I'm pleased to share that we've shipped a new feature for the Post Preview page!
Whenever you preview a post you're working on, you will now see up to three suggestions for how you might improve the accessibility of your post.
People access online content in all kinds of different ways, including making use of assistive technologies like screen reading software.
If you'd like to read more about this, have a look at W3C's Introduction to Web Accessibility, which has some really great background.
At Forem, we're committed to supporting inclusive communities, and we hope that this feature will empower Forem members to boost the accessibility of their posts by suggesting small tweaks to drafts.
The suggestions you'll see surfaced in this new feature currently fall into two categories:
- Alternative descriptions for images
- Heading structure
Some users might not be able to see or easily process images that you use in your posts. Providing an alternative description for an image helps make sure that everyone can understand your post, whether they can see the image or not.
Alternative descriptions for images can be added inside the square brackets of an image added in markdown - e.g:
![a description of the image](https://link-to-my-image.png)
The Post Preview page will now let you know if any of your images are missing an image description.
Headings provide an outline of your post to readers, including people who can't see the screen well. Many assistive technologies (like screen readers) allow users to skip directly to a particular heading, helping users find and understand the content of your post with ease.
Headings can be added in levels 1 - 6. When you create a post, your post title automatically becomes a level one heading and serves a special role on the page, much like the headline of a newspaper article. Similar to how a newspaper article only has one headline, it can be confusing if multiple level one headings exist on a page, and so the Post Preview page will now let you know if you have created a duplicate level one heading.
Heading levels should only increase by one at a time, when sub-sections are added, for example:
## Fun facts about sloths ### Speed Sloths move at a maximum speed of 0.27 km/h!
The Post Preview page will now suggest if a heading level could be changed to create a more coherent document outline.
Finally, you'll also find a new section of the editor guide dedicated to accessibility with more background information and detail on all that's mentioned in this post.