Since the debut of Peakware.com in 1998, we have strived to assure that our web site is accessible to everyone, including individuals with disabilities. Erik Weihenmayer is a blind man, and has successfully climbed the Seven Summits, the tallest peak on every continent. If the seven summits are accessible to Erik, we certainly don't want our web site to stop Erik in his tracks. And Erik is only one example. There are countless individuals out there who access web pages using sound rather than sight, or who navigate by keyboard rather than mouse, or who depend on text rather than audio, or who use speech recognition or other assistive technologies for input. Many of these individuals are avid outdoor enthusiasts, including hikers, climbers, and mountaineers.
Peakware.com has been designed with these users in mind. The following are a few of the site's accessibility features:
- All pages are constructed with good structural HTML markup, including headings and lists. This helps non-visual users to understand how the page is organized, and how all its parts relate to one another. Having a good, hierarchical heading structure also helps blind users to navigate, as their assistive technologies enable them to jump from heading to heading.
- All pages include ARIA landmark roles, which define the function of specific regions of the page. For example, the banner, navigation menus, main content, and search regions are all identified as such in the HTML code. This enables blind users to quickly jump to specific areas of the page.
- All forms include proper HTML markup so blind users can accurately understand the relationships between form fields and their corresponding labels.
- The site includes a variety of methods for finding information. Some methods are inherently visual (e.g., browsing the maps), but others (e.g., using search, browsing content through the menu system) are accessible to everyone.
If you're a Peakware user with a disability, please contact us and let us know how you like the site. We welcome your feedback, and are always looking for ways to improve.
Peakware founder Terrill Thompson is an internationally renown web accessibility specialist. For additional information about accessible web design, please see Terrill's home site, TerrillThompson.com.