A comment by AlisonBryan to a post I made last week that was full of YouTube videos (1930s Drama Exposes Horrors of Forced Sterilization) has given me further cause to think about the accessibility of both the What Sorts? website and this blog. After some reflecting and poking around the web I suggest that the WhatSorts community should maintain the following standards wherever possible:
- Descriptively tag (ALT and TITLE) every piece of media. People who use various alternative browsers rely heavily on these to navigate.
- Minimize use of color and make sure that all text contrasts cleanly with the background. (For those of you with a Mac OS who are not colorblind but would like to see a simulation of how those who are might see your website, check out Sim Daltonism)
- Select videos with subtitles wherever possible. When this is not possible, clearly indicate that subtitles are not present to save the viewer from having to find out for themselves. Sometimes scripts or extended summaries are available and these should be linked to if possible. (Subtitles are now easy to add to already existing videos with free web software available at dotsub.com and overstream.net).
That’s a start anyway, but I imagine that there are more. Towards the end of making both the What Sorts? website (currenly undergoing revision) and this blog as widely accessible as possible please post any further suggestions that you may have, including any tools or applications that may be relevant to helping the web become a more open place for everyone. I’ll pick them up and add them to the list above so that this post becomes a “living” guideline that can benefit anyone who happens this way. Also of interest are any experiences you might have using accessibility tools, either with this site or the web in general (Yes, ther are lots of forums where these things are discussed already, but a few comments here might go a long ways towards a cross-polinization of ideas).