What's in this article:
- Accessibility Guidelines
- Tag Parts with Different Language
- Provide a Meaningful Sequence
- Add Alternative Text
- Avoid Flashing Content
In order to reach the broadest audience, accessibility of content should be considered. Creating accessible content enables users with disabilities, temporary or permanent, to find and understand your content. This has a two-fold effect: Users with disabilities are included and empowered, and your content is easier to discover and use. In other words, the more accessible your content is, the easier it is for our searches to match users with your content! Please consider using the following accessibility recommendations to create more accessible content.
Tag Parts with Different Language
Language of parts is the tagging of words or phrases that do not match the main language of the page. For both HTML and PDF content, when the language of content changes (besides when using proper nouns) this change should be tagged. This helps screen reader and other assistive technology users better understand the content. If these tags are not included, content is often read out as single characters, or is mispronounced.
Adobe Acrobat allows you to tag language changes in PDFs by assigning a language to an existing tag. A PDF tagging guide can be found in the “Set the Language of Specific Text” section of Adobe’s Accessibility Repair guide.
In HTML documents, you can tag language changes by wrapping the text in a <span> element, and then assigning a lang attribute to the element. An HTML tagging guide can be found in Penn State’s Language Tag guide.
Provide a Meaningful Sequence
Reading order of content is more than just the visual appearance of the content. Those using assistive technologies, such as screen readers or text-to-speech devices, depend on reading order tagging to understand content. Jumps in context or unexpected announcements of content can be very confusing and frustrating for users, especially those who use a screen reader.
Adobe Acrobat’s Reading Order tool allows you to change the reading order of content for screen reader and other assistive technology users. Adobe Acrobat’s Reading Order tool overview is a great guide to using this tool.
Add Alternative Text
When including meaningful visuals in HTML or PDF documents, a text alternative should be provided. This is often simply a description of the image’s contents. Some users of the JSTOR platform may not be able to perceive your visual content for a variety of reasons, some of which may be blindness, visual impairment, or optical injury. In the event that a user cannot see your visual content, text descriptions become necessary and helpful.
For PDF documents, alternative text can be added by selecting the “Add Alternative Text” option within Adobe Acrobat’s Accessibility Tool. Adobe Acrobat’s guide to alternative text is a great resource for this process.
For HTML documents, alternative text can be added to img tags within the HTML document. WebAIM’s alternative text guide provides great information for creating HTML text alternatives for many kinds of content.
Avoid Flashing Content
Any content with flashing, blinking, or fast-moving visuals can be a risk to users with photosensitive epilepsy. Exposure to this content could potentially cause seizures for these users.
In order to protect the viewers of your content, we ask that you review any video or animations for flashing, blinking, or sudden contrast changes. If flashing, blinking, or sudden contrast changes happen less than 3 times per second, this is generally safe content for folks with photosensitive epilepsy.
If you’d like more information on best practices and guidelines which protect users with photosensitive epilepsy, please reference the guide to understanding the Three Flashes or Below Threshold guideline. You can also use the free PEAT tool to test videos for flashing, blinking, and contrast changes on Windows machines.