Posted by: bluesyemre | January 25, 2021

10 Best Practices of Accessible #Museum Websites

Photo credit: Christopher Gower on Unsplash

This article explores ten high-impact areas you should consider to enhance your website’s accessibility and bring it into conformance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), the set of rules and practices that aims to define web accessibility. In this context, the word “accessibility” means that users of assistive technologies (such as screen readers, zoom/screen magnifiers, voice dictation, and more) can use your website, because it has been built in a way that provides an equitable experience for all visitors, including those with disabilities.

Implementing the following advice drastically improves the accessibility of a website, but it is important to note that these are not the only steps necessary for conformance. There are best practices around content, design, and coding not covered by this article or WCAG that are equally essential for creating an equitable and enjoyable website experience for all. The following suggestions are not exhaustive, but support museums in making strides towards creating inclusive online offerings.

Because decisions across the museum affect accessibility and inclusion, this advice should be consulted by those in various areas of practice. The people who may benefit the most include webmasters, designers, developers, content creators, third-party agencies, and those who manage any of the above.

Before we dive into the list of suggestions, it is important to be aware of a type of product out there called an accessibility overlay. These overlays are often sold to website owners under the false promises of achieving accessibility conformance automatically through the use of a JavaScript include. Please do not consider any such product at any price point. They often do more harm than good. Lainey Feingold, the best accessibility-focused attorney of our time, has an excellent post explaining why accessibility overlays don’t work and do not even protect you from lawsuits.

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