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#MyFriendAlexa - Is Your Content Visible To Everyone?

Is Your Content Visible To Everyone - Vibhu & Me
What is an accessible website or blog?
I want to change my blog but where to start?
I am not a technical person. Will I be able to apply accessibility in my blog?
Is there any rule book or guideline?

Yes, there is!

There are many companies who have created web accessibility standards. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are web accessibility guidelines published by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Then there is another standard MAS (Microsoft Accessibility Standard) and couple of more. These are actually rules that guide people on how to do changes in the HTML of the website/blog so as to make it accessible for all. But those standard are more understandable for people like me who work full-time in testing websites against accessibility standards. My team also makes software that both checks websites against accessibility standards and fix accessibility issues in them. No wonder this is we are supposed to do as software professionals.

As a blogger, I am also trying to make fellow bloggers/readers understand the importance of accessibility in our blogs. The first characteristic of an accessible blog is its perceivable content. Since not everyone has the same abilities and some of the people can not use senses (sight, hearing or touch) the way persons with no disability use, the blog content needs to be presented differently. This enables blog visitors and blog readers to perceive the content in ways suitable for them. The text of the blogs is normally perceived by sight, but for people with zero or low vision, the presentation we can change. Like giving "text to speech" options and keeping posts simple with less dynamic content. Such text is easily read by screen readers and perceived by hearing. Same content but two ways of making it visible!

How to make your blog perceivable?

There are a number of ways. Some are MUST to do's and a few are good to haves. I have filtered out the ways that can be achieved without the knowledge of any technology. Have a look:
  1. Make sure every image has alt text. Don't stress on text-heavy images. 
  2. Make sure there are no CAPTCHAS.
  3. Make sure the content has sufficient font size.
  4. It will be good if you can provide transcripts with audios.
  5. It will be good if you can provide caption in videos.
  6. It will be good if you can provide a balanced color contrast between the text and the background of the blogs (prefer black text over a white background). This improves the readability for individuals with low vision.
  7. It will be good if you can provide "listen to this blog" feature.
There are many other guidelines for making a blog/website accessible. And they need HTML experts to completely go with. However, each individual blogger can still do much to increase the accessibility of their blog. Start with the thing you have the most control, the post itself, that you write regularly. Include the above points in your post and make content perceivable for Everyone. I hope now you know Everyone! Let us all help in building this digital world for Everyone.

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