We believe in the transformative power of oral history in all its forms. We believe oral history can create change for narrators, for interviewers, and for audiences. As you’ll see when you begin to explore, certain exhibits are directed towards particular groups, but as a whole we want this site and the exhibits contained herein to be as accessible to as many people as often as possible. We have designed this hub towards WCAG 2.0 standards to create usable accessibility. Students have also aimed to design their individual exhibits towards these standards.
We see this work as an opportunity, not a chore, and have been inspired by the Access is Love framework of Mia Mingus, Alice Wong, and Sandy Ho of the Disability Visibility Project.
Here are the specific steps we’ve taken on this site.
For others looking to increase their web and digital media accessibility, we have linked some resources and tools we used.
- All pre-recorded audio and video clips have text alternatives available. Some exhibits provide closed captions, others full transcripts on the same page as the media or in a new window. While the interview-based nature of the exhibits means all video transcripts contain rich narration and robustly convey meaning through these words, some students have also included video descriptions of imagery.
- All images have text image descriptions, conveyed in captions and/or alt tags.
- Content warnings are displayed when appropriate.
- Each page has a logical document structure, created with tiered headers and Scalar’s built-in ARIA tags. A meaningful HMTL sequence underlies any horizontal or grid visual organization.
- Color contrasts have been checked using WebAIM’s contrast checker. All emphasis and structure communicated visually with color is also signaled in the HTML, as described above.
- Links have been alt-tagged with any additional context necessary to orient screen-reader users viewing links only.
- We have done an automated audit of the site using WAVE and been able to fix several accessibility issues accordingly.
- We have requested a live human accessibility audit of the site via Columbia Disability Services, but have not yet received feedback.
- We are especially curious to address any audit results for the interactive Map, Timeline, and Web widgets found in the “Explore Visually” path of the site. We anticipate that these features may currently be difficult to navigate by keyboard and/or screenreader.
Finally, we acknowledge that as mainly non-disabled makers and web users our capacity to audit for usable accessibility is limited, and that certain content, features, or functions may not yet be accessible to all visitors. We are continually learning, and we will greatly appreciate and take seriously any feedback you have as you explore the site, especially if you encounter barriers to participation. Please direct any flags or suggestions for how we can improve your experience to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!