The web for everyone. For real.
For many, making a site accessible simply means allowing access to its contents, regardless of the IT tools utilized by the users (browsers, operating systems, devices).
For us at Pietro Fiorentini, the most important aspect is to allow access to information even to those who, due to disabilities (visual, auditory, motor or cognitive), need assistive technologies or particular configurations.
Allowing the use of websites even to people with greater difficulties is a fundamental step for the respect of all web users. This means studying and implementing a series of measures both from a technical point of view and in terms of content structure.
The main reference for this issue is the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) promoted by W3C, the worldwide consortium that dictates rules and suggestions for the publication of websites through the periodic issue of the WCAG, Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. Also followed by European and Italian regulations, these guidelines establish a series of recommendations for the accessibility of web projects to people with deficits and disabilities.
With the aim of giving everyone the same opportunities to browse our content, we have used the WCAG as a reference for the creation of this site. Using specific analyses performed on a sample basis with automatic tools and also with in-depth manual examinations, an external consultancy firm specialized in the subject has assessed and certified the compliance of the new fiorentini.com site with WCAG 2.1 guidelines, level AA. Complying to these guidelines is a responsibility that Italian law requires only for Public Administrations. At Pietro Fiorentini we consider it a necessary fulfillment for everyone. Because if we want to make the web a truly accessible system, every company has the duty to play its part. For real.
In the initial stages of the project, we realized that only an overall approach aimed at integrating the principles of accessibility into the very definition of the project could have guaranteed the compliance of the new site with these criteria at the time of go-live and later on, following the evolution of standards.
An accessibility by design approach based on four principles expressed by the WCAG, according to which a site is accessible only if its contents are:
|perceivable||as information and interface components are presented to users in ways they can perceive, even if one of their senses is missing in whole or in part (providing, for example, textual alternatives to images);|
|operable||meaning content can be accessed through tools other than the standard mouse, such as the keyboard alone and technologies that simulate its use;|
|understandable||in terms of browsing and searching for information (for example, using labels and content information to prevent errors and clarify functionality);|
|robust||i.e. able to adapt to a wide range of assistive technologies and possibly remain available even as these technologies evolve.|
The colors and sizes of the texts have been chosen to ensure contrast and readability in accordance with the algorithm of WCAG 2.1.
Graphics, layout and colors are separated from the contents with the use of CSS style sheets. In any case, pages are structured to be readable even when the style sheets are disabled or not supported, the display of images is not allowed and the magnification of the characters is very relevant.
The design is responsive, so the layout of the site adapts to the width of the screen on which it is displayed by moving the elements of the interface smoothly.
Colors have no semantic value, therefore it is not necessary to perceive them completely to use the site.
All texts can be zoomed in or out using the related functionality available in browsers.
The forms have labels that can be interpreted by screen readers that make the value to be entered clear and understandable.
The structure was built with tags and other solutions that describe it clearly and make it logically accessible by any navigation system. That is, the site is correctly navigable with assisted navigation tools.
The elements and attributes have been used in accordance with the specifications and formal grammar HTML5 + ARIA, respecting the semantic value and offering a correct display on the various devices used for navigation, including those that operate via keyboard.
The site has textual equivalents for non-textual content. Specifically, content images necessary for usability by blind users have a description in the ALT attribute, while purely decorative images have a null ALT attribute.
On all pages of the site there is a hypertextual position indicator (the so-called “bread crumbs” menu to contextualize the user’s position in the structure) that allows you to go back to previous levels.
All connections are made using underlined and therefore recognizable textual elements.
For some elements it was not possible to introduce those improvements that would have made the content fully accessible to all. Consequently:
- videos integrated through external platforms in some cases may have subtitles generated automatically or their absence (in any case, these are decorative videos that are not necessary for the usability of the website information);
- the position pins on the maps use external systems (Google Maps) for which we cannot guarantee full accessibility.
The search for full accessibility is not a goal but a path. We will try to improve the site continuously but, despite the care we devote to development and control, we cannot exclude with absolute certainty that some pages are still not fully accessible for some users.
If this happens, we apologize and we kindly ask to report any problems you may encounter so that we can address and resolve them. In this process, everyone’s help is essential and every observation will be precious for us.