Accessibility: clear up the ROT and FILTH on your web site

Accessibility means making access possible and easy for everyone, including people with any sort of disability. (That'll be you, one of these days.)

And whether we're talking about physical space, appliances, or information, providing access means clearing the way. Getting rid of obstacles, and cleaning up the ROT and FILTH.

ROT is redundant, outdated and trivial content: that's mainly ancient rubbish—information that needs to be chopped out.

Sounds so simple, doesn't it? Yet clearing away ROT has proved to be a major task for most web sites. Could be more than half of the information on your web site is useless. And what is useless is dangerous, presenting alternative versions of truth that trip people up and waste their time.

Remove ROT before FILTH: what is the point of polishing poo?

FILTH is inaccessible Fonts, Images, Links, Tables and Headings.
These are the big five accessibility culprits:

  • They contaminate virtually every document your organisation produces.
  • They cause endless problems for accessibility.
  • They are extremely easy for all staff to avoid, if only they knew how.
  • They take too much time for content editors to fix.

In tomorrow's blog entry we'll give a shortlist of tricks to fix your filthy fonts, images, links, tables and headings.

Meantime check out our Accessible DOCs and PDFs course: if all your staff spend one tiny hour online working through this course, they will soon start cleaning up their act and save your web team a lot of grief.

Rachel McAlpine
Rachel McAlpine


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