GAA Day Mates. Let’s talk about awareness.

Blue spots (handicapped parking) in a parking garage.
Dave Nold

Want to see how accessible this site is? Click on the button below.

WCAG 2.0 (Level AA)

I know, pretty great. Gives me a warm feeling.

I would like to display my double A rating on my site but there is a problem. It’s not true.

AChecker is a great tool. I use it regularly along with several other online accessibility checkers.

You also have to have actual human beings test your site. It’s an ongoing process.

But this post is not a tutorial on how to make a website accessible.

It occurs to me on this Global Accessibility Awareness Day that there is a profound lack of awareness of barriers on the web and on our streets and in our buildings.

You can’t really blame people for not knowing everything. Those blue lines with diagonal white lines in the center looks like a great place to put your shopping cart. Putting a sign on the sidewalk in front of you store isn’t a barrier. Just walk a around it.

Twitter and Facebook have finally begun to think about alt text for images. Facebook is working on automated alt text where software will analyze the image and write a description for you.

I want to be fair. This type of thing, along with facial recognition and autonomous vehicles is brilliant. It’s exciting.

But in the meantime, when you upload an image to Facebook why not have a field labeled “alt text” that you can fill in yourself. I mentioned this to a friend and they said “but alt text sounds too technical.”

So then have a little question mark that you can hover over and get a definition of alt text. Three sentences tops. If Facebook has a billion subscribers then on the day the “feature” was rolled out a billion people would become aware of what alt text is. The motherlode of awareness. They may not care about it. They may not use it. But they will know what it is. And one barrier will start to crumble.

Awareness. That’s what I’m talking about.

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