Accessibility Matters: is your online content accessible?
On 11 December 2008, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) published an update to their Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) which aimed to make the internet a more accessible place for people with disabilities. Over ten years later and the online community has not seen much of an impact. Less than 10% of sites are accessible to people with disabilities.
Innovation Connect member Cameron Chislett, an Intune Engineer at Support on the Spot, shares his insights on accessibility in online content with us. With over a decade of experience, Support on the Spot are trusted providers of IT and design services for businesses of all sizes.
Cameron tells us: “Accessibility is a big problem for a lot of people. I am red-green colour blind, so if your logo has green or red in it, I may not be able to see the text.
"My wife is disabled and uses a wheelchair. If we go out to the shops, I need to make sure that there's a ramp or lift for her to use."
"One of my best friends is deaf, so I often do Sign Language interpretation for them if we're out together. We also watch TV or YouTube with captions on".
While there is quite a bit of awareness of accessibility issues in the physical world, enabling access in a virtual reality is still a relatively unknown territory for many. We all know how to make a building accessible, but how does one make an accessible website or a blog post?
Being aware of the difficulties people have with accessibility can help you make your business more accessible to all.
Accessibility tips from Cameron for your online content
If you're recording a video, make sure you're in a quiet place so the captions don't pick up every sound. Also, face the camera and talk slowly and clearly so people can lip read.
PhotoIf you're posting a photo, use the 'alt text' field to describe the purpose of the image. That way, screen readers can paint the picture with clear concise words.
Describing the picture is not always best: a good example is for a search button in alt text would be "search" rather than "magnifying glass”.
HashtagsIf you use hashtags, capitalise each word within the hashtag so that screen readers can distinguish the words with greater ease.
Don't use emojis in the middle of a sentence. Screen readers may read the description of each sentence like this: “The (clapping hands) quick (clapping hands) brown (clapping hands) fox (clapping hands) jumped (clapping hands) over (clapping hands) the (clapping hands) lazy (clapping hands) dog (clapping hands)”.
If you’d like to learn more, then this Introduction to Web Accessibility is a good starting point. You could also work through this simple checklist to ensure your online content is accessible to everyone.
If you are looking to join a supportive community of businesses in Portsmouth with a great tech profile, Innovation Connect is for you.
You can rent a desk or office space at:
- Cell Block Studios in the Historic Dockyard
- Halpern House in the city centre
- Portsmouth Technopole at the entrance to the city
With a range of flexible office space though to hot desks for one, all our office space is owned by and managed by the University of Portsmouth’s Innovation Connect team.
Contact us to book coworking or office space
Have a query or want to book a tour?
Office hours: Monday – Thursday, 9.00am – 5.00pm; Friday, 9.00am – 4.00pm