How to test Color Contrast Ratios

Video Overview of how to test Color Contrast

Understanding the Importance of Color Contrast in Web Accessibility

Welcome to the fascinating world of color contrast and its critical role in web accessibility. In this post, we’re delving into the ways you can test for color contrast in different authoring environments. Color contrast is pivotal in ensuring digital content is accessible to everyone, including those with visual impairments.

Unpacking the WCAG Standards for Color Contrast

According to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), there are varying levels of conformance to consider when it comes to color contrast. Level AA requires a minimum contrast ratio of 4.5:1, while for large text (18 Point and above), there’s a color contrast ratio requirement of 3:1.

Remembering these standards may seem daunting. However, free color contrast checking tools can simplify this task. Two of these tools are the Color Contrast Analyzer tool from TPGI and the WebAIM Color Contrast Checker.

Harnessing the Power of the Color Contrast Analyzer Tool

Download the TPGI Tool

The Color Contrast Analyzer tool is particularly user-friendly, incorporating WCAG 2.1 standards at the bottom of the tester. It allows you to test various colors for contrast ratio, which can range up to a maximum of 21:1 for black fonts on a white background.

Testing color contrast isn’t limited to text; it applies to non-text content too. Whether it’s the bullets in your presentation or the color of your titles, this tool will indicate if your color choices meet the necessary contrast requirements.

Additionally, it offers a unique feature: the Synchronized Color Values option. This function lets you adjust color shades on a slider to find a similar color that achieves double A and triple A compliance. It’s a straightforward way to ensure your color selections are both aesthetically pleasing and compliant with accessibility guidelines.

CCA Tool

Expanding Your Toolkit with the WebAIM Color Contrast Checker

The WebAim Tool

The WebAIM Color Contrast Checker is another handy web-based tool. Much like the Color Contrast Analyzer, it allows you to test colors and automatically updates contrast ratios.

Notably, this tool also applies to graphical objects and user interface components, making it exceptionally versatile. Similar to the Color Contrast Analyzer tool, it lets you adjust shades to find a compliant color.

Conclusion: Ensuring Your Content is Universally Accessible

Color contrast is more than just an aesthetic consideration; it’s an essential aspect of web accessibility. Tools such as the Color Contrast Analyzer and WebAIM Color Contrast Checker can empower you to meet and maintain WCAG standards, ensuring your digital content is accessible to everyone.

Dont forget about your charts and graphs!

How to make Pie Charts Accessible in PowerPoint

This post will guide users through how to create an accessible pie chart in PowerPoint. Pie charts and bar graphs are inherently inaccessible when built within PowerPoint. There are additional steps that must be completed in order to make a pie chart accessible.

Need more PowerPoint accessibility guides?

Creating an accessible pie chart video overview

This video will provide a detailed walkthrough of how to make an accessible Pie Chart in PowerPoint.

An accessible pie chart includes the following elements:

  • Labels
  • Patterns
  • Do not rely on color alone
  • Alternate text
  • Data table is available

Example of accessible pie chart (image)

This image represents an accessible pie chart that includes labels and patterns.

This is an accessible pie chart which includes labels, patterns, and alternate text.

Add labels to a pie chart

There is no reason to hide or confuse data in a pie chart. Be specific and direct and add data labels to all data points in any chart!

  1. Right-click the pie chart
  2. Select Format Data levels
  3. Select the best options for the data labels
Right click the pie chart
Select Format Data levels
Select the best options for the data labels

Add patterns to a pie chart

Patterns are more accessible to a wider array of people with disabilities. Instead of relying on color alone (which is an accessibility failure) – use a pattern and a color.

  1. Right-click the Pie Chart
  2. Select Format Data Series
  3. Choose the appropriate pattern and color
Right click the Pie Chart
Select format Data Series
Choose the appropriate pattern and color

Add alternate text

  1. Right-click the entire chart object
  2. Select alternate text
  3. Enter a detailed alternate text

Right click the entire chart object
Select alternate text
Enter a detailed alternate text

Do you plan on converting the PowerPoint to another file type like PDF?

You might consider inserting the Pie Chart as a flattened image and providing alternate text instead. Screen readers can have difficulty reading the contents of a pie chart within the PPT itself.

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