Tips to make Slideshows Accessible

Slideshows are today a common phenomenon on websites. Websites make use of slideshows to showcase their product and services. Such slides comprise mainly of images and at times text is supplemented with images.

Often while including slideshows on web pages, authors tend to overlook its accessibility. This results in different user groups finding it difficult to access the information made available through slideshows. So I decided to write a blog post on how to make slideshows accessible.

Before moving on to discussing the tips for making slideshows accessible, lets first understand which user groups will get affected due to inaccessible slideshows:

  • Users with learning disabilities, such as attention deficit disorders will find it difficult to concentrate on other web page content due to the presence of moving slides.
  • Users with visual impairments who use screen readers and screen magnifiers as they will not understand the information being read out for them as the slides keep changing.
  • Users with mobility impairments, who rely on keyboard to access the web pages, will find it difficult to navigate between slides due to lack of keyboard support for slideshow controls.

Here are few tips for making slideshows accessible:

  • Add controls, such as Pause, Play, Previous, Next etc. to allow users to control the slides.
  • Ensure that the slideshow controls are keyboard accessible.
  • Specify descriptive alternate text for slideshow controls, if images are used for the same.
  • Add instructions to orient screen reader and Braille displayer users about the presence of slideshow on the page. Hide the instructions using CSS to maintain the presentation of the page.
  • If only images are present in the slides, add descriptive alternate text to convey the information.
  • Last but not the least ensure that content of only the currently visible slide is available for keyboard and screen reader users and not the content of all the slides.

Well above are my observations for making slideshows accessible. If you would like to add to the above list, drop in your valuable comments and I shall add them.

This entry was posted in Accessibility, Screen Readers, Testing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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