A Beginning for the Clear Helper Web Site

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.

Voice Narration

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:

  1. entering text for the MP3 title;
  2. copying and pasting the home page text;
  3. selecting the “Chilled US/Canadian Male” voice font;
  4. proving to the Captcha tool that I am human; and
  5. 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.

Tags: , ,


%d bloggers like this: