11 Tasks That ADA Buzz Will Complete for Your Website
Use alt tags for all images, videos and audio files. When you hover your mouse over an image on a website, the little words that pop up are called alt tags. For someone who has a visual impairment and uses a screen reader (a software program that reads text on a website out loud), the alt tags are read aloud, and are the only way a user knows what the image is. Alt tags are an opportunity to describe the image accurately and succinctly. If it’s a picture of a person, the person’s name, title or context should be described. If it’s an object, a couple of words need to describe the object. For example, if it’s a photo of pile of bricks, use the alt text “pile of bricks”.
Subtitles and Text Transcripts
Create text transcripts for audio and video content. Text transcripts help hearing-impaired users understand content that would otherwise be inaccessible to them. If your web content regularly includes videos, try to provide subtitles — especially if you’re producing the bulk of your own video content. Popular video hosting sites such as YouTube have tools that allow users to add subtitles to their clips. Making a transcription of the video available online is also an incredibly helpful resource for users.
Put periods in abbreviations, like A.D.A., otherwise the screen reader will read “ada”, without differentiating the individual letters.
Describe your links so the visually impaired know where the link is taking them.
Utilize color control to optimize text and background colors, to make navigation easier for the visually impaired. Practicing smart color choices is useful for a website with any kind of audience. ADA Buzz will avoid pairing garish colors, and be wary of using yellow, blue and green close to one another (this is especially difficult for colorblind users). Black text on a white background is the best general practice, because it’s readable for most audiences.
Be clickable with big, well identified buttons for the physically impaired and the visually impaired.
Offer alternatives and suggestions when users encounter input errors: If a user with a disability is encountering input errors because of their need to navigate the website differently, your site should automatically offer recommendations to them as to how to better navigate toward the content they need.
Identify the site’s language in header code: Making it clear what language the site should be read in helps users who utilize text readers. Text readers can identify those codes and function accordingly.
Create a consistent, organized layout: Menus, links and buttons should be organized in such a way that they are clearly delineated from one another and are easily navigated throughout the entire site.