In accordance with the EU Web Accessibility Directive, all public service websites are required to be accessible to people with disabilities and have an accessibility statement outlining what has been done to ensure everyone can access online content and indicating any content that is not accessible.
Most issues can be avoided by following these 10 quick tips for creating accessible content produced for Blackboard when adding content to your site, although site admins will still need to take responsibility for testing the accessibility of their sites and make any amendments necessary.
Testing site accessibility
If you already have a site, please initially refer to this W3C guide for Easy Checks – A First Review of Web Accessibility.
We then recommend testing your site in various ways. Here are a few tools you can use to gauge how accessible your site is:
- https://wave.webaim.org/ (Heed the red errors more than anything)
- https://webaccessibility.com/ (This is a page by page checker)
- https://web.dev/measure/ (This will check other areas as well, with only the accessibility section needed)
- https://achecker.ca/checker/index.php (take with a pinch of salt and just use as a backup)
- Chrome extensions Siteimprove and Axe are also handy.
Website scans & Chrome extensions are just a couple of examples as each can give you a different result, one may tell you the site is fine and another may flag a few things so it’s recommended to check multiple sources.
Be especially aware of errors rather than recommendations. If you encounter an error, please contact the WordPress team at email@example.com. Recommendations can be fixed if possible, and to do so is good practice, but not essential.
Issues such as not using ALT tags, heading structure, and colour contrast ratio are common and should be addressed wherever possible.
Alt-text (Alternative text) is a short piece of descriptive text associated with an image that describes the image to someone using a Screen Reader. The text may also be displayed if images are turned off and care also referenced by search engines. Effective alt-text therefore needs to be sufficiently descriptive to clearly convey what the image represents.
Please use this link for help on writing useful alt-text: https://axesslab.com/alt-texts/
Page builders – DIVI
Some sites may rely on page builders for a more custom appearance or functionality. DIVI is the page builder provided on this network. If you use DIVI on your site, then please make sure you also have the DIVI Accessibility plugin enabled as well.
Also be aware that the default button colour will be flagged as a contrast error, therefore when adding buttons this will need to be changed.
If you are unsure about the contrast between text and background colour use this tool to check: https://contrastchecker.com/
Anything that cannot be fixed or amended will need to be declared in the site’s accessibility statement, clearly explaining to users why they might not be able to fully access specific content, how these issues are going to be resolved and any alternative options for accessing information.
Here is an example of an accessibility statement: https://blogs.lincoln.ac.uk/accessibility-statement/.
Overall we’re aiming for AA rating, so don’t worry about the AAA rating at the moment.
If you require support or have any questions about any aspect of accessibility, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org