26 Steps to a More Accessible Website

Continuing on this week’s theme of website optimisation, I came across an interesting article posted by encyclo on Webmasterworld entitled 26 Steps to a More Accessible Website. The post is superb it lists 26 important steps for improving the accessibility of your website to users who may not have easy access to all your content.

Here are the headings but please read the article for the full explanations:

A. Alt text and alternate content
B. Transcripts of video content
C. “Click here!”, or descriptive link text
D. Space between links
E. No javascript: links
F. Use the lang attribute
G. No gratuitous animation
H. Don’t depend on color
I. Captcha alternatives
J. Labels on forms
K. Accessible Tables
L. Page structure: use meaningful headings
M. Page structure: divide up information blocks
N. Simple language
O. Acronym (and abbr, cite, p, li…)
P. No meta refresh
Q. noscript
R. Relative text size
S. Bigger font sizes!
T. Alternate stylesheets
U. Skip to… links
V. Page size/weight
W. Add a sitemap (HTML not XML)
X. Check in Lynx
Y. User testing and feedback
Z. Accessibility statement

I use many of these on WebCards and on the website. These include relative font sizes, alternative stylesheets, labels on forms, the lang attribute and alt text. Accessibility is one of the main reasons why I will not implement captchas on WebCards. Accessibility is essential, and in the UK is even the law (see the Disability Discrimination Act). This article is great for those who want to make their website more useable.

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