Accessibility Awareness: List Styles

Video Transcript
[Narrator, Tim Yang]
By using built-in lists, we can create more accessible lists.
For example, imagine going through your course materials and seeing this.
Food, pollination, cultural, decomposition, water, purification, supporting, timber, provisioning, fuel, and so on.
Does that word salad make any sense?
Probably not, right?
Now, what if you saw this instead?
Provisioning, list with four items:
Food, water, timber, and fuel.
Regulating, list with four items: pollination, decomposition, water purification, and carbon storage, and so on.
That actually makes some sense, right?
Screen reader users will get the word salad version unless we use built-in lists.
Always use built-in structures to encode accessibility metadata into our documents.
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List Styles is hosted on Illinois Media Space and was created by Tim Yang as part of the Illinois Lighthouse Project.

When a lot of information is presented, sometimes it is best to arrange it in a list format. Try to keep list items to a length of a couple sentences maximum, emphasizing your point. Never use the tab key to create or edit the indent for list elements. Use the styling feature in your program.

Use Unordered lists (UL) when there is not an emphasis on the order of the items. Use Ordered lists (OL) for a sequence of items followed in a particular order. These lists are most often found in instructions and recipes.

How to Use This Video

Here are some suggestions on using this video:

  • Instructors might include this video as a part of a course to learn more about the difference between UL and OL lists
  • Individuals might use this video to raise awareness in their department for a disability awareness event.
  • Presenters might use this video as a part of their accessibility training.


H48: Using ol, ul, and dl for lists or groups of links

The objective of this technique is to create lists of related items using list elements appropriate for their purposes. The ol element is used when the list is ordered and the ul element is used when the list is unordered. Definition lists (dl) are used to group terms with their definitions.

Although the use of this markup can make lists more readable, not all lists need markup. For instance, sentences that contain comma-separated lists may not need list markup.

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