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Experiencing a website via a screen reader

From: Web Accessibility Principles

Video: Experiencing a website via a screen reader

>> Let's look at how someone using a screen reader would experience a web page that is inaccessible and the improvements that can be made when accessibility features are added. We are at the W3C's web accessibility initiative website at www.w3.org/wai/eo/2005/demo. On this page are a series of links to inaccessible web pages as well as links to the same web pages with accessibility features added.

Experiencing a website via a screen reader

>> Let's look at how someone using a screen reader would experience a web page that is inaccessible and the improvements that can be made when accessibility features are added. We are at the W3C's web accessibility initiative website at www.w3.org/wai/eo/2005/demo. On this page are a series of links to inaccessible web pages as well as links to the same web pages with accessibility features added.

But for now, I just want you to sit back and get a sense of the experience of having a disability and using a screen reader to access a web page. Let's scroll down the page, and underneath the heading demonstration contents are the listing of pages that we can look at. I'm going to go to the Inaccessible Homepage link. This is a fairly common type of website that you may find. It has a logo on the top left corner identifying the name of the site that we can immediately see. This is also evident in this large heading text in the middle of the page.

We can quickly get a sense of what the sections of the website are by looking in the left-hand column at the four links listed; home, news, tickets and survey. And we can see what the main stories on the website are in this middle column with these three headings: Heat wave link to temperatures, Man gets nine months in violin case, and Lack of brains hinders research. Another thing that we can view on this web page, if we scroll down, is some brief text about each of these stories and a link that says More that we can click on to read the full story.

Now we're going to look at this web page with a screen reader. And I would like you to pay attention to these same parts of the web page that I have pointed out and see how the screen reader reads this and the information that it gives to the user. (Start Screenreader) >> Jaws 40 minute loads dot dot colon colon city lights colon colon colon dot dot dot dash Mozilla Firefox combo box to left's click menu dash dash greater traffic colon construction work on main road to date colon Monday 03 September 2007. Sunny 23 degrees see traffic colon construction work on main road to date colon Monday 03 September 2007.

Sunny 23 degrees see link graphic pics slash nav underline mouse over. Link graphic pics slash NAV underline news on mouse over link graphic pics slash NAV underline fax on those over link graphic pics slash NAV underline survey on mouse over welcome to city lights. City lights is the new portal for visitors and residents. Find out what's on book tickets. Tell us what's good and what's not. Get the latest news. Link heat wave link the temperatures. Link NAV gets nine months in violin case. Link lack of brains hinders research.

After three years of efforts, city scientists now agree that the primary cause of the 2003 heat wave was hot air from our link graphic pics slash on mouse over mayor colon these kinds of crimes need more creative effective punishments. For example, we could require compulsory link graphic pics slash on mouse over brain. >> (End Screenreader). I've stopped the screen reader from finishing to the end of the page now that you've had a chance to hear it. Let's now look at the same version of this page that is more accessible and listen for the differences in how the screen reader reads it.

I scroll to the top. There's a link to the accessible version of this same page, Accessible Homepage. >> Accessible homepage link. Welcome to city lights. Traffic colon construction work on main road to date colon Friday 27 January 2006. Sunny spells 23 degrees. See navigation menu colon. List of four items home link news. Link tickets. Link survey list and ten in level one. Welcome to city lights. City lights is the new portal for visitors and residents. Find out what's on book tickets.

Tell us what's good and what's not. Get the latest news. Head in level two link heat wave link to temperatures graphic man with giant head after three years of efforts, city scientists now agree that the primary cause of the 2003 heat wave was hot air from dot dot dot link heat wave dash. Link full story head in level two. Link man gets nine months in violin case. Traffic A violin case open for inspection complete with violin mayor colon these kinds of crimes need more creative effective punishments. For example, we could require dot dot dot link violin case dash.

Link full story head in level two. Link lack of brains hinders research traffic A brain. >> So as you can see on this web page, it looks almost exactly as it did before, but you heard a number of changes in how the screen reader read the page. First of all, when it read the navigation bar on the left side, it didn't read extra information about each of the images. But instead, said link home link news link tickets link survey. It also announced how many links were about to be read before it began reading them.

Another change that you probably noticed was that it read each of the three headings, then read the caption below the picture. These small changes made the information on the page clearer. And it also took less time for the screen reader to get to the important information. It had less unnecessary characters and images to read through before it could tell the user what the names of the links were, what the names of the stories were and how to get more information on the site. So this is just one example of how small changes on a website can make a big difference in the experience of browsing a website and using it to get information.

