Understanding Site Accessibility: Offering Perceivable Content

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By Patrice Meadows — Mar 15, 2018 11:00 AM

Aerial view of table with various items placed on it.

According to version 2.0 of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines websites, and the content they display must be perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust to comply with federal guidelines governing site accessibility. Covering all of these principles at once can be daunting, which is why we’re taking a look at each of them individually; starting with perceivability.

What makes content perceivable?

Perceivability is the first of four principles of accessibility outlined in the WCAG 2.0 that requires content to be presented in various ways. This principle is likely what many think of when considering site accessibility. It compels organizations to ensure that users of different abilities can access the same content using different senses.

What does perceivability cover?

Creating various alternative formats for a wide range of content can be a major undertaking for any team. Systematically identifying inaccessible content is the first step to remediation. Several tools can review the content on your website and provide feedback on its accessibility. From there, you and your team can work on solutions for each piece in violation.

Generally, accessibility checkers review content perceivability for compliance with each of the following factors;

  1. Text alternatives for all non-text content
  2. Synchronized media equivalents for time-dependent presentations
  3. Clear separation between information, function, and structure from presentation, so all users can access information regardless of how it is presented
  4. Distinct separations between images in the foreground and those in the background for visual presentations of content
  5. Clear distinctions between the sounds in the foreground and those in the background of auditory presentations of content

Is your web content perceivable?

While it’s best to establish and execute a process for reviewing content perceivability, there are also a few simple questions you can ask yourself to gauge the perceivability of your web content. Your answers can uncover major opportunities to improve your site’s perceivability and accessibility overall.

  • Are there alternative descriptions of all pictures, videos,  recordings or animated elements?
  • Can users easily find alternative formats on your site?
  • Are alternative formats compatible with a wide range of assistive technologies?

Want to know more about site accessibility and how Cascade CMS makes it easy to find and fix site issues? Check out this blog post highlighting our partnership with Siteimprove to learn how you can use both tools to improve content quality.

Want to share your strategies for improving site accessibility? Tell your story below or tweet us @hannon_hill

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