Happy International Day for Persons with Disabilities!
It’s no secret that making your website accessible to everyone is important. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it also opens up your business to a larger audience. And while building an accessible website may seem like a daunting task, we promise it’s not as difficult as it seems. In this blog post, we’ll break down exactly what you need to do to make sure your website is accessible to all. Ready to learn more? Let’s get started!
The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect.” - Tim Berners-Lee
What accessibility means in relation to the web
Accessibility on the web is all about making sure that everyone can access digital content, regardless of their physical abilities, devices, and environment. It’s an incredibly important component of creating an equitable web because it helps to ensure that technology is accessible to all users regardless of factors such as age, language, culture, gender identity, ability level, or economic status. Accessibility on the web means building websites and services with universal design in mind. This means setting up sites so they are perceivable (users can find what they need and understand their meaning), operable (users know how to navigate the content and interact with it effectively), understandable (all users can comprehend what the data or content is saying or expressing) and robust (the website or service works well for users even when using old technologies).
When designers and developers factor in these considerations when creating virtual experiences, they create a better world – both physical and digital – for everyone. Accessible websites bring us one step closer towards true inclusion on the web. By taking into account accessibility best practices when designing websites, we are helping shape a more understanding, connected online community.
Accessibility is not a feature, it is a social trend. - Antonio Santos
Examples of how people with different disabilities use the web
Access to the web is invaluable for people with disabilities. Here are a few examples of how people with disability use the web:
People who are blind can take advantage of tools like screen readers which transform website text into audio, allowing them to gain information from websites that were previously inaccessible. With the latest advancements in speech recognition technology, blind users can more easily navigate online by speaking their commands. Additionally, there are a number of solutions available for people with physical impairments, such as being able to control a computer mouse through voice command and switches. Examples of screen readers are Macbook VoiceOver tool, JAWS and NVDA.
Dyslexic web users can benefit from tools like Dyslexia Friendly Fonts that make reading text easier and clearer.
Finally, deaf users experience increased accessibility thanks to universal captions on videos or subtitles on audio, enabling them to fully understand what they read and see on the web.
All in all, thanks to these advances in technology, there is an increasing number of ways that different groups of people can access the web and the vast knowledge it holds.
Common barriers that make it difficult for people with disabilities to access websites
Despite the prevalence of digital technology, people with disabilities face unique barriers when trying to access websites and online content. For those using a computer, these can include:
Visual impairments that make it difficult to see text or images
Hearing impairments which keep them from understanding audio-only content.
Dexterity issues related to mouse, keyboard and touchscreen use.
And for those using mobile devices, there’s often a lack of proper hardware for accessing content such as magnifying glasses or refreshable braille displays.
Additionally, many websites lack features like easy-to-navigate menus and accessible color schemes that could help improve both usability and readability for users with special needs.
Unfortunately, this means that people with disabilities often find themselves excluded from engaging in conversations that happen online.
But the silver lining is that by addressing the barriers mentioned above – as well as other accessibility issues – web developers can work together to create an inclusive online experience for everyone!
Creating an accessible website is an essential part of making information available to all. To ensure your website is inclusive, there are several steps you can take to make it accessible.
Clear and Concise text First, prioritize clear and concise text on the page. Avoid jargon and make sure any instructions or directions are understood by a wide variety of readers.
Alt Text Second, add alt text to any images you upload, which allows visually impaired users to understand what is depicted in the picture without having seen it themselves.
Colors Third, when selecting colors for your website, be mindful of individuals with color blindness or other vision impairments who may have difficulty differentiating between shades used too close together in a design.
Accessible Forms Fourth, create forms that are accessible for people using screen readers; such forms should include labels for each field and better yet include pre-filled suggestions to help guide users accurately through the form process.
Animated Content Fifth, For people with cognitive impairments, moving, flashing, and blinking information like carousels and ads might be problematic. In order to avoid confusing viewers who are processing information and trigging seizures for people with photosensitivity, make sure that your website provides the ability to turn on and off changing content. These easily implemented tips will help ensure an accessible website with equal access to everyone visiting the page!
Resources for further reading on accessibility and web design
When it comes to designing accessible websites, there is a lot to learn and consider. Fortunately, there are many resources to help further your knowledge in this area.
If you’re interested in learning more about accessibility guidelines, start with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.
The Deque University provides an array of courses on a variety of topics related to website accessibility, from writing accessible code to introducing tools that can help you build a more inclusive website for all users.
Whether you’re just starting out or looking for ways to refresh your knowledge on the topic of web accessibility, these resources should provide you with some great advice and understanding on making better websites for everyone.
Accessibility is a hot topic right now and for good reason. Making your website accessible to everyone, regardless of their abilities, is not only the right thing to do, but it can also help you increase your sales. By following some simple tips, such as using clear text and adding alt text to images, you can make your website more accessible for people with disabilities.
And if you’re feeling overwhelmed or don’t know where to start, don’t worry! We have plenty of resources that can help get you started on the road to creating an inclusive website. So what are you waiting for? Get started today!