Minervation

Evidence based healthcare consultancy

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Accessibility

Many health care web sites are inaccessible.  Sites are often most inaccessible to people with disabilities (e.g. visual impairment).

Being accessible is now law in many countries, including the UK (ref 1) and the US (ref 2), so most sites are facing the very real threat of legal action from the 15% of the population who are classed as disabled.

Top 10 tips for improving the accessibility of your web site

  1. Use HTML markup correctly and control layout with CSS (cascading style sheets)
  2. Provide clear and consistent navigation
  3. Provide alternate text (for images, audio and video content) and add table summaries
  4. Don’t rely purely on automated accessibility tools. Carry out ‘hands-on’ testing of your site with the target audience
  5. Make sure that your site works on all of the appropriate devices (e.g. PCs and Macs) and browsers (e.g. Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera etc.)
  6. Make your text and graphics clear and readable (even when viewed in greyscale)
  7. Don’t use frames and minimise use of pop-up windows
  8. Avoid moving, blinking, scrolling, or auto-updating objects
  9. Specify your language attribute and minimise the use of unnecessary abbreviations or acronyms
  10. Make sure that your web pages are clear, simple and correctly punctuated

Remember, the W3C content accessibility guidelines (ref 3) are the definitive source of information about web accessibility. And our LIDA tool is the quickest and easiest way to test the accessibility of your site (ref 4).

References

  1. Disability Discrimination Act 1995.
  2. Section 508 The Rehabilitation Act Amendments (Section 508).
  3. W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.
  4. Minervation validation instrument for health care web sites (the LIDA tool).