It’s important to ensure that the websites you develop and work with at least meet the minimum standards of accessibility, especially the 508 Standards. The easiest way to accomplish this is make the checklist part of the initial design and workflow.
Much of this blog was inspired by several presentations at WordCamp Atlanta 2019, particularly the presentation by Joseph LoPreste of StPeteDesign.
The checklist below will assist in making a website 508 Compliant.
- Make sure all images on your site have alt-text tags – People using screen readers don’t see images, so make sure that the alt-text of each image is descriptive – especially if the image contains text.
- Make sure that each field in every form on your site is properly labelled – Without labels, forms will not be viewable on screen readers.
- Make sure your site can be navigated using only a keyboard – Not everyone uses a touchpad or mouse, so make sure that there aren’t any features on your site which requires them.
- Make sure your videos are setup for Closed Captioning. You must make sure that all videos you create have a manuscript for the Closed Captions. Also, provide an Audio transcribing for non-audio videos or animations.
- The color of any given content cannot be the only indication of value or what it is.
- Make sure there are flexible time limits associated with the website or software. Check that auto updating, moving, blinking, and scrolling content can be paused or adjusted.
- Make sure to include a skip navigation link or something equivalent, so the user can bypass repetitive content.
- Make sure that user Input errors are identified and described in the text to the user.
- Make sure your font size is at least 18+.
- Make sure that your contrast is at least 3:1 for links and 4.5:1 for all other content.
- Make sure that all of your link texts are descriptive.
- Make sure that all documents on the website (not external links), such as PDF or Word are fully accessible
There are automated tools and plug-ins which can identify most of the above when a website nears completion.-
The next blog post will cover several of these.