How accessible is your digital content? (Slides and plain text)
How accessible is your digital content?
Web accessibility means that people with disabilities can equally perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with websites and tools. It also means that they can contribute equally without barriers. (World Wide Web Consortium, W3C)
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines outline three levels of conformance:
Level A - 30 basic standards
Level AA - 20 intermediate standards
Level AAA - 28 advanced/advisory standards
These standards include things like: subtitles and closed captioning, when to use audio players, alternative text, text descriptions for charts and graphs, font choice, and colour contrast.
If your digital content doesn't conform to all of these standards, don't worry. Audit your content to understand what areas of accessibility you are doing well with. Then identify the next standards you'd like to achieve.
What is Alt Text and why should you use it? (Slides and plain text)
What is Alt Text and why should you use it?
Alt Text has been in the news a lot recently as companies misused this accessibility feature to create jokes. So, what exactly is Alt Text and what should it be used for?
According to the Royal National Institute of Blind People, Alt Text is used to describe images that appear on websites and social media so that visually impaired users can hear a summary of what is in those images.
Alt Text image descriptions should aim to provide visually impaired users with the same social media or website experience as sighted users. Viewing an image should be equal to listening to it being described (or as close as possible).
An image is provided on this slide as part of an exercise in writing useful Alt Text. The image is credited to AhmadArdity on Canva.
Alt Text draft 1: A female model walks down the catwalk at a fashion show.
This Alt Text description is not bad, but it doesn't convey all the details of the image necessary to provide everyone with the same experience either when viewing it or listening to it being described.
Alt Text draft 2: Audience members attending the Dina Jsr fashion show look on as a female model walks down the catwalk wearing a golden full length, sleeveless dress. The dress features a cream coloured spider-like pattern to the front.
That's getting better in that it provides more information about what is going on in the image enabling the content to be more equally accessible to all users.
As a follow up to this exercise, what Alt Text description would you provide for the image? Are there any further details you would add?