Hopefully this shows you the great benefits that can come from accessibility to your users. There's also great benefits from accessibility for you and for your clients. We'll talk about those benefits next.

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This video is part of

Image for Web Accessibility Principles
Web Accessibility Principles

68 video lessons · 25713 viewers

Zoe Gillenwater
Author

 
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  1. 2m 0s
    1. Welcome
      1m 3s
    2. Using the exercise files
      57s
  2. 33m 15s
    1. What does accessibility mean?
      5m 51s
    2. How does accessibility help your users?
      3m 30s
    3. Experiencing a website via a screen reader
      5m 46s
    4. How does accessibility help you and your clients?
      3m 9s
    5. Overview of Section 508 standards
      5m 51s
    6. Overview of WCAG standards
      6m 4s
    7. Understanding consistency and semantic markup
      3m 4s
  3. 54m 31s
    1. Understanding screen readers and accessibility tools
      6m 12s
    2. Getting accessible browsers
      5m 41s
    3. Customizing Firefox for accessibility testing
      5m 53s
    4. Using custom accessibility toolbars
      5m 28s
    5. Using Fangs and the Color Contrast Analyzer
      5m 30s
    6. Accessibility tools to bookmark
      5m 53s
    7. Using automated accessibility checking tools
      4m 57s
    8. Setting up the JAWS screen reader on Windows
      6m 42s
    9. Using the VoiceOver screen reader on Mac OS X
      5m 52s
    10. Setting Dreamweaver accessibility preferences
      2m 23s
  4. 26m 12s
    1. Avoiding tables for layout
      3m 30s
    2. Using CSS for layout
      2m 40s
    3. Creating a fixed-width layout
      5m 51s
    4. Creating an elastic layout
      3m 51s
    5. Creating a liquid layout
      3m 4s
    6. Customizing a liquid layout
      7m 16s
  5. 1h 6m
    1. Specifying the language
      3m 43s
    2. Setting page titles
      2m 16s
    3. Setting headings and paragraphs
      9m 55s
    4. Styling headings
      9m 56s
    5. Hiding section headings from sighted users
      6m 41s
    6. Styling text for readability
      6m 41s
    7. Ensuring proper color contrast
      6m 36s
    8. Creating text emphasis
      4m 29s
    9. Indicating quotations
      4m 29s
    10. Creating basic lists
      4m 16s
    11. Styling lists
      7m 15s
  6. 1h 15m
    1. Using lists for navigation
      6m 45s
    2. Creating a horizontal navigation bar
      13m 25s
    3. Creating a vertical navigation bar
      11m 44s
    4. Adding skip navigation links
      12m 0s
    5. Hiding skip navigation links
      6m 17s
    6. Proper link text and title attributes
      6m 11s
    7. Opening new windows
      4m 28s
    8. Accessibility limitations of fly-out menus
      6m 30s
    9. Creating an accessible fly-out menu
      8m 38s
  7. 27m 55s
    1. Proper ALT text for navigation images
      4m 57s
    2. Proper ALT text for decorative images
      5m 19s
    3. Adding ALT text to an existing site
      6m 9s
    4. Adding ALT text to image maps
      5m 58s
    5. Describing complex graphics
      5m 32s
  8. 34m 1s
    1. Using tables for data
      3m 0s
    2. Creating header cells
      4m 5s
    3. Adding table captions and summaries
      9m 9s
    4. Styling tables
      5m 19s
    5. Applying header cells to complex tables
      6m 52s
    6. Adding id and headers attributes
      5m 36s
  9. 42m 7s
    1. Understanding form accessibility issues
      3m 7s
    2. Labeling form fields
      6m 9s
    3. Adding fieldsets and legends
      4m 42s
    4. Moving forms out of tables
      3m 44s
    5. Cleaning up a form's appearance
      4m 53s
    6. Aligning labels and fields using CSS
      9m 39s
    7. Indicating required fields
      6m 15s
    8. Dealing with CAPTCHA
      3m 38s
  10. 7m 29s
    1. The Text-Only technique
      3m 21s
    2. The Access Keys technique
      2m 35s
    3. The Tab Index technique
      1m 33s
  11. 18s
    1. Goodbye
      18s

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