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✎ Technique: Writing readable content

Readable content is accessible content. You should aim to choose words and sentence structures that are not difficult or unnecessarily time-consuming to read for your target audience.

Examples

Know your audience, and write in language that’s familiar to them. Even for a specialist audience, there is value in clearly communicating information and concepts when writing online content.

In general, keep words, sentences, and paragraphs short. Remove redundant information and opt...

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✎ Technique: Writing document titles

The title of a web page is the page's accessible name, and it will be the first thing read aloud by a screen reader when it starts reading the page. It will also be used by search engines, and it labels the browser’s tab containing the page.

To be as helpful as possible, the title should briefly tell the user what the page is about and where they are within the site.... Read more about ✎ Technique: Writing document titles

✎ Technique: Referring to page content by its position

Avoid referring to a button, menu, or other item in the page only by its position on the page; instead, use additional information that describes the content.

Referring to a specific item in the page content by only its visual position prevents people who use screen readers from being able to make sense of this visual description. Another downside to referring to items by their position is that their position might change when the page is viewed at different screen sizes, such as on a smartphone....

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✎ Technique: Identifying lists of content

Lists are collections of related content. For example, a navigation bar is a list of links or a set of instructions may be an ordered (numbered) list. Clearly identifying a set of items as a list helps people understand that relationship. When you include a list in your page content, this relationship needs to be conveyed visually, and it also needs to be conveyed to people using screen readers.... Read more about ✎ Technique: Identifying lists of content

✎ Technique: Identifying headings

Headings are important orientation aids, and they help people quickly identify the content on your page. When headings are correctly identified, they also allow screen-reader users to quickly navigate from heading to heading using the screen reader's heading navigation functionality.

The best way to do this is to ensure that headings are identified in HTML. When using a web-content editor or a word-processing application, you can do this by making use of the heading options in the styles menu....

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✎ Technique: Readable paragraph text

Paragraphs of text are a fundamental core of web content, so it's important to display them in a fashion that is optimally readable to the majority of your audience without requiring them to change their display settings. For people who do need to customize display of text to make it easier to read, it's important to support this customization rather than forcing them to read the text the way you specify.

For the most part, this means applying typesetting best practices, which predate the web.

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✎ Technique: Heading structure

The heading levels (1-6) are often considered a way of describing and determining the “importance” of a heading, with h1 being the most important. This might be reflected in the visual appearance of headings—higher-level headings typically appear as bigger and bolder text than lower-level headings.

But you can't just put an “important” heading anywhere. Its heading level relates to how much content it refers to, and that has to do with structure.

Reflecting structure accurately allows screen-reader users to use their screen reader's heading-navigation feature to navigate by heading level, building up an idea of document structure. It also ensures that, for people who use custom stylesheets, heading structure is preserved even when the appearance of headings is changed.... Read more about ✎ Technique: Heading structure

✎ Technique: Using diagrams to illustrate text

People differ in the way that they can (or like to) consume information, especially in educational contexts. Some people might prefer information provided in text, or video, or audio; and their accessibility needs can also influence their preferences.

But while accessibility for images often focuses on providing a text alternative for screen-reader users, we can also look at the issue from the other way around—providing a graphic alternative for text to make the underlying information or concept easier to understand. This...

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