Education - Include training for inclusive web design

Web design courses (for example those offered to students at a polytech) need to not only teach how to create websites, but how to create accessible websites for screen reader users. This means ensuring that the person includes elements such as: correctly formatting headings, using Alt text in photos and links, correct labelling of elements (such as buttons) and so on. They also need to compare an accessible website with a poorly designed website to understand the differences. By simply failing to label a link correctly, or failing to name a photo or button correctly, it makes it near impossible for someone to identify the purpose of that element. For example, a non labelled button will say "button", but that same button when labelled correctly will announce the name of it (such as a "Submit" button). Formatting the website correctly allows the person to navigate the site independently and does leave them guessing as to which "button" is which. This could be done as a compulsory paper on "accessible web formatting" with an assessment submitted that is completely accessible. It could be tested with the free NVDA screen reader for accessibility. Web guidelines and the importance of them being followed should also be taught. The more accessible your site is, the more people can access that information.

Why the contribution is important

Teaching why web guidelines should be followed is important because it can show the difference between a well designed and poorly designed website. A poorly designed website (for example one that has bad colour combinations) could limit your potential customer base. Understanding the difference between a well designed or poorly designed website could mean a more inclusive website for all. Websites should be tested with a screen reader to ensure that elements are labelled correctly for the blind/visually impaired.

by Gene on November 20, 2018 at 09:50PM

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Comments

  • Posted by kevinprince November 26, 2018 at 12:10

    This should be extended to all - and should start at school. To that end only tools that support accessible collaboration, creation and output should be used. Google have captured the school market yet their accessibility support is woeful.
  • Posted by kevinprince November 26, 2018 at 12:12

    I also strongly lbelieve that this should not be a compulsory paper as suggested but assessed in every project in the same way that the correct syntax is . failing to design an accessible assignment should lead to a fail in the paper.
  • Posted by SimonA February 20, 2019 at 16:05

    Totally agree with this point as well as the above comments. Universal design should be incorporated into all areas of learning that are applicable.
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