Web Development

The task of creating content that is accessible to students with disabilities is not a difficult one, but it cannot happen automatically, without thought or design. Web developers and designers must be aware of the issues, they must know the techniques, and they must employ those techniques. In order for this to happen consistently over time, colleges must adopt both a policy and a system that supports Web accessibility.


Quick Tips

Below is a list of tips and tools for designing a web site which
meets accessibility requirements.

Ensure all content and design fits into a logical heading structure.
The reading order should be the same as the visual order.
Be especially careful with light shades of gray, orange, and yellow. Check your contrast levels with WebAIM’s color contrast checker.
True text enlarges better, loads faster, and is easier to translate. Use CSS to style text versus images.
All caps can be difficult to read and can be read incorrectly by screen readers.
Font size can vary based on the font chosen. Use line height and letter spacing to enhance the legibility of the content.
Don’t make it too long or too short.
Differentiate hyperlinks in the body of the page with underlines or something other than color alone. Avoid “Click Here” in link text. Other ambiguous links, such as “More” or “Continue”, can also be confusing.
Ensure keyboard users can visually identify a focused link. Use the standard dotted line or other non-color designators.
A link for keyboard users to skip navigation should be at the top of the page. It can be hidden, but should be visible when it receives keyboard focus.
If used, provide a play/pause button. Avoid flashing or strobing content: It can cause seizures.
Because users often can’t distinguish or may override page colors, color cannot be the only way information is conveyed.
Ensure form controls have descriptive labels and instructions. Pay close attention to form validation errors and recovery mechanisms.

Online Resources

W3C.org
WebAIM
WAVE Accessibility Checker
WordPress
WordPress Accessibility Blog
Drupal
Drupal Accessibility Blog

About the VLC

The Virtual Learning Community is a collaborative effort of all North Carolina’s Community Colleges to increase the quality and availability of online learning and support services.

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