Christian Ross

Importance of HTML Headings for Accessibility

I can admit that I still have a lot to learn about what I do. One of the areas I need to improve my knowledge in is accessibility of my sites for those with disabilities. The following is an impressive 9 minute video demonstration by Aaron Cannon who among other things is blind since birth.

Aaron takes the time to walk a user through how he “sees” a website. Through the use of a screen reader, he can navigate the web and surprisingly to me, do so very quickly.

For my non-developer readers, the H1 tags that he mentions are the most heavily weighted section of a web page in terms of code. By using semantically sound coding practices, I can benefit my clients in how their web pages are displayed, in how their pages are index by search engines, and in how those who visit the site unconventionally (ie. Aaron, mobile users, RSS Readers) can be accommodated.

One of the first and easiest things that could be implemented right away is getting information like this to my clients and how they handle their page titles and subtitles. While using ‘About Us’ for a page heading is somewhat helpful, a person entering a website from a side door (instead of the home page) would probably find it more useful if the heading was something more like ‘About Company X.’ As an added bonus it would help their visibility to search engines as well.

Feel free to learn from Aaron on your own.

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