ADA Guidelines for Creating Accessible Web Pages
Web pages must be developed in order to be read by all users, including those with disabilities. While this is a requirement of the Americans with Disabilities Act, it's also good practice. Barriers to access can easily and unintentionally be built in when designing a page, and limit readership. Readers with disabilities may be using adaptive software to access sites. However, adaptive software will be effective only if sites are developed according to access guidelines. For a free evaluation of the accessibility of a web page try the tool, A-Prompt
Web authors can use A-Prompt to make their Web pages accessible to people with disabilities. This software tool examines Web pages for barriers to accessibility, performs automatic repairs when possible, and assists the author in manual repairs when necessary. The enhanced Web pages are then available to a larger Internet audience.
Web Accessibility Standards/Guidelines
These guidelines make web pages more useable to all readers. To understand the standards used in order to comply with ADA guidelines refer to http://www.w3.org/TR/WAI-WEBCONTENT/. The standards address factors such as:
- The use of color
- Designing for use with screenreader software
- Providing text equivalents to visual/auditory information, and much more...
Designing an Accessible Web Page
"How to" is easier and easier thanks to sources such as WebAIM . Refer to http://www.webaim.org for tools, information and resources, especially of use in higher education. Consider reading these articles on WebAIM's site:
- Introduction to Web Accessibility
- Evaluating Web Accessibility
- Using Front Page 2003 to Create Accessible Web Content
- Dreamweaver Accessibility Features
- Creating Accessible Flash Content
Creating accessible pages does not mean eliminating attractive features; it means making those features readable and useable to all.