Website Accessibility Checkpoints

Statement

The list below presents all the accessibility features implemented in this website and also briefly mentions their benefits.

  1. A meaningful text equivalent is provided for every image (e.g., via "alt"). Screen readers read it, text-only browsers display it, Google indexes it, and visual browsers can display it as a tooltip or on the status line.
  2. All information conveyed with color is also available without color, from context or markup and foreground and background color combinations provide sufficient contrast. People who cannot differentiate between certain colors and users with devices that have non-color or non-visual displays will receive the information.
  3. Appropriate markup language is used rather than images to convey information; header elements, mark up lists and mark up quotations are used to convey the document structure and cascading style sheets is used to control layout and presentation. Misusing markup for a presentation effect (e.g., using a table for layout or a header to change the font size) makes it difficult for users with specialized software to understand the organization of the page or to navigate through it. Cascading style sheets can be used to define different behaviors when accessed via a browser, a text-to-speech reader, a PDA or a printer. This helps a document to 'transform gracefully' across access media.
  4. The documents are organized so they may be read without style sheets. Web pages using style sheets are able to be read accurately by browsers that do not support style sheets and by browsers that have disabled the support for style sheets.
  5. The documents validate to published formal grammars. The DOCTYPE declaration should always be the first line in an XHTML document. It informs the validator which version of (X)HTML you're using and also lets the user agent know where to look for semantics if it needs to.
  6. The primary natural language of the document is defined. The screen reader software JAWS needs to know what language your pages are written in, so it can pronounce your words properly when it reads them aloud. This feature helps Google in the search, even if you are writing in English, but especially if you are writing in some other language.
  7. The expansion of each abbreviation or acronym in a document is specified. Google indexes the acronym title as well as the acronym itself, so people can find your site whether they search for the acronym or the spelled-out description.
  8. Relative units are used rather than absolute in style sheet property values for font sizes and line heights. The Windows IE will not allow readers to resize text that has been sized in pixels.
  9. Where scripts or other programmatic objects are turned off or not supported equivalent information is presented on an alternative accessible page. Pages still work with older browsers and people who choose or are forced to turn off features will still be able to receive the information.
  10. For scripts that should have used event handlers was provided an input device-independent solution making use of an unobtrusive JavaScript technique. Users must be able to interact with a user agent (and the document it renders) using the supported input and output devices of their choice and according to their needs.
  11. A less intrusive and more standard compliant code was chosen to embed Flash content. The UFO automatically enhances the web page by swapping replacement content for a Flash movie in all cases where Flash and JavaScript support is sufficient. It has its roots in the Web Standards community and is designed to support W3C standards compliant, accessible and search engine friendly web design.
  12. Keyboard shortcuts to important links weren't implemented. The keys that an author chooses to activate navigation options could very well conflict with keys that are already assigned by the disabled user's assistive software.
  13. Neither pop-ups nor new windows are opened and the current window does not change without informing the user. Opening links in new windows can confuse or disorientate visitors, especially those using assistive technology devices and software.
  14. There are associated labels for all form fields and default place-holding characters are included in edit boxes and text areas. This allows screen readers to intelligently announce what a particular input element is, by reading the label. Furthermore, older browsers do not allow users to navigate to empty edit boxes.
  15. Non-link, printable characters (surrounded by spaces) are included between adjacent links and the target of each link is clearly identified with an informative link title, meaningful enough to make sense when read out of context. User agents (including assistive technologies) are currently unable to render adjacent links distinctly. People, who are blind, have difficulty seeing, or who are using devices with small or no displays are unable to scan the page to get an overview of a page or to quickly find a link. These users will often tab from one link to the next or review a list of available links on a page.
  16. Metadata was provided to add semantic information to the website. By providing metadata search functionality is improved, satisfying varying skill levels and preferences. For instance, when several META elements provide language-dependent information about a document, search engines may filter on the lang attribute to display search results using the language preferences of the user.
  17. A consistent style of presentation and navigation across pages was created as well as a site map. Additionally was provided a way to skip to the navigation links and to the main content. A consistent style of presentation on each page allows users to locate navigation elements more easily but also to skip navigation elements more easily to find important content. This helps people with learning and reading disabilities but also makes navigation easier for all users.
  18. Clear and simple language suitable for the site's content was adopted and distinctive information are placed at the beginning of headings, paragraphs, lists, etc. presenting the main content first. Choosing a suitable writing style helps make the content of the site easier to read for everyone, especially people with reading and/or cognitive disabilities.
  19. Meaningful page titles were chosen. JAWS has a special keyboard shortcut which displays (and reads) a list of the currently open windows, by window title. Google displays the page title in its search results, and it ranks keywords higher when they appear in the page title.
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