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How (and why) we create accessible websites


Aug. 2022
29

It’s no secret that for most human beings in the 21st century, the internet is a critical tool in daily life. Most experiences on the World Wide Web were designed with the assumption that the audience can see, hear, and move without impairment. Unfortunately, this means that for folks with visual, auditory, motor, or cognitive disabilities, surfing the web can often range from difficult to impossible.

As creators, we have the power and the responsibility to make sure all users are able to engage with the web experiences we design and build. And if that weren’t enough, we also want to protect our clients from lawsuits based on failure to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). Website compliance litigation has increased significantly over the last few years, with high profile cases including Target, Amazon, Nike, Dominos, Beyonce, and the Golden State Warriors. In many of these cases, millions of dollars in damages have been sought, and while most companies settle, Dominos took their case to trial and lost.

Fortunately, designing and building accessible websites is not terribly difficult. While there is no official, legally recognized definition of what makes a website ADA compliant, there is a set of rules that have become the de facto industry standard: the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, or WCAG. Based on how many court cases have turned out, it is now generally accepted that websites must reach at least level AA on the WCAG 2.1 standards to comply with the ADA. To see how this actually applies to websites, we’ll break down three main areas of accessibility concerns and how the WCAG recommendations address them.

1. Use of color for text and UI components

For users with poor vision or color blindness/weakness, we have to make sure text, links, buttons, icons, and other user interface components have enough contrast with background elements so that they remain legible and identifiable. According to the WCAG, these elements need to have a contrast ratio of 4.5:1 for smaller text/elements, or at least 3:1 for larger text. There are great resources available that measure the contrast ratio between colors- we like contrast-ratio.com. For example, here you can see a situation where gray text is too light to appear against a white background.

Can you see me now?

It’s also important to remember that we can’t rely on color alone to communicate important information. Instead, we need to incorporate text labels, decorations (underline, bold, etc.) or icons to help make things clear.

2. Support for non-visual usage (screen readers)

Users that can’t see the screen at all rely on software that “reads” the webpage aloud. These screen readers describe the user interface (navigation, form fields, etc.), read text content, and describe images using their “alt” tag descriptions. To get a better idea of how this works, check out this video demo.

These screens readers can only be accurate if the website’s content and coding are compatible, so there are a few bases that need to be covered:

A blue and black dress that can be perceived as white and gold

  • All image tags need to have an “alt” attribute that could describe the image to someone who can’t see it:
    <img src=“the-dress.jpg” alt=“A blue and black dress that can be perceived as white and gold”>
  • Important text information should not be included inside images
  • Videos need captioning or text transcript
  • Use semantic HTML tags - <h1>, <h2> etc. for headings, <label> for form labels, etc.

There are also things we can do that just make life easier for screen reader users- for example, instead of having to listen to a long list of top navigation links every time a page is loaded, we can add a link that allows users to skip over the navigation and jump to where the current page’s content begins.

3. Support for non-cursor input (mouse / trackpad)

Users with motor disabilities may not be able to use a mouse or trackpad to move a cursor around the screen. Instead, these users rely on keyboard input (or voice commands that trigger keyboard input) to interact with a website. Without being able to move a cursor around a page, users have to sequentially highlight each element (using the tab key), so focus states are important to visually let users know what element is currently selected. Often, links tucked away inside navigation menus can become inaccessible, so it’s important to make sure menus either open automatically when tab focus shifts inside the menu, or can be opened with an action (enter key press on the menu link/button).

Don’t let accessibility be an afterthought

There are popular plugins such as accessiBe that will attempt to automatically fix accessibility problems, or at least let users change aspects of a site to suit their needs. However, these solutions are just band-aids over the root problem. To truly offer an on-brand web experience that will be great for everyone, these accessibility approaches should be taken into account before the first pixel is even placed. 

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Privacy Policy

FoxFuel Creative operates the http://foxfuelcreative.com/ website.

This page is used to inform website visitors regarding our policies with the collection, use, and disclosure of Personal Information if anyone decided to use our website.

 

If you choose to use our website, then you agree to the collection and use of information in relation with this policy. The Personal Information that we collect are used for providing and improving the website. We will not use or share your information with anyone except as described in this Privacy Policy.

 

The terms used in this Privacy Policy have the same meanings as in our Terms and Conditions, which is accessible at http://foxfuelcreative.com/ , unless otherwise defined in this Privacy Policy.

 

Information Collection and Use

For a better experience while using our website, we may require you to provide us with certain personally identifiable information, including but not limited to your name, phone number, and postal address. The information that we collect will be used to contact or identify you.

 

Log Data

We want to inform you that whenever you visit our website, we collect information that your browser sends to us that is called Log Data. This Log Data may include information such as your computer’s Internet Protocol (“IP”) address, browser version, pages of our website that you visit, the time and date of your visit, the time spent on those pages, and other statistics.

 

Cookies

Cookies are files with small amount of data that is commonly used an anonymous unique identifier. These are sent to your browser from the website that you visit and are stored on your computer’s hard drive.

Our website uses these “cookies” to collection information and to improve our website. You have the option to either accept or refuse these cookies, and know when a cookie is being sent to your computer. If you choose to refuse our cookies, you may not be able to use some portions of our website.

