Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Handicap Accessible Websites

Hi 422 class,

Amundson wrote the article 5 Steps to an Accessible Classroom Website to bring awareness of the diverse group of people who need to access the information from teachers websites. Diverse groups include English-language learners, those with slow Internet connections, and those who use voice output, Braille, keyboards (not mice), and screen magnifier devices. Teachers as Web developers need to consider all users and adaptive tools so that websites “provide information to the intended audience” and are accessible to all learners.

The author persuades me, as a teacher Web developer, through an emotional appeal by asking me to consider my website as if I were a blind or deaf user trying to access the information—thereby, giving me a problem. Not to worry, her persuasive technique then gives me a “how to” solution. The article doesn’t just discuss the possibilities, but makes creating accessible websites accessible to me by breaking down the Web creation and review process into five steps (1. structure, 2. navigation, 3. text format for non-text elements, 4. logical word choices, and 5. validation tools).

I will apply the information from the article to my future website by making sure I use headers to structure my Web pages, set up Tab key navigation (no drop down menus), allow for gray-scale viewing with appropriate background color schemes, provide title and alt tags, descriptive text, descriptions of images, and a link to contact me.

In conclusion, the article suggests that after applying the suggested five steps to create a website, the final test is to try to navigate on my site or ask someone with a disability to see what is possible if there was no sound, no mouse, no images, and/or no color. The last step is to put the website to the test.

The article aligns with NET for student learning 6b. Technology Operations and Concepts, allowing for students to demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts, systems, and operations by selecting and using applications effectively and productively.

APA Reference
Amundson, L. (2009, November). 5 Steps to an Accessible Classroom Website. Learning & Leading with Technology, 37 (4). Retrieved from

1 comment:

  1. Hi Dawn-
    I'm glad you got something from this article. It sounded super dated to me, but I guess I should have focused on the things that you mentioned in your blog post, which were things like site design for kids that are color blind. Still don't you think it's a little peculiar that she suggests keeping a student in mind that will be using a braille display when designing a website? All in all they are valid points though. The other thing is that I think you have a different set of ISTE NETS than I do. You said something about 6b, and mine only go up to 5. But, you must keep in mind that I live my life in a constant state of confusion.