Contrary to what many design companies believe, there are lots of people with disabilities and mobility impairments who use the internet daily. While there isn’t much we can do about the hardware that these disabled people are using, there is a way you can design a website so that it is more accessible to them.
WebXact’s HTML checker redisplay’s your page into images with annotations which can help you determine which pages might be inaccessible to the disabled. It also checks for browser compatibility problems. Remember to check your site with WebXact so you know what improvements you need to do before you deploy it. Here are four common errors you will encounter:
1. No alternative text with images. Alt text helps people who use screen readers know what the images are. Also, some people view the internet with images off so that web pages can load faster. By having alt text on your site, you can help them choose which images they should view.
2. Not noframes version. A completely replicated noframes version is accessible for most browsers since it runs on any browser.
3. No text only links for pages which are heavy with images. Text loads faster and it would be helpful to include a text link. Aside from that, a text only site can help screen readers do their job more effectively.
4. Audio and movie files have no descriptive text. Audio files may be a help to the blind but these are inaccessibly to the deaf. On the other hand, movie files are more helpful to the deaf but can be of no use to the blind. This is why descriptive texts are important – it allows these files to be accessible to more people.