At Kundo we take an active approach to accessibility. Website accessibility is a matter of ensuring that everyone can access information and use services. No one should be excluded or discriminated against, regardless of any disability. Our objective is to ensure that all elements of our product fulfil the technical requirements stipulated in WCAG 2.1 level AA.
Fulfilling the accessibility requirements requires, among other things, technical solutions that we at Kundo can take responsibility for. At the same time formulation of content, language and colour selection are at least equally important to fulfill requirements for an accessible website. As editor, you need to be responsible for non-technical criteria like these. We give a number of specific examples of what you as editor can do further down.
WCAG is the standard referenced by most laws regarding web content accessibility. WCAG defines three levels of accessibility: (A, AA, AAA). (AA) is the level that we at Kundo are working towards. It is also the level advocated by Official guidelines for web development, the official swedish guidelines for web development in the public sector.
Accessibility of our products
We work actively to maintain a high standard of accessibility. Accessible solutions make things easier for all users, not just those using the website with certain assistive technologies, such as screen readers that read out the information displayed on the screen. If you are an experienced user, functional keyboard navigation on a website, for example, can make day-to-day work smoother and more efficient, while keyboard navigation is a requirement for a positive experience with a screen reader.
Even Googlebot, the web crawler that Google uses to index websites, has ‘disabilities’ because the software does not perceive the website in the same way as a person. An accessible website with a clear code description for its content can make it easier for Googlebot to interpret the content, in much the same way as it makes it easier to use a screen reader on the website. Improving accessibility can thus also improve search engine listings (SEO).
Building accessible interfaces that work in all web browsers is an ongoing task. If you come across something in Kundo’s modules that is not accessible, feel free to contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kundo is made up of several modules. Here is a list of accessibility statements for each of them.
What you as an editor can do
As mentioned, technical solutions are not the only important consideration when it comes to making a website accessible. For anyone acting as editor for one of our products, or dealing with adapting the appearance of a module, there are other important factors to be aware of.
Describe images using an “alt-text”
In all text editors in Kundo, where it is possible to upload images to be displayed together with text, you can enter a descriptive “alt-text” for the image. It is important to enter alt-text because it is used by screen readers, for one thing, to describe the image’s content.
If you click on an uploaded image, a number of choices will pop up. The button with the “i” icon allows you to enter a short descriptive text about the image’s content. A good example could be “a blue sky with white clouds”. Ideally avoid starting with “Image of...”, since this is merely repetitive information for the user, as it has already been clarified by the screen reader.
If the image has no content value and is merely decorative, we recommend adding an empty alt-text, i.e. updating the image’s alt-text but not inserting any text in the input field. If you do this, the image will be ignored by a screen reader and not read out at all.
If you opt not to do anything, and leave the uploaded image untouched, then the file name will be read out by most screen reader software.
Review your colours and contrasts
The choice of available colours in Kundo’s public modules is important. Depending on the vision of the user, what screen and what device the person is using, this can affect how easy it is to perceive differences in shades of colour. It is therefore essential to use colours that create adequate contrasts. For example, it is important not to use a light text colour on a light background, or to use a link colour that is difficult to distinguish from body text.
If the colour contrast requirements in WCAG 2.1 level AA are not fulfilled, then the website is not regarded as accessible.
There is plenty of reading material available for those who want to learn more about this topic. Understanding WCAG 2 Contrast and Color Requirements, Designing for Accessibility, Step 1: Color Contrast, The Science of Color Contrast — An Expert Designer’s Guide and Color Contrast for Interface Design are all examples of interesting articles dealing with colour contrasts in web interfaces.
Avoid using “Click here” and “Read more” in links
With a screen reader it’s possible to jump direct to links on a page. In which case the link text is often read out without the surrounding text being read out. This can result in the user not knowing where they will end up if they click on link texts that only contain the words “Click here”.
The article by The A11Y project on writing clear links includes the following tips that we here at Kundo also advocate: Use link words that tell you where the link takes you. Write “Information about networking events” rather than “For information about networking events, click here”. Users know that it is possible to click on links; you don’t need to tell them. For the same reason, it is unnecessary to start links with “Read more about…” and “Go to…”.
Suitable formatting of headings in Kundo Knowledge
In Kundo Knowledge it is possible to write guides with formatted content, i.e. using both headings and blocks of text. We recommend using heading formatting in the guides to ensure the content structure is as clear as possible. This is something that is appreciated by users of screen readers, but is also a positive factor for search engine indexing.
Avoid using heading formatting to “design” content; for example, using the “Sub-heading” option to make an ordinary block of text stand out. Use the paragraph format option “Larger text” instead, to be found under the paragraph icon. We also recommend first using the “Heading” option earlier in the text before creating a heading using the “Sub-heading” option.
The World Wide Web Consortium website has an article about why it is good to create headings with the h-element, which is exactly what happens in Kundo Knowledge in terms of code when the “Heading” and “Sub-heading” options are used.
More reading about accessibility
If you are interested in learning more about web accessibility, there is plenty of reading material to be found online. The following resources can be a useful place to start: