Improving Accessibility

Publishing content on the web has the potential to be open and accessible to many people when done so correctly. Below are things to keep in mind when creating online content:

Provide text alternatives #

Avoid presenting information through colour or an image. Where you need to use images make sure there are text alternatives to allow people with sight impairments to access the information.

Add alt text to images to make sure whatever the information contained in the image is conveyed through alternative text. Make sure to describe what additional content the image contains, not just how it looks. Once alt text is added to an image, when the viewer hovers a mouse over the image they will see a label that presents this alternative text description. If a viewer uses screen reader software, the software will read out the alt text descriptions to the viewer.

Alt text should answer this question: What is the information conveyed by the image?

Provide subtitles and transcripts #

Videos should be subtitled or accompanied by a transcript of the content. This is essential for those with hearing impairments and should feature descriptions of visual content for those with visual impairments.

Avoid animations #

Avoid using animations in your content, but if you need to do so provide a warning to visitors at the top of the content.

Resizable text #

Make sure any text content is resizable. Browsers provide a setting to adjust the font size; once set your preference becomes the default option for all websites you visit. Double check that your text content is legible if the size of the text is changed in the browser settings.

You can also add an accessibility plugin to support visitors to access your website content.

Allow font and colour changes #

Enable visitors to change the colours of background and font on your site. This allows those with visual impairments and dyslexia to change the contrast and colour to suit their needs.

You can also add an accessibility plugin to support visitors to your website access your content.

Use inclusive language #

Use respectful and inclusive language and avoid unnecessarily using gendered terms. You may also wish to think about the general audience of your content and use plain English where appropriate.

Check the accessibilty of your site #

  • Copy and paste your website address into the Website Accessibility eValuation Tool (WAVE) to double check for any accessibility issues.
  • Copy and paste your website address into this Colorblind Web Page Filter to double check how your website looks to those with different types of colourblindness.
  • Add an accessibility plugin such as WP Accessibility to help visitors configure your website to fit their preference and needs.
  • Check out W3C’s Web Accessibility Perspectives to understand the impact and benefits of web accessibility for everyone.

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