World Wide Access: DO-IT's Newest Video Released!

Beth Fraser, DO-IT staff

World Wide Access is the latest release in DO-IT's video series! Focusing on accessible Web design, the video shows the importance of designing Web sites that are accessible to people with disabilities. Some Web pages include graphical and multi-media features that people using slower modems or text-based browsers (like Lynx) cannot view. Many DO-IT Scholars have experienced first hand the frustration of a site that is not accessible to those using text-based browsers, screen readers, and other adaptive technologies.

World Wide Access helps Web designers understand the roadblocks the multi-media world of the Web can create for adaptive technology users. The good news is that there are straightforward techniques, like providing alternative text for images and image maps, to solve these problems. These techniques, called universal access or accessible design principles, guide Web masters as they develop resources that can be used by all! Follow the simple guidelines listed below to ensure that your Web site is accessible! For a complete description of each of the principles, check out DO-IT's accessible Web design resources at the DO-IT home page.

  • Maintain a simple, standard layout throughout the document.
  • Use backgrounds that provide a high level of contrast for your text.
  • Provide text alternatives for graphics and image maps.
  • Caption pictures, and transcribe audio.
  • Larger buttons facilitate use by people with mobility impairments.
  • Use frames and tables with care. People using screen readers and voice-output have a difficult understanding information in these formats, as the programs typically read across columns from left to right.
  • Test your pages with a variety of browsers including a text-based browser like Lynx.
  • Include a notice at your site about accessibility.

Many DO-IT Scholars, Mentors and friends are featured in the video which was filmed during Summer Study 1996. Like all of DO-IT's videos, World Wide Access is open captioned and available at cost. A video described version is also available. Contact the DO-IT office if you would like more information about purchasing the World Wide Access video and/or other DO-IT videos.

Have you had difficulty accessing resources on the Web? Do you have ideas on making Web information accessible? E-mail DO-IT with your comments. WeUll include some of them in the next newsletter!