Tag Archives: accessibility

Best Practices in WordPress Accessibility Design

Accessibility word cloud

Web accessibility word cloud / itjil / CC BY 2.0

Why:

Designing for accessibility means that you end up with a site that is clear and helpful to everyone.

More information on Universal Design in higher education

Colors:

  • Background images or colors should be subtle.
  • Make sure that colors used are high contrast. Try to use light backgrounds with dark fonts. Don’t use red and green together.
  • Try testing your site here: http://graybit.com/main.php

Web Style Guide: Visual Design

Layout:

  • Allow ample white space
  • Use sans-serif fonts

Improving Accessibility Through Typography
Font Accessibility

Content Organization and Markup:

Images:

image alt text

Include short descriptive alt text for all images! This is the most common accessibility error. Use the description field for complex pictures or charts.

WebAIM has a guide for appropriate uses of alternative text.

 

Video:

Closed caption logoIf you are embedding or linking to video, be sure that it is captioned and it can be controlled through keyboard commands. YouTube can be controlled by keyboard commands. Median cannot yet (other than the space bar to play/pause), but captions and keyboard commands are a requested feature for future updates.

To learn more: YouTube captioning

YouTube keyboard accessibility

 

Formatting:

screenshot of formatting buttons in wordpress

  • Use the visual editor as much as possible to organize your content. The BOLD, ITALICS, LIST, UNDERLINE and BLOCKQUOTE buttons will take care of making sure that the html is accessible to screen readers.
  • Similarly, instead of messing around with font size and style to create emphasis, use the built in styles: HEADING 1, HEADING 2, HEADING 3, etc. The theme you have chosen will take care of the font choice and size, but using these buttons will make sure that your content is properly marked up for screen readers.
  • Always use heading structures to aid in navigation
  • Structure, color, font sizes should be consistent across pages

Best Practices for Accessible Content

 

Links:

  • Your link names should be as descriptive as possible in case they are read out of context. “IMDB list of documentaries released in 2010 (opens in new window)” is better than “Click Here”.
  • Note when when you’re directing to a non-html resource: “Survey results (PDF)”

Accessible Links

 

PDFs, Word documents, and PowerPoints:

  • You can upload these to WordPress, and then link to them from your blog post. When a viewer clicks on the link, they will most likely download the file (though some browsers will open PDFs within the browser window). Make sure that the documents themselves are accessible!

PDF accessibility
Microsoft Word accessibility
PowerPoint accessibility

 

References:

Add captions to your video

You can add captions to your video though YouTube and have the option of exporting the captions for use elsewhere.

Captions enhance the accessibility of videos, and allows us, as described by Google, to “make the world’s information universally accessible and useful.”

The following video demonstrates how captions and subtitles work in YouTube: