II. Cross-Cutting Strategies A Web Accessibility Primer: Usability for Everyone Office of Web Communications
Provide Labels and Structure • An organized, outline presentation makes content more accessible to everyone. • Use real heading and bullet list formats so machines (screen readers) can recognize them.
Color Use • Don’t use color alone to convey info. Cornell’s policy not Cornell’s policy www.vischeck.com • Use high contrast colors.
Acronyms • Spell out acronyms in their first use. • Even common acronyms (e.g., CEO) should be spelled out. • Screen readers will pronounce acronyms as words if there are enough vowels.
Hyperlinks • Link names should make sense out of context. • Make links and hot spots big enough to hit with limited motor ability with a mouse. “click here” … “more” … “Dr. Raj”
Avoid Flickering Images • Flashing, strobing or flickering images can induce seizures in some people. • Not to mention are annoying to almost everyone.
Tables (continued) Use the simplest layout possible. • Label rows and columns clearly • Don’t let headers span rows or columns • Use only one level of row/column names
Tables (continued) • Define sizes with percentages (%). • Not inches or cm.
versus University Image Use • Use real rather than graphical text • Use images liberally – they aid comprehension. • But avoid background images. • Provide descriptive “alternative text” or “alt-text” for images.
Alt-Text for Images • Screen readers read any alt-text you provide for images. • Don’t duplicate descriptions if they are already in main content. • Don’t describe images that are merely decorative.
Audio and Video • Always provide a text transcript for all audio. • Include captions for all audio associated with video or changing images (e.g. PowerPoint). • Synchronized • Equivalent • Accessible • Don’t describe images that are merely decorative.
Text Presentation and Formatting • Use simple, familiar fonts. No cursive or rare ones. • Provide high contrast between text and background. • E.g. • Not • Use footnotes rather than endnotes.1 blue on yellow red on green 1to help keep them in context
Text Presentation and Formatting • Leave large, empty margins around the text. • Use blank lines between paragraphs.
Clear Writing • Use active verbs, avoid passive voice • e.g. She wrote the book not The book was written by… • Avoid the verb “to be” as main verb • e.g., He charmed the audience not He was charming • Keep sentences short and simple. • Avoid double negatives. • Organize your ideas logically, use headings.