Accessibility on the Internet

4 Aug

I’m creating a new website and will be launching shortly.

I’m really excited about it. And I’m also aware that it will be woefully inadequate for some.
Given the work I do, that’s painful for me.

If you use a keyboard, if you use a mouse, if you can see, if you can read what’s on a computer screen without making the font larger, if you can hear – then you may not know what I’m talking about. It’s new for me too.  And in fact right now as I’m typing this blog I’m looking for the option to make the font larger. It’s a small thing, but it means one less adjustment for some people who may want to read this. I can’t find the feature. If I had a visual impairment, you can bet I would know how to do it!

This is a perfect example of how bias works – we are familiar with the things that we need to be, to get through our day. And if you, like me, just pick up your laptop or mobile, type in the URL and away I go, then you, like me, likely have no idea what it means to have an accessible site. Or how important it is. Or how many people can’t read our sites because they aren’t accessible.

If you live in Ontario, the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) has guidelines for websites.
As I build mine, I’ll be working on these over time, as many require coding that I am not able to do myself.
But I can begin with making the font larger, so that it’s one less step for people who need larger font.

One less step is part of what inclusion is about: recognizing the extra steps that some people have to take to get to the same place, to have the same access, to enjoy what many of us take for granted every day – and creating ways to eliminate or at least reduce those steps.

I’ll let you know when my new website is up.
And I’ll keep you posted on the accessibility of it as well.

See more.

Copyright 2015 Annemarie Shrouder
Speaker, Facilitator and Author on issues of Diversity and Inclusion.


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