The website is built! The graphics, videos and audio content are engaging! You are ready to launch! You have a nagging feeling that you forgot something… What did you forget? Did you remember to ensure all the components are accessible to an assistive reader? Yes, that’s it!
If you have built a website or worked on a team project to create one, you know how many components must come together to ensure your website is launched and functioning successfully! The same holds true for creating an accessible website. One that is functional the way you want it to be AND can be read by an assistive reader, making the information available to individuals with a disability.
“I want my website to be available and accessible, what do I need to do and how does it work?”
Start by understanding what the roles of individuals are within a website project.
The First Role: Designer
These roles generally fall under designer. The designer is the person(s) who create an overall look and feel of a website and keep it consistent with the company image.
The Second Role: Developer
A developer utilizes various tools to manifest the designers vision. The developer also ensures the components are functional. The developer may also be the publisher.
The Third Role: Publisher
Publishing can be a separate function. It is up to the publisher to decide on the platform. An example is if the purpose of the website is teaching, the publisher may decide to use an LMS, (Learning Management System) depending on the desired outcome.
The Fourth Role: The End User
The fourth element in this cycle is user technologies. This role is defined as the end user. The programs and developers that provide human interface with your site, i.e. NVDA. Separate content writers may also be utilized. All of this ideally comes together for the benefit of the end user. The end users can be customers, students or just individuals browsing the web. Basically, these are the people who are going to use your website.
Understanding the roles and how they work together is only one step in the right direction. Once the website is built, look at it with a critical eye and compare it to WCAG 2.0 criteria. Check often for accessibility issues. Downloadable PDF’s or alternative texts on any graphics or images can become an issue. Audit when new content is added, or at 30, 60 or 90-day intervals depending on site traffic.
For more information visit us on the web Pearl Interactive Network or contact me directly firstname.lastname@example.org . We provide free consultation and estimates!