Whenever you are faced with making decisions about color schemes in your digital content, remember that some users do not perceive certain colors or might need higher contrast to better discern the content.
Do it Yourself
Making digital content accessible and usable for all your users is relatively easy. The DIY solutions presented here respond to the most frequent use cases you may come across. You may also search this DIY library to find information about how to make your particular content or use case inclusive and accessible to all. If this is your first visit, please take a moment to review the most common accessibility fixes you can easily take care of.
If it’s only one file:
- Open Acrobat X Pro.
- Go to File> Open. Go to the appropriate file location and select it.
- Open Tools> Recognize text> In this file.
- Open Tools> Accessibility> Add Tags to Document.
- Go to File> Properties> Advanced> Language and select the appropriate language.
- Go to Accessibility menu (on Tools) and click on Full Check.
- If there are any findings the report generated will indicate ways of remediating them.
Screen reader users frequently resort to a list of links in the page to be able to orientate themselves. In their report on a study with screen readers users, Theofanos and Redish (2006) said that "Screen-reader users scan with their ears." After observing and interacting with 16 screen reader users who were blind, they recommended:
A screen reader user navigates through headings to understand the content of a new page. A well organized document aids the user to orientate himself to the specific section he needs. Headings and sub-headings help to categorize and organize content in a way that the flow of perception is intuitive.
Navigating a table with a screen reader can become a travesty really quick. Even more so, tables that are not clearly labeled can be confusing to users who are not familiar with the content or do not perceive associations between rows and columns that are not properly labeled.
If you create tables in Word, always have clear header rows. You must go to the Layout tab with the table selected and click on "Repeat Header Rows."
If you code tables in html, include table header <th> tags.
Testing may be performed at many different points in the development of digital content. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) provides a comprehensive list of evaluation tools to test websites. There is also a Website Accessibility Evaluation Report Generator that provides an interface to check through WCAG 2.0 guidelines and generates a report. You can use this to automatize compliance testing reports.
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) via the Web Access Initiative (WAI) has published the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level of Conformance AA which have been adopted by Iowa State to guide web development that is accessible. Their Quick Reference Guide is useful in helping developers identify guidelines applicable to their projects.