By Linda Amundson
Five Steps to an Accessible
If you were to evaluate your class- room website right now, would you be able to navigate it using text-to-speech software with your eyes closed?
Would you be able to gather all of the
information the website provides with
the sound turned off? What if you
viewed the website through a browser
with images turned off? What if you
could not use a mouse?
When teachers or technology coordinators publish a website, they are
providing a product for a diverse group
of people. That’s why website design
should follow accessibility guidelines.
Websites should be accessible to those
with visual, hearing, movement, cognitive, and speech disabilities. People
may be using a variety of tools to experience and navigate your website,
including voice output, Braille displays,
keyboards instead of mice, and screen
magnifiers. The effective use of these
tools becomes possible only when a
website is truly accessible.
In addition, when you follow accessibility guidelines, your website becomes navigable for those with
slow Internet connections and people
who have limited experience with the
language you speak.
Good design means greater accessibility for all. Follow these five steps,
and you will open your website to a
wide community of diverse users.
Step 1: Organize for Easier Navigation
Make sure you use headers to structure your webpage. Headers identify
new sections to the reader, whether
visitors are skimming a website for
information or using a screen reader.
16 Learning & Leading with Technology | November 2009