 

Service Providers

We may employ third-party companies and individuals due to the following reasons:

  • To facilitate our website;
  • To host the website on our behalf;
  • To perform website-related services; or
  • To assist us in analyzing how our website is used.

We want to inform our website users that these third parties have access to your Personal Information. The reason is to perform the tasks assigned to them on our behalf. However, they are obligated not to disclose or use the information for any other purpose.

 

Security

We value your trust in providing us your Personal Information, thus we are striving to use commercially acceptable means of protecting it. But remember that no method of transmission over the internet, or method of electronic storage is 100% secure and reliable, and we cannot guarantee its absolute security.

 

Links to Other Sites

Our website may contain links to other sites. If you click on a third-party link, you will be directed to that site. Note that these external sites are not operated by us. Therefore, we strongly advise you to review the Privacy Policy of these websites. We have no control over, and assume no responsibility for the content, privacy policies, or practices of any third-party sites or services.

 

Children’s Privacy

Our website does not address anyone under the age of 13. We do not knowingly collect personal identifiable information from children under 13.  If you are a parent or guardian and you are aware that your child has provided us with personal information, please contact us so that we will be able to do necessary actions to remove any identifiable information.

 

Changes to This Privacy Policy

We may update our Privacy Policy from time to time. Thus, we advise you to review this page periodically for any changes. We will notify you of any changes by posting the new Privacy Policy on this page. These changes are effective immediately, after they are posted on this page.

 

Contact Us

If you have any questions or suggestions about our Privacy Policy, do not hesitate to contact us.

Terms and Conditions

Introduction

These Website Standard Terms and Conditions written on this webpage shall manage your use of this website. These Terms will be applied fully and affect to your use of this Website. By using this Website, you agreed to accept all terms and conditions written in here. You must not use this Website if you disagree with any of these Website Standard Terms and Conditions.

Minors or people below 18 years old are not allowed to use this Website.

 

Intellectual Property Rights

Other than the content you own, under these Terms, FoxFuel Creative, LLC and/or its licensors own all the intellectual property rights and materials contained in this Website. You are granted limited license only for purposes of viewing the material contained on this Website.

 

Restrictions

You are specifically restricted from all of the following:

  • publishing any Website material in any other media;
  • selling, sublicensing and/or otherwise commercializing any Website material;
  • publicly performing and/or showing any Website material;
  • using this Website in any way that is or may be damaging to this Website;
  • using this Website in any way that impacts user access to this Website;
  • using this Website contrary to applicable laws and regulations, or in any way may cause harm to the Website, or to any person or business entity; engaging in any data mining, data harvesting, data extracting or any other similar activity in relation to this Website;
  • using this Website to engage in any advertising or marketing

 

Certain areas of this Website are restricted from being accessed by you and FoxFuel Creative, LLC may further restrict access by you to any areas of this Website, at any time, in absolute discretion. Any user ID and password you may have for this Website are confidential and you must maintain confidentiality as well.

 

Your Content

In these Website Standard Terms and Conditions, “Your Content” shall mean any audio, video text, images or other material you choose to display on this Website. By displaying Your Content, you grant FoxFuel Creative, LLC a non-exclusive, worldwide irrevocable, sub licensable license to use, reproduce, adapt, publish, translate and distribute it in any and all media.

 

Your Content must be your own and must not be invading any third-party’s rights. FoxFuel Creative, LLC reserves the right to remove any of Your Content from this Website at any time without notice.

 

No warranties

This Website is provided “as is,” with all faults, and FoxFuel Creative, LLC express no representations or warranties, of any kind related to this Website or the materials contained on this Website. Also, nothing contained on this Website shall be interpreted as advising you.

 

Limitation of liability

In no event shall FoxFuel Creative, LLC, nor any of its officers, directors and employees, shall be held liable for anything arising out of or in any way connected with your use of this Website whether such liability is under contract.  FoxFuel Creative, LLC, including its officers, directors and employees shall not be held liable for any indirect, consequential or special liability arising out of or in any way related to your use of this Website.

 

Indemnification

You hereby indemnify to the fullest extent FoxFuel Creative, LLC from and against any and/or all liabilities, costs, demands, causes of action, damages and expenses arising in any way related to your breach of any of the provisions of these Terms.

 

Severability

If any provision of these Terms is found to be invalid under any applicable law, such provisions shall be deleted without affecting the remaining provisions herein.

 

Variation of Terms

FoxFuel Creative, LLC is permitted to revise these Terms at any time as it sees fit, and by using this Website you are expected to review these Terms on a regular basis.

 

Assignment

The FoxFuel Creative, LLC is allowed to assign, transfer, and subcontract its rights and/or obligations under these Terms without any notification. However, you are not allowed to assign, transfer, or subcontract any of your rights and/or obligations under these Terms.

 

Entire Agreement

These Terms constitute the entire agreement between FoxFuel Creative, LLC and you in relation to your use of this Website, and supersede all prior agreements and understandings.

 

Governing Law & Jurisdiction

These Terms will be governed by and interpreted in accordance with the laws of the State of Tennessee, and you submit to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the state and federal courts located in Tennessee for the resolution of any disputes.