Accessible Web design
To be accessible, web pages and sites must conform to certain accessibility principles. These can be grouped into the following main areas:
- use semantic markup that provides a meaningful structure to the document (i.e. web page)
- Semantic markup also refers to semantically organizing the web page structure and publishing web services description accordingly so that they can be recognized by other web services on different web pages. Standards for semantic web are set by IEEE
- use a valid markup language that conforms to a published DTD or Schema
- provide text equivalents for any non-text components (e.g. images, multimedia)
- use hyperlinks that make sense when read out of context. (e.g. avoid “Click Here.”)
- don’t use frames
- use CSSrather than HTML Tables for layout.
- author the page so that when the source code is read line-by-line by user agents (such as a screen readers) it remains intelligible. (Using tables for design will often result in information that is not.)
However, W3C permits an exception where tables for layout either make sense when linearized or an alternate version (perhaps linearized) is made available.
Website accessibility is also changing as it is impacted by Content Management Systems that allow changes to be made to webpages without the need of obtaining programming language knowledge.