How to make your website accessible to everyone

 

The use of computers and the internet has been incorporated into our daily lives. In the way we communicate to the way we pay our bills and other adult things that I like to avoid doing (like my g1 and health card renewal). The use of technology is to allow us to do tasks conveniently within the comfort of our homes. These changes seem to have been implemented gradually however, for those with disabilities, these changes can become more of an inconvenience rather than being helpful.

In 2005, the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act came into play to help enforce standards for accessibility to remove the barriers for people with disabilities. These standards allowed people with disabilities to use and participate on the internet with the rest of society.

Here’s a quick and short guide that covers the basics of creating an accessible website for everyone:

  1. Websites are created by html and css. In css, you can use alt texts to  caption your visuals for those who uses a screen reader. If there is no alt texts, the screen reader will simply ignore the image, which will defeat your purpose of taking the time to include those images. screenreader
  2. Similar to number one, use html and css to your advantage by using headers to organize your content in order to allow the screenreader to express your content clearly.  The use < h1 > header one is typically for the title, use < h2 >, < h3>, etc for subsections of your content. (Avoid using headers for aesthetic purposes as it may confuse your audience and how the content is laid out.)
  3. Use colours to your advantage. When using colours on your website, make sure the colours have enough contrast to be read clearly. Avoid colours such as red and green for those who are colourblind.
  4. Use simple fonts that people can easily read. Preferably, sans-serif fonts such as Arial and Veranda to cater to those with dyslexia.

    helloworld
    Cute font but not everyone may be able to read this.
  5. For video, use closed captions to display the text from the audio of the video. This allows those who have hearing impairment as well as those who cannot access the audio to have access to the content of the video.
  6. For audio posts, include a transcript to allow those with hearing impairment to read the content of the audio.
  7. Internet has become crucial in today’s methods of communications. To cater to the older generations or anyone who may have limited motor control, consider keyboard input and speech input to replace the use of the mouse.

I learned a lot by researching for this blogpost. Prior to researching, my websites only used alt texts for accessibility and I was definitely guilty in using headers for aesthetic purposes rather than accessibility purposes. I hope this guide will help others realize the important and how easy it is to make your website more accessible for your audience.

 

 

Etiquette of the Web

The etiquette of the web, also known as netiquette pretty much means:

Basic netiquette is similar to the basic etiquette of life. Be polite and be aware.

The internet has basically become an alternate universe which we live in virtually. We essentially become people behind screens that create and type your own story and personality (or be truthful, there are those people too!). Be polite by being clear and concise in your posts and conversations and don’t spam as that is annoying and most likely ignored and deleted. Be culturally and socially aware as in today’s culture, both online and ‘IRL’ (in real life), people can be extremely sensitive to topics such as race, sexuality and equality.

Here are some quick pointers to good netiquette:

  • Have something to promote? Don’t spam. Whenever I see any signs of spam, I automatically glance past the multiple posts and continue onto the next one. No one will read your promotion even if it’s good. Tip: Use other methods to draw attention. Perhaps, caps your TITLE or bold important information.
  • Have a general understanding of your audience/receiver so you can use the proper language. For example, when sending an email to a friend, using short-form or slang can be acceptable however, when sending an email to an employer, you might want to refrain from using slang and modern abbreviations.
  • Do not steal. Yes, yes you can steal on the internet. People who publish their own blogposts, photos, artwork etc. That is copyrighted information. If you want to use someone else’s pictures or quote a sentence, remember to always give credit and source them.
  • You have internet and so does your employers. Everything is a click away to finding who you really are. Everything you post online, stays online and everywhere else. Don’t be rude and/or abusive.

That’s all for this week! See ya later!