Building an Accessible Website

This summer, we were given the opportunity to design and build the new Turnstone website, and we were more than excited. OLG had just completed Powerchords—the OLG branding workshop—for the awe-inspiring organization, in which we helped them roll out a new look, new language and quite literally a fresh coat of paint. We couldn’t wait to roll up our sleeves and help infuse the Turnstone brand into the new site, creating something that would communicate the difference this organization makes in our community—and most importantly in individual lives.

In early conversations, Turnstone brought OLG a special challenge—a request for the site to meet specific accessibility standards (Section 508 Accessibility Standards), which ensure that the site eliminates barriers and can be seamlessly used by individuals with disabilities—such as vision impairment. This was a first for OLG, so of course we were excited to take on the new challenge and learn the ins and outs of website accessibility. We did some research, read the fine print, and then turned to our new friends at GW Micro and walked through the site click-by-click. We found angles we hadn’t previously considered and took a new approach to address alt-tags, title tags and link descriptions so that our site would run seamlessly with assistive technology. We also included tips in the Accessibility & Better Viewing section to help users re-size text for better viewing (regardless of their internet browser of choice) and add useful shortcuts to their address bar.

The project wrapped in mid-October and it was a great experience for our team. We learned a few things we didn’t know about accessibility standards and software, we made some great connections (GW Micro!), and we enjoyed working with our friends at Turnstone on another successful project. We are proud to say the result is a website that allows persons of all abilities to access a wealth of information about an organization that we love—Turnstone.

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