Building Web Accessibility

Building Web Accessibility

The internet is meant to be convenient, easy to use and accessible to all people. Because of this, Google and other search engines strive to build the internet up as such, and will reward websites they deem to be convenient, easy to use and accessible.

Billions of people are online all the time, gathering information and communicating with one another.  It’s the largest network that has ever been built and is constantly changing and updating. Using the internet, we glean information from news sites and social media sites. Most people browse the internet on a computer screen, mobile device, or tablet, but there others who do not have this luxury.

Those that have impaired vision or are blind still want to gather data and information, but have to use different methods to be able to do so. It is great to see that there are programs and products out there to help those that have this impairment, but it becomes rather difficult for those programs to work when your website is not built properly.

As a business owner aren’t you wanting to reach as many people as possible? In order for you to do that you need to follow the procedures and standards that have been established by W3 to ensure that those that are blind can still access your website.

A rather common item that I notice with websites is the lack of the “alt image” tag being used on images.  For example, when you decide that you want to put an image into your content like so:

You can then right click on the image and click “view item source” or “inspect element” depending on the internet browser you are using. Within that code you should see something like this

“<img src=”” alt=”funny picture” width=”53″ height=”80″>”

the alt= is the code that you use for an alternate name for your image. There are two reasons why you do this. One is so that your image can be categorized by the search engines image search. The second reason is for those that are using blind software. When that software is reading the page to a person, it will use that alt= section to tell the reader what image is there. Typically you want to explain what the image is showing.  So you want to, depending on the image, explain what is shown there so that they will understand the page more.

If you have questions or are struggling to understand exactly what you need to do with images, please let me or your account managers know. It’s a pretty important element to have on your site. Google has even addressed this recently at their blog which includes a survey for those that have vision impairments to help them work to build better software that reads websites.

Jordan Colton
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