digital accessibility

We live in a technological age in which vast amounts of data are accessible and available to us at any given time. One glance at our phones will reveal that we are exposed to thousands of news items and data in a matter of seconds. As a worker at Knowledge Management serving as a content editor, I am happy to contribute to developing this new world and make it more accessible to everyone.

 

What is digital accessibility?

 

Internet accessibility or digital accessibility involves making an application, website, or software accessible to users with a disability that influences their vision, hearing, cognition, and/or motor functions. Various technological utilities (both software and hardware) make it easier to navigate internet websites and interact with their content to assist people with disabilities.

 

Why is digital accessibility important?

 

Websites and the web are essential resources in many aspects of our life, such as education, employment, government, commerce, health services, leisure, etc. The internet must be accessible to everyone and provide disabled people equal access, and opportunity as accessible internet can assist people with disabilities in taking a more active role in society.

 

I've earlier referred to my position as a content editor, which honestly involves much more than applying content to live websites. I must consider the edge user using the website and ensure that each of its components, every page, video, and picture are implemented correctly and are accessible following the accessibility standard.

 

What are the principles of internet accessibility?

 

Here are a few examples of tools and practices that my co-workers and I use to make the company websites more accessible:

 

  1. Alt text

What is it? Adding alternative text to the website's pictures, the text will appear when the user stalls on the image with their mouse.

When to use it? The text is intended for users that can't see pictures. It's therefore essential to provide alternative means to convey the information displayed in the image.

  1. Tooltip

What is it? Adding an informative text to website properties, the text will appear when the user stalls on a property with the mouse. Furthermore, it provides the component keyboard focus.

When to use it? When users require indication or additional information regarding the action they wish to perform.

  1. Headings

What is it? Headings in different sizes/colors for different page segments are defined in various accessibility tools (such as screen readers).

When to use it? The design of these headings helps people using screen readers navigate the webpage more efficiently.

  1. Focal point

What is it? A component we utilize to focus and centralize a picture on a webpage. This way, it doesn't matter on what screen the user is viewing the image (iPad, PC, or cellphone). The picture will look the same and equally focused.

How to use it? It's recommended to use focal points regularly since users access websites from different devices with different screen sizes.

 

You don't know this, but when I began working as a content editor, accessibility standards were only starting to be implemented to apply accessibility rules to websites. I had the privilege of participating in complex accessibility projects and am pretty proud of it. The way I see it, the most significant contributions are made through small details.

 
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