Wednesday, October 26, 2011
"Skip to main content" or "skip navigation" links provide a mechanism for keyboard users to jump over repetitive navigation directly to the main content of a page. These links must be one of the first links on a page and must be visually apparent in order to provide quick access to the main content for keyboard users, including screen reader users. They can be intrusive to visual design. However, because "skip" links are really only useful to keyboard users, they can be
ATAP Web Accessibility Tips Page 11
hidden from view until they receive keyboard focus, at which point they are presented visually and prevalently within the page - thus maintaining high utility to both sighted and blind keyboard users, but having no impact on other users - they probably won't even know that the link exists.
Read more about hiding "skip" links visually.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Form error prevention, validation, and recovery techniques can have a significant impact on site usability and accessibility. Forms should be easy to understand, to complete and to submit. If there are problems with a form submission (e.g., the user did not complete a required form field), you should:
1. Alert the user to the presence of the error in an apparent and accessible manner
2. Allow the user to easily access the form elements that need to be modified
3. Allow resubmission and revalidation of the form
Clear and simple writing is one of the most important, yet often neglected, aspects of web accessibility. Technical accessibility provides access to content, but that content must be written and presented so it is understandable by the audience. This includes considering the use of headings and content sections, avoiding slang and jargon, being mindful of the required reading level, defining acronyms and abbreviations, avoiding misspellings, and presenting the text in a highly readable font face and presentation.
Monday, October 17, 2011
TV EMERGENCY MESSAGE ON NOVEMBER 9, 2011 IS ONLY A TEST!
YOU DO NOT NEED TO TAKE ACTION!
ONLY A TEST. On November 9, 2011, at 2 PM Eastern Standard Time (EST), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will conduct the first-ever nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS). At that time, an announcement will come on every TV and radio channel indicating that there is an emergency. This is only a test! Please do not be alarmed when you see this test. You do not need to take any action.
The purpose of this test is to assess how well the EAS can alert the public about dangers to life and property during certain national emergencies. Although the FCC and FEMA are taking steps to ensure that everyone has access to the announcements made during the test, some people watching cable television (as well as some others) may only receive an audio (not a visual) notice that this is a test. Both agencies are now working to ensure that you are aware of the test so that you understand that this is not a real emergency.
What is the EAS? EAS alerts are sent over the radio or television (broadcast, cable and satellite). State and local emergency managers use these alerts to notify the public about emergencies and weather events, such as tornadoes and hurricanes. EAS can also be used to send an alert across the United States in the case of a national emergency. It is common for state and local EAS tests to occur on a weekly and monthly basis. But there has never been a test of the nationwide system on all broadcast, cable, satellite radio and television systems at the same time.
The purpose of the November 9th test is to see how EAS would work in case public safety officials ever need to send an alert or warning to a large region of the United States. If a major disaster such as an earthquake or tsunami occurs, EAS could be used to send life-saving information to the public.
What will be different about this EAS test? The nationwide test conducted on November 9th may be similar to other EAS tests that you may have seen in the past. These have an audio EAS tone and a message indicating “This is a test of the Emergency Alerting System.” But this nationwide test will last a little longer: around 3 minutes. In addition, due to some technical limitations, a visual message indicating that “this is a test” may not pop up on every TV channel, especially where people use cable to receive their television stations. For these reasons, the FCC and FEMA are taking extra steps to educate the public, especially people with hearing disabilities, that this is only a test.
For more information about how this EAS test may affect you, please visit: www.fcc.gov/nationwideeastest.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Some users prefer using a search form to quickly find information. Others may follow navigation or other links. Others may prefer a site map or index. Providing multiple ways of getting to content will improve the usability and accessibility of your site.
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Pages should be designed so the line length, the number of characters that appear per line, should be neither too short nor too long. Anything more than around 80 characters can introduce reading difficulties in scanning from the end of a line of text to the beginning of the next line. Short line lengths also introduce difficulty and vertical scrolling. The width of the body area of a web page should be constructed to ensure that lines of text are constrained to both minimum and maximum lengths across both small (such as mobile devices) and large screen resolutions.