Textual Alternatives to Multimedia

For any web designer, the greatest challenge is to create a website that is accessible to all. It is estimated that approximately ten percent of the total internet savvy population is differently able. They have visual and aural problems. This segment of users relies on assistive technology to navigate the World Wide Web.

Any website design Sydney would tell you the compelling power of multimedia presentations. Presentations of this kind include applets, images, sounds or video clips. For a person with special needs, textual equivalents are compulsory- otherwise many people cannot understand the website. As a website owner, you must provide transcripts or captions of audio content that has importance. Video content that has sound will require two alternative files: one that describes the video part of the presentation and another file that describes the audio part.  The transcripts and the descriptions can be on the same page or on different pages. The current convention is to put a hyperlink to the transcript. The description is placed near the clip. Authors can use a number of tools to add captions to three multimedia formats: Apple QuickTime, Microsoft’s Synchronized Accessible Media or SAMI format and World Wide Web Consortium’s Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language or SMIL.

Almost every web designer knows that Macromedia-the company that created Flash offer a Flash Accessibility Kit. Free example code and guidelines are included with the kit. This will assist you to take Macromedia Flash or SWF movies accessible to people with disabilities. Other than multimedia, links are also very important as without them it is not possible to move around the World Wide Web. This is particularly pertinent for people with disabilities, if they cannot access the links, it will not be possible for them to use the internet to its true potential. For optimal use, text links should be separated by a period, a space or a vertical line.