I was going to post this little rant along with an earlier post I made, but as I wrote this I felt as if it deserves its own little place on the forum.
I know that this is certainly not the place to talk about web design, but I also know that many of you are involved in some way or another in the building of websites, if not commercially for profit, for yourself or friends.
May I interject this little (well, maybe not so little) plea?
All of you who develop websites (and you know who you are ) will you do your best to see that these sites are as accessible as possible. Yes, it takes a little longer, but we have millions of Boomers who are computer users now, and many of us (although I’m considered a little older than a boomer) are loosing various parts of what it means to be young and healthy. You can do just a few things that will make getting around on the web for some of us a hell of a lot easier. Here are just a few:
Check to see if your site complies with accessibility at least the lowest of the three levels of standards.
Take a few moments to tag your images. God it's frustrating to mouse over a website and all you hear from your screen reader is "image, image, image, image, image." They don’t have to say much, but at least give us a clue.
Please avoid the Flash hype? A Flash is certainly one of the most exciting improvements in web design that has ever happened. However it leaves many of us totally clueless. A perfect example of how flash can be used to it’s best, is in Gary's new online Orchestration course. But especially if your site is aimed at the general population, and not just some other Flash enthusiast, remember that the general population includes those of us with all kinds of issues. The most frustrating thing I have come across is to a site that I'm really interested in, only to have this ridiculous Flash intro, that may look cool to a fully sighted person, just be nonexistent to the rest of us. Often, your screen reader cant even read the buttons, so we don't know how to get to the content. And for heaven’s sake don't use flash for your content.
Remember Building your site for all in an easy to navigate and accessible design is not only the moral thing to do, but it is also illegal not too. I have heard that Target is being sued by the American Foundation for the Blind for not making their site accessible. We who have low vision like to buy stuff too.
OK my rant is over. Thanks for baring with me.