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The value of accessibility | Webdesigner Depot

Are you ready to go down the accessibility rabbit hole with me? We will need to dive into to the technical aspects of web pages. HTML is the skeleton of a webpage while CSS, JavaScript and images enhance the HTML. Often times visually impaired people miss out on all these enhancements

. Although accessibility is mainly a developer task, sometimes the technical requirements required to preserve or enhance accessibility will affect the appearance of the website.

That means that design, copy, user experience and development all need to collaborate to make sure that navigation controls, forms, buttons, headings, buttons, links, and more are accessible.

People who are blind, visually impaired, illiterate or learning disabled use assistive technologies to navigate the Internet. Screen readers are the most common assistive technology for the web, these software programs attempt to interpret what is displayed on the web page and convey it to the user, usually through converting the text to speech but sometimes through a Braille output device. Screen magnifiers are also often used in conjunction with a screen reader. Typically a screen reader will attempt to parse the HTML from the top of the HTML file to the bottom and speak relevant elements to the user. Ideally the screen reader will allow the user to successfully move a virtual cursor down the page in order to fill out form fields, click buttons and make selections from drop-down menus and other controls.

To test thoroughly for accessibility you’ll need to ensure that the website or app performs well on each of the many screen readers available. There are several popular free and/or open source screen readers on each platform including JAWS, and NVDA.

Most web accessibility problems occur when the screen reader’s virtual cursor becomes trapped in a poorly designed form or skips over an important control or an important piece of textual information. Verifying that websites are indeed usable is similar to browser testing because each screen reader has different requirements and limitations. This is why understanding the behavior of each screen-reader is important. The needs of various screen readers can be accommodated by adding various special HTML tags to the important elements of the page.

Curated by (Lifekludger)
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