By Kevin O'Keefe

Is your blog fully accessible under Americans with Disabilities Act?

Craig Williams has a nice summary of San Jose, Blogger Skye Kilaen’s Blogher presentation making your blog fully accessible.

  1. Create a strong color contrast between the text and the background. Black text on white background is preferred by people who have a difficult time seeing.
  2. Label your images.  Those who are blind and use screen readers will have the benefit of your description of the photograph.  Otherwise, they just hear just how the photograph was saved by the digital camera:  ‘0072806.jpg.’
  3. Resist visual CAPTCHAs.  A CAPTCHA is that small screen of letters and numbers you have to somehow read and then input in the correct sequence to successfully leave a comment on a blog. 
  4. Move your navigation bar to the right side or add a command for a screen reader to skip to the text of your most recent post.  Otherwise, a blind person has to listen to your entire blogroll before getting to your topmost post. 
  5. Use relative font sizes instead of point- or pixel-based fonts.
  6. Check your widgets (your calendar, blogroll and the like) to ensure they’re screen-reader friendly.  You can check your site by loading it and then hitting the Tab key to navigate it.  If you get stuck, it needs to be reworked. 
  7. Break your post into paragraphs.  More white space makes it easier for everyone to read.
  8. Make your link text explanatory.  For someone who’s listening to your site, links labeled such as ‘here’ ‘here’ and ‘here’ don’t mean much.  Describing them as ‘See the full opinion of the court’ has more meaning to describe the link.
  9. Don’t open new windows from links without warning people.(Gee, where we heard that recently)
  10. Change the style of visited links.  When someone has clicked on a link, left your site and then comes back to it later, navigation to the spot where that person left is much easier to pinpoint if the previously-visited links are a different color.
  11. Use more than color cues for links.  For people who are color blind, red and green links are indistinguishable.  Adding an underline feature makes a hyperlink easier to see.
  12. Use punctuation.  Screen readers pause for punctuation.  Otherwise, your post is just one long monotone of words.

For more tips, Craig say you can visit Skye’s sites at Flooded Lizard Kingdom or Lone Star Democracy. You can get the full range of tips from Knowbility

Thanks Craig.

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Kevin O'Keefe
About the Author

Trial lawyer turned legal tech entrepreneur, I am the founder and CEO of LexBlog, a legal blog community of over 30,000 blog publishers, worldwide. LexBlog’s publishing platform is used on a subscription basis by over 18,000 legal professionals, including the largest law firm in each India, China and the United States.

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