The “Clear Helper” Web site has its first page! The home page has a decent look for a first attempt, and it experiments with a few accessibility elements. However, its design is definitely not the one I am imagining for the site when it is available for use by people with cognitive disabilities.
HTML 5 & CSS 3
It took me eight hours to create the home page. I spent much of the time learning enough HTML 5 and CSS 3. I’m using those technologies primarily because they should work best with WAI ARIA, which defines a way for assistive-technology users to identify and to navigate visually-rich user interfaces. Will I be using such interfaces or applets on the site? I don’t know, but I want to be prepared for that possibility.
One of the accessibility attributes the home page uses is a way for visitors to have its text read to them without needing to use a screen reader. I created this feature with two tools.
I used Cognable’s speech demo to create a MP3 narration of the home page’s text. I did this by:
- entering text for the MP3 title;
- copying and pasting the home page text;
- selecting the “Chilled US/Canadian Male” voice font;
- proving to the Captcha tool that I am human; and
- pressing the “Create MP3” button.
I then downloaded the created MP3 file for use on the home page. Easy!
I embedded NCAM’s accessible MP3 player into the top, right of the home page. I followed the simple instructions provided for the ccMP3Player.
The voice narration sounds okay, but it would be significantly improved by the use of a commercial voice font, I bet. I did not set up closed captioning for the MP3 file because the entire text of it is right on the home page.
Immediate Next Steps
I will test the page using two tools:
- WebAIM’s WAVE. There are other Web accessibility evaluation tools, and I will use them. Yet I am especially interested in WAVE because it will soon incorporate tests specifically for cognitive-disability accessibility attributes. (More on this later.)
- Juicy Studio’s Readability Test. I plan to use this tool to analyze the home page text, then revise it until it reaches a reading level likely to be understood by most people. This experimentation, hopefully, will help train me to write explanatory text at an appropriate reading level.
I will be doing a lot more testing, experimentation and design revision. All of it will be the subjects of future blog posts.