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Encouraging Accessibility


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Presentation for the Western Arts Federation Accessibility Institute 2013. How to understand whether sites are accessible and how to encourage staff and creatives to get on board!

Published in: Education, Design, Technology
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Encouraging Accessibility

  1. 1. Encouraging Accessibilitywith staff and creatives.
  2. 2. Who am I?- An advocate and consultant on web accessibility- A writer and speaker on pragmatic accessibility- Read more at
  3. 3. What is Pragmatic Accessibility?
  4. 4. Pragmatism is inexact• Pragmatism is not perfection.• Continuous improvement is crucial• Lack of accessibility is not a reason to keepinformation off the web.
  5. 5. “Perfect” Accessibility is Subjective
  6. 6. Who benefits from web accessibility?• Blind or partially sighted users.• Deaf and Hard of Hearing users.• Color blind users.• Users with cognitive impairments.• Users with mobility impairments.
  7. 7. Who else benefits from web accessibility?• Users of smart phones and tablets.• Users in brightly lit rooms.• Rural users.• Impatient users.• Everybody
  8. 8. Why rural users?• Gap in rural and urban adoption of broadband:13%, 2003. In 2011? Still 13%.• Rural poverty statistics are 2% higher than thenational average• 63% of rural households have broadband, vs.67% of suburban. But...• While nearly 100% of urban households canaccess speeds over 10Mbps, only 75% of ruralhouseholds have the same.Sources:; Utah Broadband Project; National Telecommunications and Information Administration
  9. 9. 10 Mbps seems pretty fast.• Yes, it is. And so is basic broadband, at 3 Mbps.• Everybody benefits if they can get to your site sooner• Load time has a direct relationship to abandonment.• Dont sacrifice structure for speed.
  10. 10. Encouraging Accessibility• Art vs. Accessibility• Empathy• Time & Money
  11. 11. The Art of Accessibility• Popular design trends dont lock step withusability:– Color choice– Button design– To underline or not to underline?• Accessible design is a communication art• Accessibility requires great visual thinking...• ...and the ability to translate visual intomachine-readable
  12. 12. Empathic Accessibility• How do people get information off the web?• What is a barrier to getting that information?• How does assistive technology work?
  13. 13. Time & Money• Is there an added cost for accessibility?• If there is, how do you budget for that?• Can accessibility be added later?
  14. 14. Accessibility is:• Basic best practices• Consideration of alternate access• Great usability
  15. 15. Getting Engagement
  16. 16. Who are key accessibility stakeholders?• Content creators• Designers• Programmers• Decision makers
  17. 17. Content Creator Knowledge• Skimmable content• Meaningful link text• Avoiding color or locationally driven text• Clear language• Careful use of acronyms and abbreviations• Alternate content for images,audio, or video• Use all-CAPS carefully.
  18. 18. Designer/Developer Knowledge• Color contrast• Heading structure• Reading order• Avoid images of text.• Use adequate font sizes (10pt plus)• Consider line length• Make links recognizable; consider link focus• Label form fields and controls clearly.
  19. 19. Decision Maker Knowledge• What features will introduce new issues orincur additional costs?• How can you do a quick accessibility test?• How do you interpret testing results?
  20. 20. Accessibility Example: the alt attribute• Most basic building block of alternate content• Know when its crucial• Otherwise, use is subjective
  21. 21. Testing Web site Accessibility• Overview:• What do these results mean?• What dont they cover?
  22. 22. Accessibility Resources.- WCAG Recommended Techniques: highly technical, thoughsimpler than the WCAG itself. WebAIM: Simplified summaries, recommendations.Extensive documentation on almost every accessibilitytopic: University of Minnesota, Duluth Web Design References:Extensive curated catalog of accessibility articles on theweb:
  23. 23. Questions?