Web Site Accessibility
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What can I do to make my sites more accessible to disabled people?
One issue that often doesn't get enough attention in freelance Web design jobs is the question of accessibility for disabled users. The most common accessibility problems relate to blind and visually impaired users, who use programs called "screen readers" to hear pages rather than seeing them. Here are some tips for making your page accessible to screen readers:
- Provide a descriptive ALT tag for every image. A good ALT tag describes in words what sighted users see when they look at that image, but also what the image means. So "photograph of a baby with a pacifier" might be a good ALT tag -- but "Web Sites That Suck logo" might be even better.
- When using imagemaps (images divided into sections that link to different places), label each section with an ALT attribute describing where the link will take the user.
- Use relative rather than absolute font sizes, so that partially sighted users can read at very large sizes.