Web Accessibility on PYD.org

Welcome to the new PYD.org! As you may have noticed, there have been some significant changes to our website. Throughout the course of this revamp, though, we made one thing our top priority: web accessibility.

We wanted to make sure that our website was adaptive and accessible to everyone wanting to learn more about PYD, regardless of their disability. Since so much of the internet isn’t fully accessible, we believe that PYD should be helping set an example for others and paving the way for a more inclusive web.

So when instructing our web designers (Team Lightning), we tried to follow the guidelines laid down by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 as much as possible. Here are some of the features we were sure to include:

Prominent accessibility information. Since accessibility is our foremost concern, we wanted our “Accessibility & Accommodations” information to be the first thing people see at the top of each page across the site.

“Skip Navigation” option for those using screen readers. Instead of having to listen to the site’s navigation options over and over again, this allows users with screen readers to skip to the main content of a page.

Text size widget. This widget appears in the top-right corner of every page, it allows readers to increase the font size on a page multiple times in order to find a size that works best for them.

Low Flash usage. Websites that use lots of Flash animation can be more challenging for some screen readers to navigate, and they can be visually overwhelming or increase the danger of seizures. By reducing the amount of movement on our homepage, we hope this will make the site easier for everyone to process (and quicker to load!).

High contrast colors. The site’s navigation bar primarily uses white text on a black background, which is a high contrast color combination that is easier for those with visually impairments to read. In addition, the majority of the headers across the site are displayed using this same white text/black background color scheme.

Large, bold font size for all headers. The navigation bar uses a bold, uppercase font, and the navigation buttons are especially large and prominent.  Also, headers across the entire site use this bold, large, and uppercase font.

Proper HTML coding of headers, links, and photos. When constructing the site, the web designers at Team Lightning were careful to properly code all headers, links, and photos so that they can be easily picked up and understood by those using screen readers. This allows those using screen readers to navigate the site multiple ways, and it should prevent confusion about where links lead to.

Intuitive and simple navigation. We strove to keep the site as simple and easy to navigate as possible, by doing three things: minimizing the amount of total pages on the site; choosing titles that accurately describe each page’s content; and creating redundancies in the site so that there are multiple ways for someone to find the information they are looking for.

To be clear, we’re not trying to claim that PYD’s website is the pinnacle of inclusive website design; there’s always room for improvement, so we just want to be transparent about the effort we’re making. Web accessibility is an ongoing and adapting field, so if you have any feedback to provide, please let us know! Contact the site’s webmaster at pydweb@pyd.org, as we are always open to hearing new ideas on how we can continue to improve our website’s accessibility.

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