For 2018, Impactpool has pledged to produce disability-friendly content only! This is done in order to make our content more inclusive and accessible to the millions of people with disabilities such as visual impairments and hearing loss, preventing them from reading content and the participation in the online-society that we currently live in. Read the article below to find out what it takes to produce disability friendly content.
The internet has become an indispensable link in society, so important that you can simply not participate without it. However, millions of people are missing out on vital online information, relationships and knowledge because content and websites are written in a way that prevents people with disabilities (visual impairments, hearing loss e.t.c.) to read it properly. In order to make our content accessible, inclusive and comprehensible to everyone, Impactpool has pledged to only produce disability friendly content in 2018 and we encourage you too, to give the same New Year's resolution!
Clicking on small buttons can be difficult for everybody. The difficulty level drastically increases for someone who has mobility problems. Enlarging the clickable range around the button/link will make clicking a lot easier for readers with disability problems.
2. Having descriptive links
Building your call-to-action buttons and links more descriptive can make your content/website more disability-friendly. Do not use generic phrases like “click here” or “read more”. It is more useful if you describe the link by writing it out, for example, “to find all jobs at the Norwegian Refugee Council” instead of “All NRC Jobs”.
3. Use periods in abbreviations
A screen reader cannot distinguish between an abbreviation or a word. It is helpful to add period marks after every alphabet in an abbreviation. For example, if you are referencing the UNHCR, ensure that you publish it as U.N.H.C.R. This allows the screen reader to distinguish between individual alphabets and words. Without the period marks, the abbreviation will otherwise not make any sense to your audience. At Impactpool we will, onewards add periods to all our organizations, even if that is not the 'official name'. For organizations like Unicef where their name is a readable abbreviation, we will keep the name as is.
4. Don’t rely on colour alone
Underlining, contrasting and/or highlighting your links and call-to-action buttons in order to make them easier to distinguish from the rest of the text. This is usefull for people for people with colour blindness (Approximately 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women in the world (colourblindawareness.org) in order to find the link easy and in a short amount of time.
5. Use alt tags
Alternative text is read by screen readers in place of images allowing the content of the image to be accessible for people with visual disabilities. Screen reader is a software program that reads the text out loud when you hover the mouse over an image on a website. For example, if there is a picture of the General Assembly in New York, alt tag the image and plainly write out what is in the picture. This is the most simple way for the reader to know what the image is without actually being able to see it.
6. Use of transcripts and subtitles
Subtitles and transcripts are incredibly useful for the hearing impaired as they can read what they can't hear in a video or audio file. If your website includes videos, podcasts and other formats that require hearing, ensure that you offer options for subtitles. You can also create a transcript for every video at the end of the web page.
Keep in mind these 6 simple rules when writing your content. It makes your articles/website more accessible for people with dissabilities and has huge impact! From now on, Impactpool will provide disablity-friendly content only, we hope that you do the same!
At Impactpool, this is just a start and hence we are welcoming feedback, input, and advice from our users that can help us improve accessibility.
Description of the Picture above: Connor Ashleigh for AusAID.