Accessibility is a concept that focuses on creating a barrier-free world for individuals with disabilities while also creating a better experience for people without physical or mental limitations.
Project IDEAL Online
Since Project IDEAL's focus is on educating teachers to reduce barriers in the classroom, it is only fitting that the website also reduce barriers to the information it contains. Projectidealonline.org was built following the guidelines of both Section 508 and WCAG 2.0 to ensure the best possible accessibility for everyone.
What is Accessibility?
An accessible web site is one that utilizes web standards and guidelines in order to make the site easier to use for people with disabilities. The disability most commonly associated with accessibility is blindness but accessibility also extends to users with hearing, mobility and even cognitive impairments.
Why Support Accessibility?
In our opinion, the question should be why not? The number of disabled computer users worldwide is vast but that is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of who can benefit from accessibility. Sites that follow accessible standards and guidelines benefit everyone through better content organization, navigation, and search engine optimization, just to name a few.
What Makes this Site Accessible?
We follow the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines published by the W3C and Section 508 of the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as working with our peers and disabled users, to ensure our site is as accessible as possible. Here are a few key features we utilize:
Valid markup is important because it offers better compatibility between operating systems and web browsers. It is also forward-compatible allowing for easier maintenance and updates, and any page errors are easier to find and resolve.
Keyboard Accessibile Client Side Scripts
Skip Navigation Functionality
Skipping the navigation allows keyboard or screen reader users to avoid having to read through the navigation every time they visit a new page. By selecting the Skip Search and Navigation link a user can jump directly to the main content of the page. Screen reader users can also use the document structure to quickly scan a page by jumping between the main elements of the content.
Appropriate Title and Alt Tags
Appropriate tagging benefits both visually impaired users and search engine optimization. Title tags on acronyms, abbreviations and links offer more descriptive text about the content much like a footnote on a printed page. Alternative text tags or long description links on images fully describe what the contents of the image depict.
Labeled Input Elements on Forms
Labeling input elements directly connects the label with the correct input. This allows for quick keyboard access to complex forms that may otherwise be unusable for people with vision or mobility impairments.
High Contrast Colors
The contrast between foreground and background colors is very important for users with vision problems. Sufficiently high contrast ensures that users with color blindness, low vision and other vision impairments can easily read all the content available on the site.
The world of web accessibility is often confusing. Unlike the rigid ADA rules for construction, opinions abound but there are few solid facts and accepted practices for exactly what makes electronic information accessible. We do our best to maintain the highest standards of accessibility but we are always learning new ways to improve. If you have comments or suggestions about how you think we can do things better please send us a message.