Accessibility checks help you optimize your website. For every visitor.
By thinking about accessibility, you are actually thinking about your design, the use of textual and multimedia content, and the structure of your website.
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has a list of accessibility checks for you.
In this post, I will dive into the main, priority 1 checkpoints in that checklist and see how these apply to a modern (WordPress) website.
Priority 1 Accessibility checks
Let’s start at the very beginning of that list of accessibility checks and work our way down.
is actually quite an extensive check, so I get why they made it the first one. For every non-text element, you should provide a textual equivalent.
That goes for things like images, but also for everything ranging from image map regions and animated GIFs to stand-alone audio files and video.
This can be done with
longdesc tags, for instance. For your YouTube video, it can be done by adding closed captions to your videos:
It’s not that hard if your video isn’t too long. This goes for any kind of multimedia presentation, by the way.
It might be easiest to simply add additional text right below a video or powerpoint for that matter, outlining what is in the multimedia presentation, so screen readers will have no trouble explaining what the presentation is about. If time, or viewing time, is an issue (for instance in online tests), synchronize the text with the multimedia presentation.
On a related note, be sure to change these textual equivalents when the non-textual part changes. That seems logical, but just don’t forget to do this.
Mind your colors and contrast
We’ve discussed this before. There are many ways to check contrast and if colors work together. Quick test: convert your website to black and white. Create a bookmarklet using this snippet: