Vine Type Content Management with Standards in Mind

24 Jun 2006

Accessibility Statement

Vine Type is designed ...with Standards In Mind. This means accessibility standards as well as XHTML and usability standards. I'm passionate about providing access to the widest practical audience regardless of physical or technological differences. To accomplish this, I've incorporated many features into Vine Type and this website.

Testing

The Vine Type website is tested for adherence to US and international accessibility standards on an ongoing basis.

Automated testing against USAB Section 508, WCAG, and WAI standards indicate that the Vine Type website is one of the most accessible websites on the planet. But the true test is whether you, the visitor reading this, are able to read, navigate, and search this site.

Because of the multitude of browsers, readers, viewers, and operating systems, it is impossible to test every combination. I may have overlooked something. If for any reason, you find that you are unable to read any portion of this website, please submit a report to the Vine Type Community Forum. A link to the forum is displayed on every page of this website.

Visual Impairments

Blindness

Low-vision and blind visitors visiting Vine Type site with the assistance of screen readers are treated to

  • well structured pages on the entire website
  • Clear writing
  • alternate text on images where appropriate
  • jump links to assist in getting to content quickly

The Vine Type website is very usable and understandable when presented by a screen reader browser. Vine Type includes additional aural CSS for those screen readers that support it.

Low Vision

Visitors needing larger fonts are provided the ability to increase the text size via browser commands.

  • In Firefox: View | Text Size | Increase
  • In Internet Explorer: View | Text Size | Larger
  • In Opera: View | Zoom | +10%

The Vine Type site is specifically designed to take advantage of the built-in ability of browsers to adjust font sizes.

Other modern browsers also provide the ability to increase text size. Consult your browser's help function to learn how.

Color Blindness

Those with color blindness or requiring text contrast are accommodated as well. Text on the Vine Type website meets or exceeds industry standards for contrast ratios. If you find the contrast lacking, I suggest first increasing font size, or possibly reading text via the print preview functionality of your browser. Please report any problems with readability to me and I will do my best to accommodate your needs.

In addition, links on the Vine Type website are visually apparent without the need for hovering or any special action on your part. Additional visual feedback is provided when hovering over links, and titles are used to provide additional information on the link destination.

Mobility Impairments

Vine Type can be navigated and searched without the use of the mouse. No image maps, applets, third-party objects, or other features requiring mouse movement are used to navigate, read, and search the Vine Type website.

Additional Features

Vine Type includes additional accessibility features that will assist every visitor.

Jump Links

The Vine Type site features Jump Links at the top of every page to allow quick navigation to the primary and secondary content sections, as well as the site map.

Site Map

The site map page can be a great place to review all pages at once -- and allows you to jump directly to the page you want without needing to traverse intermediary sections. You'll find a site map link at the bottom of every page.

Access Keys

For those browsers that support access keys, the Vine Type website provides two useful access key shortcuts:

  • "x" for the Site Map page
  • "y" for the Search box

On Firefox, for instance, the key combinations would be Alt+x and Alt+y. Other browsers may not have an Alt key or implement access keys in a different manner. Consult the Help feature on your browser for specific details.

Technology Independence

Accessibility means no only providing access to those with physical challenges, but providing access to visitors regardless of their technology of choice. Vine Type will never ever require a particular internet browser or browser vendor over another.

No Browser Add-Ins Required

In addition, Vine Type will never require any browser add-in software. Only features inherent in the vast majority of internet browsers are used and therefore does not require any visitor to have any type of additional software installed outside of the browser itself.

Images, CSS and Javascript

Even though the vast majority of browsers provide imaging, Cascading Stylesheet, and Javascript support natively, not all visitors activate these features. Some visitors may have these features disabled as a security measure or to speed up download times over a slow connection. The Vine Type website (and Vine Type websites in general) will remain readable and usable under all of the following conditions:

  1. Images disabled
  2. CSS disabled
  3. Javascript disabled
  4. Images and CSS disabled
  5. Images and Javascript disabled
  6. CSS and Javascript disabled
  7. Images, CSS, and Javascript disabled

This is called graceful degradation, and allows all visitors to receive a readable and usable site regardless of which features they may or may not have turned on. The experiences may differ slightly between these various scenarios, but the Vine Type website will remain readable and navigable.

Small Screens

Being accessible also means accommodating small screens. The Vine Type website provides a separate handheld stylesheet to provide a different, but suitable, experience to those persons accessing this site via PDA or cellular telephone.

Selection of the handheld style sheet should occur automatically. If it does not, contact your PDA or cellular phone manual for instructions on how to invoke the handheld style sheet.

Accessibility Barriers

Users of Microsoft Internet Explorer version 6 and below may see a light blue background on some images when Javascript is turned off. This is a visual difference only and should not affect the readability or usability of the site.

The installation video is in Microsoft Windows Media format, and will play only on applications that support that format.

Older browsers may not render the pages correctly. Upgrading to the most recent version of your browser will more than likely improve the viewing experience.

Commitment to Accessibility

The Vine Type web site (and Vine Type sites in general) will provide a site that is usable, navigable, searchable, and accessible to nearly every internet visitor on the planet. Vine Type believes in inclusion and not exclusion and if you agree with that statement, you might want to consider a Vine Type website for yourself.

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