An important step towards accessible content
Funka, Europe’s market leading accessibility experts, proudly present the results of an EU-funded research project called FEAT: Features for Accessibility through Templates. A package of ten by-default accessible templates including built-in accessibility support for authors is downloadable free of charge from Bitbucket.
The selected templates cover the basic functionality that web authors in the public sector claim to be most useful to them. These are templates that are used frequently and they include objects that are usually difficult to make accessible, and other items that may exclude users with disabilities if created incorrectly. The package has been put together as a starting point for a small website, using the following framework: start page, article page, calendar functions, lists, text, images, forms, video etc.
By offering accessible templates with built-in support for web authors, Funka hopes to push the authoring tool market throughout Europe to the next level of accessibility, where accessibility by default is the standard set-up.
The reason why this is so important is that millions of content creators in public sector agencies are not trained as web authors. It is not feasible to demand that employees who publish once a month become accessibility experts. It is also inefficient.
The authoring tools should provide as much support as they can, at different levels;
- making accessibility mandatory (for example, it’s not possible to publish an image without writing an alternative text),
- prompts and warnings (for example, asking the web author whether a text used for feedback is too short to be meaningful)
- information and guidelines (for example, offering contextual help and explanations)
The project has investigated the needs of web authors in public sector agencies, to make sure the templates are solving the most important challenges they face. The templates use Episerver templates as the model, but the developed features can be implemented in any authoring tool.
During the extensive user testing carried out in a series of iterations to refine the templates and make sure they meet the expectations of advanced, as well as inexperienced web authors, we have received a very positive response from across Europe. There is obviously a demand for better accessibility support in authoring tools.
If you are an Episerver customer or partner, you can download the package of templates from the Episerver Marketplace. If you are using or providing services using another authoring tool, you can download the features from Bitbucket.
Please visit the FEAT website for:
- detailed descriptions of each feature
- technical specifications for implementation
- guidelines for implementation
- screen recordings showing how the features work
- testimonials from web authors on the need for automation
- descriptions of how to create accessible content without the features
Find out more on the FEAT project website.