1 in 5 people in the UK have a disability or barrier making it hard to use a website. Businesses & organisations ask me why they should make their website accessible.
It's the right thing to do and adds 20% website users.
There, what more reason do you need? Tips: marktomkins.com/blog

We want to help small councils get their very own .gov.uk domain names.

Would you like to help with that?

Apply online at digitalmarketplace.service.gov

Boosts & LinkedIn shares appreciated 👍

Calling users + designers

Current workflow to create accessible, tagged, readable PDF is >> create in Illustrator > save as PDF > open in Acrobat to add/fix tags etc.

Is there a way to do tagging / reading order etc. within Illustrator? (In case client makes significant content changes later on)

@marktomkins, yes, please. It reminds me of when I was watching #StarTrekDiscovery recently, and the English subtitles in all capitals for Klingon were both painful and frustrating to read. It affects comprehension, not just legibility.

Web tip no.17

Avoid using all-capital letters in body text, particular headings. It’s harder to read by those with and without difficulties.

Capital letters do not add emphasis to the words’ importance so consider emboldening a few, key words instead and do not underline the text as this infers it’s a link.

Sentence case is best, where capitals are used at the start and for any names.

More tips on my website: marktomkins.com/more-web-acces

Morning all! After a week off work, I'm faintly dreading my inbox.

But, I am heartened by all the thoughtful comments on my blog post - cddo.blog.gov.uk/2022/11/15/is

If you have opinions about whether the UK should retain the .gb TLD in the #DNS, or if we should give it back to ICANN, please leave a comment on that post.

What's the option that most folks are using to post from here to there? There seem a few but as it requires an authorisation I want to learn of others' experiences. Thanks community!

If you're new or digging deeper into your Mastodon experience this weekend, consider following these folks for helpful information:

@marktomkins @axbom @feditips @mastodonmigration

And check out: fedi.tips

#FediTips #Newbies #NewbiesWelcome

Web tip no.16

Avoid using tables on websites just for neatness. They don't have navigation so screen readers don't know what direction to read the content.

Consider providing an Excel file but remember not everyone has MS Office. Think about whether the content can be displayed differently.

By adding the Excel file it may be downloaded, edited and redistributed without your permission.

More tips:marktomkins.com/more-web-acces

While the server is being scaled up, you will not be able to access Mastodon. We are planning for 2 hours downtime, but hopefully it will be much shorter. We planned it for a time when there is the least amount of activity to minimize disruption to the community. The larger server will have double the RAM and disk space. We also plan to migrate over to cloud storage so that disk space can be expanded as needed with zero downtime.


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I rarely post about work, but this is quite important to me.


We're discussing retiring a #ccTLD and are looking for comments & questions.

Please share with any organisations you think might be interested - or boost it here.

#ICANN #Domains #CyberSecurity

Web tip no.16

Avoid using tables on web pages or in documents just for neatness. They don't contain navigation it's difficult for a screen reader to know in what direction the content should be read. If you have to use tables, make sure there is row and column headings and check the tabbing order first.

You may be better to provide the Excel file but remember not everyone has Microsoft Office.

More tips on my website marktomkins.com/more-web-acces

We've recently identified and fixed some issues that we were seeing that impacted the performance of the MastodonApp.UK instance after doing some scaling up work. The site should have a reasonable level of performance now, though if anyone is running into problems please let either me or @wild1145 now and we'll look into it (also if you're not already, @mastodonappstatus is worth a follow). We've still got further changes in the pipeline that'll improve things further.

It’s #IDTuesday according to my planned posting schedule, so let’s start with making more connections on here! @dougholton shared a great list this morning of folks who do #FacDev #EdDev #InstructionalDesign #ID #LearningDesign and #SoTL in #Higher Education. Give him a follow if you don’t already.

Adding to his list (including some #Accessibility and #OER folks to follow) and hopefully not duplicating: @coraldragon @joshshepperd @[email protected] @StephanieMoore @theADHDAcademic @marktomkins @SaRoseCav @martin @axbom @mackiwg @samfordsaunders

long post on accessibility advice from a blind screen reader user 

OK #Mastodon. I've seen several toots on #accessibility for #screenreader users, however, I've not seen one from a screenreader user (as far as I know). I've used ZoomText, Outspoken, JAWS (AKA JFW), Supernova, NVDA (Windows), and VoiceOver (both on Macs and iPhone). I don't have experience with Windows Narrator or TalkBack. I would like to rectify and clarify a few small things.
First off, any awareness of accessibility issues, and endeavours to make things more accessible is great. Keep going!
Blind/low-vision people have been using the internet as long as everyone else. We had to become used to the way people share things, and find workarounds or tell developers what we needed; this latter one has been the main drive to get us here and now. Over the past decade, screen readers have improved dramatically, including more tools, languages, and customisability. However, the basics were already firmly in place around 2000. Sadly, screen readers cost a lot of money at that time. Now, many are free; truly the biggest triumph for accessibility IMHO.
So, what you can do to help screen readers help their users is three simple things.
1. Write well: use punctuation, and avoid things like random capitalisation or * halfway through words.
2. Image description: screen readers with image recognition built-in will only provide a very short description, like: a plant, a painting, a person wearing a hat, etc. It can also deal with text included in the image, as long as the text isn't too creatively presented. So, by all means, go absolutely nuts with detail.
3. Hashtags: this is the most commonly boosted topic I've seen here, so #ThisIsWhatAnAccessibleHashtagLooksLike. The capitalisation ensures it's read correctly, and for some long hashtags without caps, I've known screen readers to give up and just start spelling the whole damn thing out, which is slow and painful.
That's really all. Thanks for reading! 😘

Web tip no.21

Avoid embedding text in images.

It creates accessibility problems and excludes those without sight or who use screen readers. The words get converted to an image and invisible to assistive tech. Event posters and promo graphics are a common problem.

Fix: Accompany the image with the same information as text on the web page or social post and add ALT text to any images, too.

More tips on my website: marktomkins.com/website-access

A little exploration into linocut. I love the idea of a simple, single-coloured piece of design. In practice, it was much harder to control the cutting tools and there’s absolutely no margin for error. You have to think about positive and negative space and also remember to carve your design in reverse - an easy thing to forget 🤣. Whilst I really enjoyed creating this, it did take its toll on my joints as I have Lupus.

Tip for newbies: filling in the text description for pics posted is, I have learned, really appreciated. There’s a sizeable community of the visually impaired over here and doing it means they’re not excluded. Also, it’s fun to do. If you’re on your phone, tap on the pic and start typing. (I didn’t realise I could go that) On the desktop app you’re given a prompt. It’s super easy.

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Mastodon App UK

UK Hosted and Managed Mastodon Instance. General communal space for discussion, everyone welcome!