“Digital accessibility” is such a broad and complex topic, probably even the “experts” don’t know everything. As a result, it is very understandable if you feel intimidated by the concept. Over the years, AUL has developed a set of resources that could help you learn more about it on your own. We are working on having resources for different levels of knowledge, different learning styles, and different lenghts of time. For now we have three items to offer you - demonstration videos, articles, and a database.
When you go to a doctor’s office, everyone has the same goal—identify a problem and figure out how to deal with it- but different people play different roles based on their expertise. The same is true when it comes to using our resources, some will be a better fit based on your background knowledge and role in solving the problem. We cover the three main resources below to help you decide the best place to start. There are links between many of the resources, so the level you start at might wind up leading to another one, we are just offering a starting place, and there is no rigid line between the resources.
The videos are of native blind and low vision users navigating through digital content with their assistive technology of choice. If we continue the doctor’s office metaphor, the videos are the patient. The patient has the invaluable knowledge that comes from experience. They can answer questions such as: What? When? How long? etc. They don’t necessarily know how or why, but you need to learn about the human experience before you can do anything else. Currently, there are no links from the videos to any of the other two resources.
The articles cover theoretical and big picture looks at accessibility, as well as targeted instructions on how to address certain situations. The articles are the nurse practitioner in the picture, focused more on the situation as a whole, including the patient’s overall health, their family, and environment, not just the problem. The nurse practitioner understands the larger picture and can do some more specialized work, but possibly not to the extent of the doctor. Most of the articles contain links to videos and the database.
The database focuses more on isolated problems. It goes into great depth on the cause and approach to a solution, but it doesn’t provide much background for someone who doesn’t already have background knowledge in accessibility. In completing the metaphor, the database is most targeted at the doctor, the person with very specialized knowledge. The person using this level of knowledge needs to have some understanding of the previous levels of knowledge, but they also might be able to handle a problem by simply applying their in-depth knowledge in a situation. Many of the issues in the database contain links to both videos and articles.