had Lis Shorten from Foviance, an expert in her field with over 8 years of experience in accessibility and consultancy.

1. What is accessibility and why it's important
Accessibility is all about making your online work accessible to your widest possible audience. Things that used to be impossible for disabled people, are now possible through the web.

Under the UK DDA, it is the law that websites are accessible, so it is important to be compliant or there is a risk of legal action. There has not yet been a case in the UK, but there have been several cases in the USA and Australia.

2. How people with disabilities access the web
Different types of disabilities are - sight, hearing, physical mobility and cognitive. There are many special computer packages that disabled people use to make a page accessible for them. There are better suited ways to help the disabled use the web, such as high contrast display, screen magnification software, and screen readers/Braille displays.

3. What barriers to access they encounter
You need to provide meaningful alt (alternative) text descriptions for all over your images displayed. It is important that the text describes what the image is conveying. Text contained in an image cannot be enlarged, so it is better to put important text as actual text so that it is accessible to all. 

For colours, be sure they work together - for example red and Green together on a website are a problem to the colour blind and if there is a colour problem online it will be the same in print. You can use a colour contrast analyser to test what works and doesn't work.

4. How you create accessible web content
WCAG 2.0 (web content accessibility guidelines) contains all the information you need to make a website more accessible. There are no set specifications to the law as to what people must do to make their website accessible. You just need to ensure that it is as accessible as you can make it within your means. To note - flash is not as easy to make accessible, but it can be done.

Foviance can help ensure your online work is fully compliant. There are also free tools you can use to check accessibility.

Download Foviance accessibility fact sheet >>

Thank you again to all those who attend, and for those who were unable to make it, we hope to see you at next month breakfast on Tue 27th Oct with the topic ‘Online Marketing'. For more information about October's digital breakfast >>

Posted in
16thSep 2009


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