Website Accessibility

The Technical Details of Accessibility
Posted on 02/02/2022
Accessibility logoWhen developing compliant websites, it’s important to know how screen readers scan websites. Like the human eye, they start at the top and work their way down the page, reading each element of a website and the associated content via tag. For this reason, skip links are important for ADA compliance because the first thing on a web page is usually not the main content. Incorporating skip links as one of the first items on your website allow a user to bypass the navigation when using a screen reader and jump right into the bulk of the website content.

Tips to help with compliance may include, Webpage links should make sense when read aloud and place distinguishing information first. Always organize content pages with the appropriate headings. Define landmark roles and use HTML 5 elements (<main>, <nav>, <header>, etc.) appropriately. When using dynamic content, use appropriate values (aria-live=”off” or aria-live) to tell the screen reader how to announce the update.

Screen readers and individuals with vision disabilities cannot analyze an image or determine what the image represents. So, when it comes to developing a website, we must recognize the importance of page title tags (the <title> element in HTML). There are several “must have” elements to help web accessibility such as headings (the <h1> and subsequent levels), and the alternative text of images (within alt tag of the img element) to help a user understand the context of an image. Not only is it SEO best practice for every image to have an alt tag, it is imperative for compliance as images without an alt tag are likely inaccessible.

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