Web Accessibility

Web accessibility means the features of a web site that help visitors use it. And the reference users means all users. That includes the disabled and those with vision problems. It also includes those with motor problems and those with problems with logic.

Web Accessibility Tools

We use a collection of evaluation tools called Wave. Utah State University created the tools as a free community service. The tools helps webmasters make the web more accessible to people with disabilities. The tool can identify many accessibility errors, but it is not an automated tool. And we wouldn’t want it to be, either. Instead, the tool lets us see the results and decode what changes we need to make to our web content.

Design Principles

We follow certain principles when we design our pages. The first is to use consistent navigation for our web pages. We use clear menus and clear and legible fonts. The aim is to use high colour contrast between elements, and standard web markup.

Clear, Simple Language

The heart of what we aim for is to use clear language that is easy to understand. So, we grade our texts on the Flesch-Kinkaid scale. This is very useful because it tells us that our text is understandable by the average person. We do this for the benefit of all users. The principle we follow is that text should be is easy to read.

It is possible to use our site without having to view graphics or images. All non-text elements have ALT tag text attributes,. There is an exception to this. That is where we have used decorative graphics or formatting images. They are to help the page layout and to make the page look balanced. So, we leave those ALT attributes empty. An example of a graphic that is also a formatting image would be a line that splits up blocks of text.

E-Commerce Sites

That said, this is an ecommerce website selling products. And they are products that rely on their visual appeal. So although we add ALT tags, there are limitations. The limits are how well we can describe images with only text.

Also, we use javascript for layout and for the shopping cart to function. Javascript is essential for our ecommerce system. That said, developers are still working on its web accessibility.

For your information, the written copy on this page scores 72.7 on the Flesch-Kinkaid scale, which is considered easy to read. In everyday language it means it should be easily understood by 11 to 12 year olds. To give you a comparison, our home page has a score of 73.1, although this does vary a bit because we change the text to keep it fresh.

If you have any questions about web accessibility, please contact us via our Contact page.

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