Articles for the ‘Hints and tips’ Category

Figure and figcaption – extended alternate text for screen readers?

The usual way of making images accessible for people who can’t see them is to provide alternative text using the alt attribute of the element. However, in many websites, images are presented with caption text to explain to sighted users what the image is showing. This is effectively an alternative text for the image, but there’s no ‘programmatic’ linkage for screen readers to pick up. HTML5 introduced the <figure> element as a container that could be used for images, and <figcaption> for their alternative text. So could this be used as a good way of handling images with captions, for everyone?

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Collecting dates in an accessible way

There are many different ways to collect dates from users in website forms. But what’s the best way to do that in a way that’s accessible to everyone? In this post we look at a variety of methods, look at the pros and cons of each, and present our view on the best practices for collecting dates. Check it out here…

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Is input type=”date” ready for use in accessible websites?

One of the ‘new’ HTML5 elements – input type=”date” – was intended to simplify the collection of dates on websites, and to reduce user errors whilst doing so. So is it well supported? And does using it help make forms more accessible? We took date inputs for a test drive with different browsers and assistive technologies to see how usable the control is now. Here are the results…

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Accessibility myths 2019 – Digital Accessibility Experts Podcast 3

Back in 2011, I published a blog trying to change some of the things people were misunderstanding about accessibility. In this podcast our team are bringing that up to date for 2019, busting these myths: the accessibility of words doesn’t matter; Blind screen reader users use the tab key all of the time; Accessibility consultants will find exactly the same issues when reviewing the same site; the most important accessibility is done by auditors; accessibility is the most important part of any digital project; If we want to be really good at accessibility we should go for WCAG AAA; ARIA can make anything accessible. Check it out…

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Accessible accordions part 2 – using <details> and <summary>

After a comment on my previous blog post about accessible accordion patterns, I decided to do some investigation on the details and summary HTML elements. They could be the best way of doing accordions natively in browsers, but how well is the pattern supported? And will they work with assistive technologies?

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Thinking of adding festive cheer to your site? Will everyone appreciate your Christmas plugin?

Christmas is coming fast. So how does Santa relate to accessibility? The Christmasify WordPress plugin allows web sites to add a selection of Christmassy items: snowfall, Santa on his sledge moving across the screen, some Christmassy tunes playing, festive decorations for images, and a Christmassy font for the headings. A bit of seasonable fun? Yes. But adding this plugin (and others like it) can cause serious accessibility issues for significant numbers of your site visitors. So can the plugin’s accessibility (and Christmas) be saved?

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What I wish I’d known when I got into accessibility – Digital Accessibility Experts Podcast Episode 1

We often meet people who are desperate to gain knowledge in accessibility. In our team at Hassell Inclusion we’re lucky to have international experts who have over 70 years of accessibility experience between us. We’ve created accessibility standards and help a diverse range of clients to apply those standards to their work every day of the week. We wanted to start opening up some of that well of experience, so people who want to know more about accessibility can benefit. That’s why we’ve created the Digital Accessibility Experts Podcast. Here’s episode 1…

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WCAG 2.1 is here – what’s in it for you?

WCAG 2.1 has now been published. Many people are talking about what’s in it. But the more important question is: what’s in it for you? Here’s a background to why we needed a new accessibility standard, what we recommend organisations should do about moving to it, and some hints and tips from our experience of helping our clients use it so far…

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Relearnability – how to keep your disabled users through a website redesign

Despite our aversion to change, new versions of websites and apps are being released at an increasing rate. Product Managers do this to add new functionality, restructure creaking information hierarchies, or just to keep up with current design trends. However, whenever you change a digital product there will be a period in which your users will feel uncomfortable, as they have to re-learn how to use it. Even if the new site is more accessible than the previous one, if it’s structured differently you can actually lose disabled users, as the challenge of re-learning how to use a site can be a big challenge. So how can you prevent this?

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