Accessible Web

How Accessible is my page? Before this week’s readings, I knew some of the very basics of web accessibility. Alt texts in images help screen readers. Section 508 compliance is a thing. That’s frequently on the bottom of government websites? Ok, so I knew basically nothing. The readings provided great context in providing access to the web for the disabled community. Historians’ goals often include telling the story of disadvantaged communities, so ensuring access for all audiences is crucial to our ethics.

But the most impactful part of the readings was actually submitting my website to the WAVE Web Accessibility Tool. This tool showed places where I didn’t use alt text or had other site design issues. I didn’t think that some PDF files would be inaccessible or overly complicated for screen readers to access when adding links to them. I also didn’t think about the small icons that appear next to the author’s name on each post. WordPress automatically posts these based on the theme used, but doesn’t include alt text. I will need to explore how to add alt text to these images to make my site more accessible.

By and large, I did a fair job of including alt text for my images. Yet it’s an aspect of my site that I’ll need to stay vigilant about to ensure the widest possible access to my writing. Being able to submit my work was much more helpful by giving me my own real world examples whereas the readings only provided theoretical examples.

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