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Updated Oct. 2017
Build an Accessible Website
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.
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.
- 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
- 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.
Accessible Word Documents
These are easy instructions on how to make your Word 2016 files ready for Section 508-compliant PDF output. This video will guide you in creating an accessible Word file which will save you time, money and help you comply with the law.
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.
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.
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.
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.