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Updated Jun. 2013

Web Accessibility

Build an Accessible Website
Accessibility Features
Accessible PDFs
Accessibility Training
Usability
Translation

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Build an Accessible Website

There are many WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) software options that can help you build good-looking websites. Many of these, particularly the more current apps, produce clean HTML/CSS code. But WYSIWYG software does not include some of the W3C standards, such as ARIA (HTML5 markup extensions that support accessible web technologies) or manual Javascript integrations.

Hand-coding is often the best option for accessible websites. When you hand-code (write your own HTML/CSS code) you have complete control of all styling and graphic elements.

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Accessibility Features

An accessible website follows these guidelines:

Clear navigation and good readability:

Avoid cluttering up the page with a lot of links. The example below shows the old and revised versions of the Marin County Registrar of Voters’ website. Note the clear hierarchy of information and the simplified main navigation menu on the revised version as well as the simple, direct language that is intuitively ordered, with important information at the top.

Marin Vote Website: Old and edited Plain Language version

Design features:

  • Ample white space and chunking
  • Color-blind friendly
  • Avoid animated/flashing pages and images
  • Alt attributes for images that convey information and descriptive text transcript for sound
  • Clear, concise link text that makes sense when users navigate in links-only mode

Maximize usability:

  • Design for large and small formats (including mobile devices and tablets)
  • Ensure design is compatible with assistive technologies
  • Ensure design retains natural reading order without style sheets
  • Complies with other Section 508 guidelines
  • Field test with users with disabilities

Learn more at: Web Usability.

Read about How Teenagers Use Websites.

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Accessible PDFs

An accessible or "tagged PDF" means the PDF has been modified to include basic accessibility features, including:

  • alt text for important images that convey information
  • active links
  • logically organized page structure with headers, subheads, paragraphs, etc. so screen readers read the text in the proper order, and
  • properties that specify the document’s source language.

For more information on this topic, see Adobe's information about tagged PDFs.

Contact Transcend if you would like us to provide accessible PDFs for display or download from your website.

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Accessibility Training

Transcend offer webinar or in-person training that provide you with a better understanding of Section 508 requirements and WCAG 2.0 guidelines. The training will also address HTML/PDF accessibility concerns, techniques, and other available resources. Contact Transcend for more information.

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Usability

Once your key web pages are complete, Transcend will conduct a field test to test the usability and accessibility. To do that, we recruit typical users, some with disabilities and some without, to respond to an instrument that elicits their detailed feedback on the site’s language, design, and general usability. We’ll also test the site for its compatibility with assistive technology, ease of navigation, and more. Their feedback helps identify the site’s strengths and weaknesses, and is incorporated into the final design of the website.

For more information, see the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) web accessibility checklist.

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Translation

Once your site is accessible, translation is the next step! Transcend can provide a certified translation of the site into your preferred languages and easily incorporate them into the design. For more information, contact us.

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Web Accessibility