1.4.3 Contrast (minimum)

I've skipped a couple of guidelines because either we've already covered them or they are not relevant to most people (other than web developers). I might come back to one of them later but I wanted to move on to something that is relevant to everyone. Contrast This is the guideline that I seem to spend the most time fixing when clients send me documents or presentations to check for WCAG compliance. I'm not sure whether people just forget it or genuinely can't tell when the contrast is getting dodgy. This guideline has got more detail than the others and says: The visual presentation of text and images of text has a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1, except for large text, which has a ratio of 3:1.  The obvious immediate issue here, is how you know that. I'm going to address this in reverse order, starting with the contrast ratio and then going back into colour codes. WebAim Contrast Checker Before we watch the video, just open this page: Contrast Checker To use it,

1.3.4 Orientation

This one should be quite quick and I was tempted to skip over it but maybe there is something to raise awareness of... It says: Content does not restrict its view and operation to a single display orientation, such as portrait or landscape, unless a specific display orientation is essential. The only place where I regularly see an opportunity to restrict the orientation to a particular display is in Storyline, the software where I design most of my eLearning. I don't think I've ever used it though. Why would you want to restrict a person's choice?  What I do want to make you aware of is that in some editors, Blogger included, you can preview and see how it would appear on different devices and different orientations. I find this quite useful just to check that my posts are readable in all displays, especially if I'm using pictures or video.  So, there are six icons. Let's go through each one and what it shows. 1. Monitor - this shows what you would see on a normal c

1.3.3 Sensory characteristics

The guideline says: Instructions provided for understanding and operating content do not rely solely on sensory characteristics of components such as shape, colour, size, visual location, orientation, or sound. What does that mean? We come back to colour in more detail in a later guideline but this one is really very general. It refers to any item on the page that isn't text or a described image... things like navigation buttons, ways of categorising, making choices... anything where the user has to choose based on a colour, a shape, where something is on the page... that kind of thing. What do I need to do? This could be misinterpreted as an instruction to avoid the use of colour, shape, position and so on... but all it really is, is a reminder that you need more. You can have an arrow at the bottom of the page for your next button, but just make sure it is labelled in such a way that a screen reader can read it. It may need alt text, for example. I think one of the worst offender

1.3.2 Meaningful sequence

This guideline says: When the sequence in which content is presented affects its meaning, a correct reading sequence can be programmatically determined. What does it mean? Most things are read in the order that we see them. If you create a Word document, a screen reader will generally start at the top of the page and read it all in order to the bottom of the page. However, think about a PowerPoint presentation. This is not just a top to bottom reading of text and images. Things could be anywhere on the page and the reader generally uses visual clues to help know what order to read it in. I don't know about you, but when I create a PowerPoint presentation (and this equally applies to other slide-based apps, like Storyline), I create text, then copy and paste bits to amend and move around the slide. Then I might add pictures and move them around. If I do nothing else, a screen reader will read it in the order I created it... which is rarely the correct order! Another issue that affec

1.3.1 Info and relationships

The guidance states:  Information, structure, and relationships conveyed through presentation can be programmatically determined or are available in text. What does that all mean? It basically means you need to stop and think about what information you get by seeing and consider how someone with a screen reader will get that same information. The structure of a document or web page is easy to get, if you can see. When we look at a page, headings are often on their own line, bold, bigger than the rest of the text. Lists are usually indented and have a number or a bullet point in front of each item. Paragraphs have a larger space between them than normal lines. Hyperlinks are usually underlined and/or in a different colour. These are all things that you see .  What about people who can't see? How would they know what is a heading, a list item, a paragraph, a hyperlink, etc? The only way is if your document or web page is structured correctly and designed using the correct tags or sty

1.2.3/1.2.5/1.2.7 Audio description for prerecorded video (part 2)

When I posted my previous post, asking for a volunteer to do be my audio description voice, I wasn't sure whether anyone would even read it, never mind volunteer. I was so excited when a friend on Twitter contacted me and her daughter, Alice had offered to record the audio tracks.  I have to say, she has a really good voice for audio work and I think the finished product is really good! I was surprised at how easy it was to do. I just dragged Alice's audio files, which she had recorded from my last blog and named very logically, onto a new audio track in the time line. I had to increase the audio gain to make her clips a little louder but the quality was such that this was fine and didn't cause any problems with extra noise.  Anyway, enough of me. Here is the final version with audio description:

1.2.3/1.2.5/1.2.7 Audio description for prerecorded video (part 1)

 This guideline is given at all three levels: 1.2.3 Level A - provide audio description or a text alternative 1.2.5 Level AA - provide audio description - this generally fits between existing audio/dialogue 1.2.7 Level AAA - provide extended audio description (this is where the video pauses to give more information to the user in a longer audio description that wouldn't fit neatly between existing audio Audio description (AA) Unlike captions, which YouTube helps you to do, audio description actually involves some planning and a fair bit of extra work. I confess, I have never attempted to do a video with audio description as it seems a daunting task. Maybe now is the time to have a go! Choosing a video This is where I realise why I haven't considered making an audio description yet. Most of my recent videos are instruction videos and I'm kind of giving the information as I go. With hindsight, I could have probably planned them with more thought for those that can't see t