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Reference card: < 460 words

From: Stella O'Brien <smo-brien@lioness.demon.co.uk>
Date: Thu, 27 Aug 1998 18:21:05 +0000
Message-Id: <l03130304b20b535626b2@[158.152.28.240]>
To: WAI Education and Outreach <w3c-wai-eo@w3.org>
Title: Basic Guide to Accessible Web Design
Author: Stella O'Brien
Version: 1
Status: Draft
Date last modified: 9th August 1998
Word count (exluding document information): < 460

Maximise your audience. Make your site faster and easier to use for people
with portable web devices, anyone with low bandwidth connections, or
disabled users.
Make sure your web site communicates effectively even with the graphics,
sounds, and moving images, turned off.

Supply text versions of visuals
Good visuals are very powerful, but not everybody can see them. Well
written text alternatives communicate the content or purpose of a picture
or display  to people who can not see them.

Provide access to audio-visual materials
Create a text version of sound or speech clips which stand alone, or which
accompany a visual presentation.
Provide both audio and text descriptions of dynamic visuals such as movies,
or animations. Important auditory and visual information is now available
to users who have partial or no access to the original material.

Make text easy to read
Complex background images and colours obscure text and make it difficult to
read for people with vision impairments. Use good colour contrasts. Moving
text and images can be distracting to the user, and difficult to interpret
for screen readers. Allow the user to freeze the movement of images or text.

Make pages easy to scan
Make the main text clear, short, and relevant. Users scan pages to pick out
interesting material quickly and easily. Similarly, users scan a speech
output to listen for cues to relevant information. Provide an organised
framework of summaries, headings, and lists to aid scanning for all users.

Provide easy navigation and links
Users need constant, easy access to an appropriate version of a site map
and information about their current position. Users need to have a clear
idea of the content of a link, and where it will take them.

Allow alternative input
Some people cannot use a mouse or other pointer. Support alternative input
and user control such as keyboard access or voice control. Supply a list of
text links for clickable regions in images.

Use accessible layout
Traditional layout practices are inherited from print media. They can be a
barrier to making information accessible. Use layout which supports users'
personal preferences, and technical resources. The user-friendly author
ensures that information displays such as forms and imagemaps are
accessible to alternative inputs.

Test the accessibility
Test the web site with a variety of browsers, in various ways (e.g., with
graphics loading turned off; or without plug-ins), using alternative input
(e.g., keyboard rather than mouse), and on different monitors. Evaluate the
site with an automated analysis tool. Make sure the web page still
communicates the relevant information.

Get more information
For a Quick Reference Guide which suggests current solutions and techniques
to address these issues visit ***. For more detailed guidelines, fuller
examples, and other useful techniques see ***.


Stella O'Brien, KO2
email: smo-brien@lioness.demon.co.uk
Received on Thursday, 27 August 1998 13:24:37 GMT

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