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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.
>> Voiceover is screen reading software built into Mac OS X. It doesn't work quite like Jaws and other screen readers available on Windows, and it doesn't have most of the features that Jaws offers for reading and navigating web pages. But keep in mind that it is in its first release, while Jaws is currently at version 8.02. We'll be using Jaws for testing web pages throughout the rest of the title, as it is the most popular screen reader. But Voiceover is gaining in popularity and support, so it's worthwhile to get a feeling for how it works.
Voiceover is most useful for navigating the Mac operating system, but it can read web pages when viewed in Safari. If you're following along with the exercise files, open the file index.html in Safari that's located in the Chapter Two folder of the exercise files. To start Voiceover, press Cmd and F5 on your keyboard. >> Voiceover on, Safari, Town of Wardscott window. Back, End button -- >> To stop Voiceover from speaking at any point hit the Ctrl button on your keyboard.
To begin navigating between items on the screen, to hear how Voiceover reads them, use the key combination Ctrl, option, and the right or left arrow. >> Forward button, reload button, Add Bookmark button. >> To navigate into the content area of the page continue to press Ctrl, option, and the right arrow until the content area of the page is selected with a black outline. >> File, slash, slash, slash, splinter. Blank, show Bookmark, Apple, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo button, news, 100 -- HTML content.
>> If you'd like Voiceover to read all of the content within a highlighted area, you can press control, option, and A. I'm going to press those keys now to see how Voiceover will read this page. >> HTML content, image, image, image, image, image, image, image, image, image, image , image, image, image, image, image, news, July 2, 2008. Time to celebrate library's 70th anniversary. May 26, 2008. Council approves construction of community theater.
May 24 -- >> I've hit the control key to stop Voiceover from reading the page. I can then move manually between items on the page using Ctrl, option, and the right or left arrows. >> Police search for hit and run suspect. >> To move to the previous object, hit Ctrl, option, and the left arrow. >> May 24, 2008. >> There are basically two separate ways that Voiceover can read web pages. It can either read every item on the page individually, or it can group related items together to read.
To change this preference open the Voiceover utility by pressing Ctrl, option, and F8. >> Opening Voiceover utility. Voiceover utility, Voiceover utility window, Verbosity selected Tab 1 of 5 -- >> We can live to the second tab labeled navigation by pressing Ctrl, option, and the right arrow. >> Navigation, Tab 2 of 5 >> To select that tab, press Ctrl, option, and the space bar. >> Navigation, selected Tab 1 of 5 -- >> To move down in this screen press Ctrl, option, an the down arrow.
>> Voiceover cursor moves newly loaded web page, check, check box. >> This first option specifies whether Voiceover should immediately begin reading a web page when it is first loaded. Move down to the next option again using Ctrl, option, and the down arrow. >> Two items in web pages on check, check box. >> To check this item, press Ctrl, option, space bar. >> Check two items in web pages. Check box. >> Now close the Voiceover utility using Cmd W.
>> Safari Town of Wardscott window, May 24, 2008. >> Now let's see how Voiceover will group the items on the page. Press Ctrl, option and the left arrow. >> Group: The Wardscott Heritage Festival, one of our town's greatest events of the year is almost here. >> I press the Ctrl key to stop Voiceover from reading. As you can see, Voiceover does not always read the content on web pages in the order that you would expect. And it may negligent to read entire pieces of the page, especially with the group web pages option turned on.
Don't worry too much about this when you're testing your pages. This is a problem on the software's end, not on the web page end. Still, if you're on a Mac, try using Voiceover in Safari for the experience and to see if you can fix any small issues that you hear. Voiceover does not have all of the short cuts to bring up lists of items on the page and jump between them. But you can bring up a list of links in the page and a list of items. To bring up the list of links hit Ctrl option U. >> Link Chooser menu, 11 items.
>> You can then navigate between the links using up and down arrows on the keyboard. >> View more news releases, schedule of free performances, buy discount tickets to rides -- >> Hit the Escape key to close the link chooser. >> Closing link chooser menu. >> To bring up the list of items, hit Ctrl option I on the keyboard. >> Building item, item chooser menu, 83 items. >> This is an alphabetical list of all of the controls and content on the page. Again, you can navigate between the items using the up and down arrows.
>> and / and submitted blank / from the past year / have been implemented. (Reading aloud as Zoe scrolls down) >> To close the item chooser, hit the escape key. >> Closing item chooser menu. >> So although Voiceover does not have all of the features that Jaws on Windows offers, it's a good option to use for screen reader testing if you're on a Mac.
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