Estimated time to complete: 8 minutes
- Learn: By taking this training, you’ve already begun the first step of creating accessible content. Continue your learning by completing this training, using our “further resources” and doing your own research. Seek and listen to feedback about your site’s accessibility, and be sure to consider your audience and the challenges they might face when accessing your website.
- Plan: In the Take Action section, we will ask you to make a plan on how you will ensure that your site is accessible. Use this plan to help you consider accessibility at all stages of web content creation.
- Review: Once you’ve learned how to create accessible content, review the content that is already on your website. Keep note of where content needs to be improved and incorporate making those changes into your plan. The last module in this training provides a comprehensive website checklist for identifying areas of improvement.
The standards for web accessibility are currently governed by the 2005 Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). Within these guidelines, which cover a broader scope of accessibility standards, the AODA upholds the standards of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 level AA.
If you work in Ontario, you have most likely taken the standard AODA training. For the most part, the standard training does not focus specifically on web accessibility. In our training, here, we will briefly examine the principles of the WCAG, which focus on web accessibility.
Web accessibility is concerned with both code and content. We have ensured that all sites in the carleton.ca domain meet the AODA code requirements. However, it is up to you to ensure that your content is accessible.
WCAG is organized around four principles:
- Perceivable: Information and user interface components must be presentable to users in ways that they can perceive.
- Provide text alternatives for any non-text content so that it can be changed into other forms people need, such as large print, speech, or simpler language.
- Provide alternatives for time-based media.
- Create content that can be presented in different ways (for example simpler layout) without losing information or structure.
- Make it easier for users to see and hear content including separating foreground from background.
- Operable: User interface components and navigation must be operable.
- Make all functionality available from a keyboard.
- Provide users enough time to read and use content.
- Do not design content in a way that is known to cause seizures.
- Provide ways to help users navigate, find content, and determine where they are.
- Understandable: Information and the operation of the user interface must be understandable.
- Make text content readable and understandable.
- Make web pages appear and operate in predictable ways.
- Help users avoid and correct mistakes.
- Robust: Content must be robust enough that it can be interpreted reliably by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies.
- Maximize compatibility with current and future user agents, including assistive technologies.
- In cases where you can’t make the website or web content accessible, the information it contains must be made available upon request.
The WCAG provides guidelines on accessibility. Throughout further modules in this training, we will address design best practices that help fulfill these accessibility goals.