Today in class we covered the four principles of “assistive technology”, set forth by WCAG 2.0 (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines). This post will focus particularly on the first principle–whether or not information and user interface components are presentable to users in ways they can perceive–and how my previous posts and WordPress comply to this standard. Here’s one problem already–“assistive” is considered a spelling error! But then again, so is “WordPress”.
So let’s go through my posts one by one. Luckily there are only … seven.
1.) Pop-Art with Photoshop
This is already problematic, because there is no textual content whatsoever, and Rule 1.1.1 advises that all non-text content should have a text alternative. Perhaps this could be improved upon by including a description of the steps taken to create these images? That might make the post more interesting for everyone. Maybe it does comply though, since the pictures aren’t meant to convey any information?
This post is mostly just a link to the pathfinder we created for a class assignment; the pathfinder itself is mostly text, and the one image included is not crucial to understanding the rest of the content or linked to any other material.
3.) Ignite Powerpoint Presentation
This link to a pdf version of my Ignite presentation is mostly image based, but the Ignite guidelines are geared towards visual rather than textual slides, with most of the content being delivered by the person presenting. (The pdf is less interesting than the slides with the actual presentation.) Maybe Ignite presentations are not particularly 1.1.1 compatible, since they encourage people to narrow the scope of presentation technique, with the idea that less is more. In the case of accessibility to different forms, less can be a lot less.
Well, this is a step in the right direction, because youtube has generously put a gigantic PLAY button right in the middle of this clip, which should be recognizable to most assistive technologies.
5.) Reflections on Henry Jenkins’ Convergence Culture
This post is entirely text. A-okay?
6.) [off the] CHARTS!
I’m glad I got to type that post title again, because it makes me lol. The text of this post should be fine, but the graphs are not accessible at all if you are visually impaired! There should probably be numbers added to each column, or possibly a link to the website used to retrieve the information, which may have more accessibility options.
7.) Photo Essay
Lastly, this post is in the same boat as my first post; it’s almost entirely image based (with sound as well in this case) but since it’s not trying to convey any crucial information, is it compliant? The suggestions for compliance state: “ If non-text content is pure decoration, is used only for visual formatting, or is not presented to users, then it is implemented in a way that it can be ignored by assistive technology.”
As for this blog as a whole, there are some definite changes that could be implemented to make it more accessible; for instance, where the youtube clips provide a giant PLAY button as an alternative to the word “play”, this setup only has text for all of the links. The link to “Home” could have a little house next to it, like most browsers employ; the “Calendar” could have an image of a calendar, and the “Blog” section could have an image of a journal. I think I need a much more thorough understanding of the capabilities of common assistive technology before I point too many fingers though.