THING 5 – ACCESSIBILITY
There are many barriers to participation that can exist for individuals navigating digital technology, and not everyone encounters barriers in the same way. Online technology has the potential to be inclusive and accessible, however, this accessibility is not a feature of the technology itself, rather, it requires content designers and creators to intentionally consider accessibility.
Barriers can arise both in the structure of a digital technology, for example by designing an interface that is entirely graphical rather than incorporating text (making it difficult for those with visual impairments to use the interface), or in the content, by using exclusionary language.
Some considerations that should inform inclusive and accessible design include:
- Create adaptable content: ensure that text can be resized; that font and colour can be changed.
- Don’t only convey information through colour or an image. Ensure there are text descriptions of images to enable people with sight impairments to access the information.
- Avoiding using animations, and if it is necessary to use them, provide a warning.
- Videos should be subtitled or accompanied by a transcript for those with hearing impairments and feature descriptions for those with visual impairments.
- Ensure that your online materials can be accessed without using a mouse.
- Use inclusive and respectful language and avoid using gendered or ableist terms (for more on this see the glossaries in Option B in the activities below).