Instructional Technology/Web Content Accessibility Guidelines

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Web Accessibility for Disabilities[edit | edit source]

"Accessible Design" calls for design that includes the needs of people whose physical, mental, or environmental conditions limit their performance. "Universal Design" aims to extend standard design principles to include people of all ages and abilities, but remains at the level of generality—so does not address all the specific needs of any particular disability.

But even for people who do not have any specific physical or mental characteristics that affect computer use, it has been found that adopting universal design principles can reduce fatigue, increase speed, decrease errors, and decrease learning time for all users. In many ways, universal design addresses the larger issues of usability making things easier for everyone.

General Principles

  • Allow for Flexibility
  • Provide choices in features and ways that tasks can be accomplished
  • Accommodate right- and left-handed use
  • Allow the user to customize settings whenever possible
  • Keep in mind that people may be using adaptive technologies

Be Simple and Intuitive

  • Do not design something differently from user expectations just to be different
  • Eliminate unnecessary complexity
  • Provide feedback

Minimize Errors

  • Provide warnings
  • Build fail-safe features when possible
  • Do not establish patterns when you want people to pay attention
  • Redundancy provides flexibility for different user preferences, system configurations, or user abilities. This can be accomplished by using more than one way to represent, display, and enter data, such as:
    • using both a beep and a menu bar flash to notify a user of an error using text to label images
    • redundantly allowing a user to issue commands by typing or selecting something with a pointer

Avoid Side Effects

  • Side effects should be avoided because they cause particular problems for novice users and disabled users who may have difficulty detecting or correcting certain types of side effects.

508 Guidelines

W3C guidelines

Technologies available

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