Plan for accessibility
An accessible website is a product of careful planning and design. It is unlikely to happen by chance. It has to be planned from the conception of the project. Here are some guidelines for doing this.
- Think about accessible design at the project proposal stage and state in your proposal how you plan to achieve this. Note where this has implications for funding and time frames and allow for these. Including accessible design into your proposal will reinforce your commitment to making your website accessible to your target audience. It will also improve your chances of funding the proposal.
- Once approved and into the scoping phase, acquaint all project team members with accessibility issues relating to online learning.
- When analysing the target audience and online solutions for meeting their needs, consider all the relevant accessible web design issues and devise strategies for addressing these.
- Document in your project scope and specifications all the strategies your team will adopt to make the website accessible to your target audience.
- Develop a prototype of the online learning environment using recommended design guidelines and checklists. Test it with a wide range of users, systems and validation tools.
- Analyse the test results and attend to any access barriers indicated before proceeding to full development.
- Plan to include an accessibility page in every site. This page outlines the accessibility features of the site. This includes access keys and other site-specific information.
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