Improving Web Accessibility - Starting with our own website


January 28, 2015

OpenConcept has been deeply involved in raising awareness about web accessibility for a long time. As we were developing our new website, we took this opportunity to make it as accessible as possible.

Having proper alternate text for images is the low hanging fruit of web accessibility, however there were a few instances where we had to address some more unusual challenges.

In order to provide the alt and title attributes to the user profile images by default, we actually had to develop a custom module. This is something we are working on getting resolved in Drupal 8, however at the moment this is not part of Core. We then used a token to manage the replacements in our staff view.

We were careful in how we chose to use CSS based infographics cases where the images were just decorative. We wanted to ensure that anyone visiting our website with a screen reader would get the full experience.

Another important area to focus on when designing a new site is the colour scheme. It is important to address colour contrast requirements with the designer from the beginning. When it comes to that, we set as a design requirement for text and links to always have a minimum contrast ratio of 4.5:1. We used Tanaguru's online colour contrast evalator to test contrast because it suggests replacements if the colours don't meet the minimum ratio. This saved us a lot of time as theme developers. We chose to keep our links underlined, so that links would be easy to see and navigate even for keyboard only users (more on that here). We needed to ensure that keyboard navigation retains focus properly for everyone using our site.

We also worked to ensure that our text was not on top of photo images or any backgrounds that were not solid. The most challenging space for this was with our front page slideshows, where we added a solid background behind our text to make it more readable.

Here at OpenConcept, we enjoy and take pride in making the web accessible to as many people as possible. If you would like to find out more about our commitment to accessibility on our website, please read our Accessibility Statement which describes the structure of our site and some other elements which may be helpful for people using assistive technology.

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