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Accessibility

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Designing the site for users with disabilities

Accessibility

Designing the site for users with disabilities

Introduction

The 2003 ISO (International Standard for Organization) guidelines are designed to assist people with disabilities by removing barriers that prevent them from enjoying websites and software. ISO/TS 16071 provides a roadmap that encompasses physical and sensory capabilities without any detriment to those without any disability.

In fact, ISO/TS 16071 provides backing for those who want to counter the ‘awfully clever’, arty and techie websites which are completely unusable to all except the visually over-stimulated!

WritersServices is committed to making its output as accessible as possible to all audiences (including those with visual, hearing, cognitive or motor impairments) to meet the requirements of the UK Disability Discrimination Act.

As an information-based site, our aim is to adhere to the guidelines to make the site as accessible as possible, although we do reserve the right to indulge in a bit of ‘flash’ where appropriate. Our aim is also to make the site accessible to those with old equipment and slow links around the globe.

Our guidelines

Pages

    a. Use short line lengths and paragraphs in top-level pages.

    b. Avoid putting "too much" on top-level pages.

    c. For content pages, use scrolling pages, not multiple pages.

    d. Avoid the use of proprietary products, such as ‘Flash’, without offering an alternative page.

    e. Choose appropriate typefaces and limit fonts used on any page.

    f. Top-level pages must be quick to load. Warn if images, files or pages are large.

    g. Use pictures and symbols in addition to text, where possible, to present information in multiple ways.

Links

    h. Try to ensure that there is suitable space around links to avoid the need for excessive pointing accuracy.

    i. Include descriptive link-text about the destination, so avoid "up" or "next" where possible but "Home" and "More" are acceptable.

    j. Avoid putting too much navigation or too many links on a content page, although this is acceptable on tables of contents and index pages.

Structure

    k. Provide consistent navigation.

    l. Use consistent location of screen objects.

    m. Define the different sections of the site.

    n. With forms ensure a logical tab order through all key elements.

    o. Use scrolling pages in preference to multiple pages.

    p. Ensure that features that require manipulation are an appropriate size.

    q. Identify row and column headers in tables.

    r. Text of more than two lines should be aligned left.

Alternative ways of viewing content

    s. Provide a text equivalent for each non-text element using descriptive text (alternative attributes) for pictures.

    t. Use pictures and symbols in addition to text.

    u. Check pages are usable with scripts turned off or warn the user that they won’t work. 

    v. Check pages are readable with style-sheets turned off.

Colour

    w. Ensure all information conveyed with colour is legible in grey scale.

    x. Check there is sufficient contrast between text and background colours.

    y. Use a plain or a simple background to reduce the chance of visual confusion.

Moving images

    z. Not to use blinking text.

    aa. Avoid scrolling text boxes in data forms or for important navigation.

    bb. Load large images in stages to avoid screen flicker.

    cc. Limit use of moving text or images and provide an alternative.

We hope these guidelines will make the site accessible to everyone.

© WritersServices.com 2003   Revised April 2004



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