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The web is an amazing place where it sometimes seems like anything is possible. When building a website it's important to remember that not everyone will be able to appreciate all your bells and whistles. Only those with the latest greatest browsers will see your CSS3 and HTLM5 styles; only those with a good connection will be able to appreciate your full page backgrounds and fancy image galleries.  The list goes on. What's a designer to do?

Fail gracefully. Build accessibly. SiteCM is full of accessibility features some of which are built right into it's core functionality. Things such as alternate text on images, names for label fields and navigation built from lists. Elements such as these give your clients a head start in staying accessible for those who don't have javascript enabled or a viewing your site through a screen reader.

In addition to these controls SiteCM has an accessibility toolbar that can be broken apart and added into your design or accessed in it's completeness by visiting it's url. Accessibility tools, such as text resizing and text & background color changers, have built in style sheets that allow you to target specific elements and areas on your site so that you, the designer, remain in control while giving the user the ability to view your site as best suits them.

We've provided you with the tools you need to give you a head start but make no mistake that building and maintaining an accessible site is no small task for all those involved from the designer to the developer to those maintaining the content. Everyone involved should be made aware of what the sites goals are for accessibility and whether or not they will strive to attain WAI standards or just provide larger text.

You can test out your own sites accessibility with the WAVE tool. This tool is great because instead of providing you with a cryptic data sheet it gives you visual indicators on your actual webpage identifying points of accessibility and the level to which you have succeeded or failed.

If you'd like to get started on a new accessible website or want to make your own website more accessible head over to where you can request a copy of our PDF on accessibility. In it you will find lots of recommendations, guidance and examples of success stories where we have done our best to make the experience for all web users.

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