Web Accessibility (a11y) is an ongoing project that requires dedicated time and effort from both the developer and editors/content providers.
Anyone contributing content to harthouse.ca should establish Web Accessibility as a culture and keep it top of mind at all times.
Writing for the web is distinctly different from all print media. Screens are meant to be browsed, not necessarily read. The same web pages must work on a computer, a tablet and a mobile phone screen. To accomplish this, a few guidelines must be followed.
1. Write website text at about a grade 8 comprehension level—no matter how sophisticated the audience. Museums also follow this standard with interpretive text. When reading in an environment with distractions (whether it’s pop-up ads or a noisy setting) text must be quick and simple to understand.)
2. Divide text into meaningful sections with headings. This will help accessible screen readers understand the page.
3. Avoid using jargon or technical language. If you must use, include explanatory text, or a glossary. When using an abbreviation, write it out in full the first time and include the acronym in brackets. E.g., University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM).
4. Remove all double spaces after periods.
5. Use bullet points whenever possible.
6. Check grammar, spelling (use Canadian) and correct usage of the hyphen, en-dash and em-dash. Grammarly is a helpful online grammar checker.
7. Say it once. Edit and edit again to keep your message as simple as possible. Do not repeat the same information in three different ways.
8. Supply two images for your event. Remember that text on an image is not accessible to screen readers.
- One image without any text for website
- One with text for social media
9. Add alternative text for all images that are not purely decorative. Alternative text is required for gallery images too.
10. Supply logos for all partners and sponsors (svg or jpg or png).
A maximum of 3–4 logos may be shown on an event card for external events only (will go directly to the external event page). Please indicate who are the presenting partners and who are other partners/sponsors. Event pages may include all partners/sponsors.