The people who come to your website have a wide range of needs. When we talk about making websites and other materials accessible, the focus is usually on making them work for people who use assistive technology. They might use screen readers or ZoomText to read visual materials, use special keyboards or pointers to navigate and type, or rely on captions and transcripts for audio.
The same techniques for designing accessible websites also help people who may not think of themselves as having a disability. When we design websites to be flexible and accessible, people with low literacy or limited English skills, aging eyes, or a temporary injury can all use websites more easily.
Don’t make voters hunt through your site for information about access to polling places or how the accessible voting system works.
Start with large enough text and good contrast, but make it easy for voters to adjust the appearance to their own preferences
The EAC voting system guidelines recommend high contrast (10:1) for text. You can check the contrast with free tools like the WebAIM contrast checker.
Support the visual presentation with heading styles. The styles should be distinct visually, and should use the correct HTML code. This helps people with low vision and who are blind to find their way through the site as they use assistive technology.
Vol. 07.10: Help voters see at a glance what each chunk of information is about
Avoid repeating the same words (like “learn more”) for a series of links.
Think about what it sounds like if you’re reading it out loud. Use enough of the right words to make sense.
Using the same words for many different links
Text that says where the link leads
Vol. 07.06: Write links that use words voters use and that help voters know where they will end up.
Create links to skip over banners and menus that are repeated on each page. Or use special coding in HTML to identify the roles for the area of the page, especially the main content.
Vol. 01.05: Support process and navigation.
Make sure everyone can use voter registration forms, absentee ballot requests, and “My Voter” features. A few simple coding techniques make forms accessible.
Connect each label or prompt to its field.
For more on coding accessible forms: webaim.org/techniques/forms/
For all images and multimedia, you need a text alternative for people who cannot see or hear it. This means
For more on alternatives:
When you post a document or media file, put links to different files together so it’s easier for voters to choose the format that works best for them.
People using assistive technology often do not use a mouse. Check your site by using it without a mouse.
Logical order for tab and arrow keys.
There’s nothing like seeing real voters try to use your site to find information to learn how to improve it. Use the same techniques as for testing ballots.
Be sure to check the website for different settings and interaction styles used by people with different disabilities:
Vol. 03: Testing ballots for usability