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Accessibility

The world has become a lot more accommodating for people in wheel chairs, for the disabled, for those who are blind or partially sighted.  But despite more than 20 years of work, a large portion of our population have trouble reading the screen, manipulating the mouse, navigating your site, understanding what you are saying.

You can make your text and site a lot easier to navigate, comprehend, and use if you follow guidelines that have been developed with a strong nudge from the federal government. These sites help you confirm that your site really is accessible.

For a digest of tips on how to make your text easier for people with special needs to read and use, see Make your links accessible.

If you discover a site with useful, more or less unbiased info on making your site, or your text, accessible to folks with special needs, let me know.

Accessibility Resources

A subset of the well-researched Usability.gov, from the National Cancer Institute. A good starting point if you have to make your site conform to government regulations, and good practice. Open your site up to people who have special needs.
http://usability.gov/accessibility/index.html

Bobby

If you want to see how accessible your page is for people with special needs, submit your URL to Bobby, and get a report. The site offers lots of more comprehensive tools for making sure that your text can be read and used by everyone.
http://bobby.watchfire.com/bobby/html/en/index.jsp

Checklist for Web Content Accessibility

A useful way to make sure you are following the W3C's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. Each guideline gets a priority ranking, and a table in which you can confirm that, yes,you have followed this one, or no, or, perhaps it is not applicable.
http://www.w3.org/TR/WAI-WEBCONTENT/full-checklist

Section 508

U.S. government regulations on accessible web sites, mixed together with standards for office equipment. A poorly formatted, and tangled document, as you might expect. Unfortunately, if you have to guarantee that your site is accessible to people with special needs, this section will become your legal textbook. (Published March 31, 2000).
http://www.access-board.gov/sec508/nprm.htm

Web Accessibility Initiative

The folks at the center of the Web have put together a very useful set of guidelines on accessibility. Not just recommendations. Techniques for putting those ideas into action, checklists, training, plenty of resources.
http://www.w3.org/WAI/

Web Accessibility in Mind

Ideas, techniques, tools for making your site more accessible. Many guidelines on making your text easier for the handicapped to read and navigate.
http://www.webaim.org/

 

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