As someone who has a sight difficulty that can’t be corrected (for reasons that are too complicated to go into here), I often struggle with anything that’s on screen or printed on a piece of paper. My bugbear is small text in a serif font and in a pale colour!
I am glad that there are things available for me to make reading on screen easier. However, my problems are small compared to the people who are in the scenarios on this page: https://www.w3.org/WAI/intro/people-use-web/stories. I particularly admire anyone who is nearly or completely blind or deaf. In our current era of information being delivered via audio-visual means, I really don’t know how they cope and get by.
As directed, I pasted an existing URL* (a site that I set up a good few years ago and which I no longer update) into the Website Accessibility eValuation Tool (WAVE) here: http://wave.webaim.org/.
I can remember being very careful about the colours I used at the start and I consulted the RNIB at the time to see if the colours I wanted to use were suitable for various types of colour blindness. They had a tool you could download that allowed colour combinations to be checked.
The results of the WAVE test were interesting.
- Alternative text is present for an image that is within a link.
- Image alternative text is not present.
- An image without alternative text results in an empty link.
- A layout table is present.
- Text appears to be a heading but is not a heading element.
- Fully justified text is present.
- Link text contains extraneous text or may not make sense out of context.
- The language of the document is not identified.
- The page has no headings.
All of the above are definitely my fault and are all down to my lack of knowledge about how to create web pages, and probably because I haven’t updated either the text or the elements on the page for about 4 years. One of the things I thought I had done was add text to images, but obviously I haven’t. I should probably take the site down and start again using an online web-site builder! I also think that the technology used to build web sites has moved on in the last 4 years and my old copy of Dreamweaver MX is no longer up to the task.
It certainly makes me more appreciative of the efforts my colleagues make to ensure that our institute’s web site follows all of the guidelines and is compliant with all of the various policies and laws.
* For anyone who’s interested, the page I checked is here and is my family history: http://www.users.waitrose.com/~jonewman/.