Main content

Students have trouble Accessing Web Sites: The Problem

Why? Poorly designed websites....

Solution: 10 Things You Can Do

Technology or tool based solutions

  1. Stay Up-to-Date #1: Use the latest browser
  2. Stay Up-to-Date #2: Use latest screen reader/magnifier that works with latest browser
  3. Stay Up-to-Date #3: Use a self-voicing browser (Webspeak, Home Page reader, Simply Web, VipInfosoft)
  4. Know Your Tools #1: Learn how to modify browser with built-in features (change color, font sizes, font type)
  5. Know Your Tools #2: Use Keyboard shortcut keys

Advocacy based solutions

  1. Get Active #1: You write a letter to the webmaster
  2. Get Active #2: Have your students and your student's parents write the webmaster
  3. Start at Home #1: Have your students test your school and district websites for accessibility
  4. Start at Home #2: Talk to your district's computer teachers (who teach web authoring), tell them about incorporating accessibility into their class, have your students test student projects
  5. Start at Home #3: If using a purchased service - work to change your districts purchasing policy to only purchase accessible web materials

Accessibility Barriers

A disability is a functional limitation that affects major life activities. People with disabilities become handicapped when they interact with a poorly designed environment.

The Web can present barriers to people with different kinds of disabilities: They are easy to fix!

Visual disabilities:

  • unlabeled graphics, undescribed video
  • poorly marked-up tables or frames
  • lack of keyboard support or screen reader compatibility

Hearing disabilities:

  • lack of captioning for audio
  • proliferation of text without visual signposts

Physical disabilities:

  • lack of keyboard or single-switch support for menu commands

Cognitive or neurological disabilities:

  • lack of consistent navigation structure
  • overly complex presentation or language
  • lack of illustrative non-text materials
  • flickering or strobing designs on pages

Accessible Web design contributes to better design for ALL users

The following is information that can be included in letters to webmasters that may help explain the benefits of making their website accessible. 

Multi-modality (support for visual, auditory, tactile access) benefits users of:

  • mobile phones with small display screens
  • Web-TV
  • kiosks
  • Auto-web (browsing in your car)

Multi-modality increases usability of Web sites in different situations

  • low bandwidth (images are slow to download)
  • noisy environments (difficult to hear the audio)
  • screen-glare (difficult to see the screen)
  • driving (eyes and hands are "busy")

Redundant text/audio/video can support (captioning of audio files supports)

  • different learning styles
  • low literacy levels
  • second-language access
  • better machine indexing of content
  • faster searching of content