Making accessibility accessible

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Short presentation for Global Accessibility Awareness Day. Looks at how to make accessibility more relevant, understandable for web writers.

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Making accessibility accessible

  1. 1. Making accessibility accessibleA short presentation for GAAD 2013Melbourne, May 9 2013Dey Alexanderdey@4syllables.com.au@Writing4Web
  2. 2. My focus is web writers because…• Content seems to be the lowest priority– For management– On web projects– For user experience and accessibility work• Accessible templates and a CMS don’t guaranteeaccessibility– 19 guidelines that writers can affect conformance with– Web is drowning in documents that aren’t managed as well asweb pages (PDF, DOC, RTF)
  3. 3. Who are the web writers?• Not usually writers– Most are admin staff, subject matter experts,managers, content owners– Only a few have communications or writingbackgrounds• Rarely web professionals• Most hired for skills other than writing– Even rarer to be hired for web writing skills
  4. 4. Web writing and web writers• Hidden or unimportant work– Squeezed into existing roles– Often not explicit in job descriptions– Even communications professionals see web as their lowestpriority• Not seen as web professionals– Often don’t get web or seek training– Don’t see themselves as web professionals• Sometimes managing sub-sites with no prior experience
  5. 5. Web writers and accessibility• IF (a big IF) they’ve heard of accessibility– “It’s not my job”– There’s not enough time– It sounds too hardAnd if they had a look at the guidelines …
  6. 6. Web Content Accessibility Guidelines LOOK hard• Screen capture showing a guideline• Here’s an example – success criterion 1.1• Lots of jargon and tech speak• Very off-putting for most web writers
  7. 7. So, we need to make accessibility accessible• Make it visible, raise awareness• Focus on what’s relevant to web writers• Make guidelines easier to understand• Show them how to do it• Help web team and others mentor themHere are some examples …
  8. 8. Series of articles on accessibility for web writers• A 17-part series of articles aimed at demystifyingthe guidelinesand making them relevant to web writers• You can access the articles athttp://www.4syllables.com.au/2010/09/accessibility-web-writers-part-1/
  9. 9. Training course• “Web accessibility for writers and editors” is a full-dayin-house training course focused on the needs ofwriters and editors
  10. 10. Accessibility evaluation for writers and editors• A checklist and article showing writers how to evaluate theircontent using some free and simple evaluation tools
  11. 11. Decision tree and tips on writing ALT text for images• ALT text is m uch m ore nuanced than m any peoplerealise• Decision tree helps writers decide if they need a blank,shortor long text alternative• Articles with tips on dealing with captions and m aps,and a list of im age exam ples and how to write the ALTtext for each
  12. 12. T-shirts• T-shirts promoting text alternatives for images• We’re planning to create more

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