Web Team Newsletter - April 5, 2010
What is Accessibility?
Accessibility is more than ensuring HTML web pages are available to everyone.
Accessibility means making all information available to everyone, whether or not the information will be placed on a website.
Accessibility is the principle that all users should have access to available information.
Accessibility is reaching as many people as possible.
Accessibility is not "legal compliance." It is caring for people. Accessible web sites enable everyone - fully abled, low vision, blind, deaf, motor-impaired, dyslexic, second-language readers, and more - to enjoy equally effective access to information, 24/7."
- The Enabled Web
Who is Everyone?
- people with disabilities (blind, Deaf or hard-of-hearing, color blind, cognitive or learning disability, or motor-impaired)
- people without disabilities
- people using mobile or other devices that do not display images or multimedia
- people over 40 who frequently develop reduced vision as they become older
- people under 40 who have low vision
- people using computers with sound disabled (such as at a library)
- people using computers in quiet cubicles at work
- people using computers with a sleeping baby nearby
- people whose first language is not the language in which the content is written
- and, well, all people.
Are your Electronic Documents/Files Accessible to Readers?
- Are your Microsoft Word documents accessible?
- Are your MS PowerPoint documents accessible?
- Are PDF files generated from your Word or PowerPoint files accessible?
Since accessibility means making all information available to everyone (whether or not the information will be placed on a website), you also want to ensure that information in your electronic documents (such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, PDF) and video/audio/multimedia files is accessible to all people.
With this in mind… Do you know how to make your electronic documents and files accessible?
The tutorials and articles below will help you make your electronic documents and files accessible.
Accessible MS Word
- Accessibility Techniques: Microsoft Word by WebAIM
- Accessibility Features of Microsoft Word by Web Accessibility for All
- Creating an accessible Microsoft Office document by Microsoft
- Tips and Tool for Microsoft Word by the National Center on Disability and Access to Education
Accessible MS PowerPoint
- Accessibility Techniques: Microsoft PowerPoint by WebAIM
- Creating Accessible PowerPoint Presentations by Web Accessibility for All
- Tips and Tools for Microsoft PowerPoint by the National Center on Disability and Access to Education
Accessible Graphs, Charts and other Diagrams
- How to Create Descriptive Text for Graphs, Charts & other Diagrams by Web Accessibility for All
Accessibility of a PDF file depends a great deal on the accessibility of the document from which it was generated. If a MS Word or PowerPoint or any other type of electronic document is not accessible, a PDF file generated from that document won't necessarily be accessible.
To increase PDF accessibility, create or modify the original document to use accessibility techniques that are included in the software program that created the document (such as MS Word or MS Excel).
- PDF Accessibility by WebAIM
Accessible Multimedia: Video, Audio
Captions are text equivalents of the spoken word and other audio content. They allow the audio content of web multimedia to be accessible to those who do not have access to audio, primarily the Deaf and hard-of-hearing, but also people viewing web pages from a computer with restricted use of sound/speakers (such as at a library or a quiet cubicle at work).
Captioning involves time and resources. It may be a little daunting at first, but it is also an important part of making content accessible. If a multimedia file cannot be captioned, a transcript should be provided.
- Accessibility Techniques: Captioning by WebAIM
- Captioning for YouTube
- Tips and Tools for Web Captioning by the National Center on Disability and Access to Education
Flash is not accessible by default - the Flash developer must include accessibility techniques as they develop Flash media content.
Accessibility Resources on the Web
There are many online resources for web accessibility. Here's an excellent place to start:
Please email the Web Team at email@example.com with comments and questions. Thank you!