Info

1.67%

Source: Onestat press releases (www.onestat.com)

Source: Onestat press releases (www.onestat.com)

Guidelines for creating accessible web sites are produced by the governments of different countries and non-government organisations such as charities. Internet standards organisations such as the World Wide Web Consortium have been active in promoting guidelines for web accessibility through the Website Accessibility Initiative (see www.w3.org/WAI). This describes common accessibility problems such as:

images without alternative text; lack of alternative text for imagemap hot-spots; misleading use of structural elements on pages; uncaptioned audio or undescribed video; lack of alternative information for users who cannot access frames or scripts; tables that are difficult to decipher when linearized; or sites with poor color contrast.

A fuller checklist for acessibility compliance for web site design and coding using HTML is available from the World Wide Web Consortium (www.w3.org/TR/WCAG10/ full-checklist.html).

There are three different priority levels which it describes as follows:

• Priority 1 (Level A). A web content developer must satisfy this checkpoint. Otherwise, one or more groups will find it impossible to access information in the document. Satisfying this checkpoint is a basic requirement for some groups to be able to use web documents.

• Priority 2 (Level AA). A web content developer should satisfy this checkpoint. Otherwise, one or more groups will find it difficult to access information in the document. Satisfying this checkpoint will remove significant barriers to accessing web documents.

• Priority 3 (Level AAA). A web content developer may address this checkpoint. Otherwise, one or more groups will find it somewhat difficult to access information in the document. Satisfying this checkpoint will improve access to web documents.

So, for many companies the standard is to meet Priority 1 and Priority 2 or 3 where practical.

Some of the most important Priority 1 elements are indicated by these 'Quick Tips' from the WAI:

Alt tags

Alt tags appear after an image tag and contain a phrase associated with that image. For example: <img src="logo.gif" alt="Company name, company products"/>

Images and animations: use alt tags to describe the function of each visual. Image maps: use the client-side map and text for hotspots.

Multimedia: provide captioning and transcripts of audio, and descriptions of video. Hypertext links: use text that makes sense when read out of context, for example avoid 'click here'.

Page organisation: use headings, lists, and consistent structure. Use CSS for layout and style where possible.

Graphs and charts: summarise or use the longdesc attribute.

Scripts, applets and plug-ins: provide alternative content in case active features are inaccessible or unsupported.

Frames: use the noframes element and meaningful titles. Tables: make line-by-line reading sensible. Summarise.

Check your work. Validate: Use tools, checklist, and guidelines at www.w3.org/TR/WCAG.

Figure 7.5 is an example of an accessible site which still meets brand and business objectives while supporting accessibility through resizing of screen resolution, text resizing and alternative image text.

www.hsbc.coml"/>
Figure 7.5 HSBC Global home page [www.hsbc.coml
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