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Accessibility on the web has been an issue for over a decade, and it remains a crucial--but often overlooked--element of web design. Instructor Zoe Gillenwater explains the concept of accessibility as it applies to the web, and describes how it affects the audience. She also covers how to set up accessibility testing, and how to apply accessibility principles to new and existing sites using standards-compliant markup and CSS. Exercise files accompany the tutorials.
>> Before we start building web pages in Dreamweaver CS 3, there are a few accessibility preferences that we want to make sure are set. On Windows you can view these preferences by going to the Edit menu. On a Mac the preferences are available by going to the Dreamweaver menu and then selecting Preferences. At the very bottom of the Edit menu is the option for preferences. Select that to open the Preferences dialogue box. On the left are a list of categories of preferences. The second one from the top is accessibility.
Click on that. There are four check boxes that say show attributes when inserting form objects, frames, media, and images. These are checked by default, but if you've changed your copy of Dreamweaver, you might want to go and make sure that they're still checked. These two check boxes further down the screen pertain to Dreamweaver's accessibility as a program itself, so changing these effects how the program would be used if you were using assistive technology. We're just concerned about the preferences that effect the code that is going to be written. Click OK to accept any changes you have made.
To see what these preferences do, let's create a new page. Go to the File menu and select the first option, New, to bring up the New Document dialogue box. In the first column of the box click on Blank Page. In the page type column select HTML. In the layout column select none. Then hit Create. The four preferences that we set pertain to form objects, images, media, and frames. Let's look at inserting a form object to see how the preference effects it.
Go to the insert result panel and select the forms tab. Click on the text field button. The input tag accessibility attributes dialogue box appears. Without that accessibility preference checked for form objects we would never see this box. What this box is asking for is a text label for our fields. These parameters are things that affect accessibility. By having that preference checked Dreamweaver gives you a reminder every time you insert one of those objects. We'll go over this in great detail in a later movie.
For now we just wanted you to see the effect of turning the accessibility features on and make sure you have them set correctly as we begin to build our site in the next chapter.
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