Accessible Content and Accessible Tools

There are two key components to the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI): content and tools.

Most of the tools we used or were exposed to in this course are quite accessible. UM Learn (D2L), for example, passed the machine tests I employed (audio, contrast, structure, field labels, etc.). YouTube is about 90+% accessible: allowing for captioning, descriptive audio and transcripts. Zotero, however, has significant issues that include missing alt text, low contrast, and some document structure issues.

Much of the content, even the content in quite accessible tools, is inaccessible. Pinterest is a rather accessible tool but uses images and infographics with text embedded in them. There’s no way to separate the text from the images, alt text isn’t provided but wouldn’t be adequate enough to describe complex images and there is no way to provide audio alternatives. Twitter recently introduced alt text to images, but they are user generated, meaning, most images wouldn’t have alt text. Without alt text, images are invisible to screen reader software and completely inaccessible to people with visual impairments.


About jhounslow

Soccer enthusiast, cyclist, web developer, e-learning professional, educator, husband to a graduate student, and father of four daughters.
This entry was posted in Accessibility, EDTC0560, Social Media, WCAG 2.0, Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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