In one of my courses, I stress accessibility with my students concerning school library web sites. Since they build mock sites, one of the things they must do before building their sites is to refresh their knowledge on accessibility issues. Some of the sources that we use are:
- Finding your WAI to New Accessibility Sources: http://www.w3.org/WAI/yourWAI
- How People with Disabilities Use the Web: http://www.w3.org/WAI/intro/people-use-web/Overview.html
- Evaluating Web Sites for Accessibility: http://www.w3.org/WAI/eval/Overview.html
In addition, as they build their sites using a site builder, such as Google Sites, Weebly, or Webs.com, they should take advantage of the tools that are offered to them. Alternative text and annotations for links and images is one such help. Another is to use the built in headers and formatting features.
Each builder offers a similar way to include alternative text with images. When adding or inserting an image, pay attention to the information requested. Many times you will find place holders or areas to enter in text that are called “captions” or “alt text.” When you include text that describes the images in these place holders, you will notice, after saving, that text will appear when you scroll over or hover over the image. Including alternative text is a simple way of making your school library web site more accessible to diverse populations.