For your website to be successful, it’s essential to be accessible to everyone. This includes people with disabilities. Here are some tips on ensuring your site is accessible to everyone.
What is website accessibility?
Website accessibility ensures that your website can be used by as many people as possible, regardless of ability. This includes making sure that your site can be used by people with disabilities, such as low vision, and by people with limited internet access, such as those who are using slow internet connections or mobile devices.
Is it illegal for businesses to have an inaccessible website?
People with disabilities are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) from discrimination in various areas of public life. WCAG 2.0 Level AA guidelines are required for public-facing websites under the ADA.
This is why many website owners have started to make their sites more accessible by adding features like alt text to images and closed captioning to videos. However, many website owners still have not made their sites accessible, which can be a problem for people with disabilities who rely on the internet for information and services. Some companies have faced litigation over inaccessibility.
What methods exist for checking website accessibility?
There are several ways to check the accessibility of a website. One is to use an online Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool, which will give you a report of any accessibility issues on a website. Another way is to install a browser plugin that will allow you to experience what a website looks like for someone with a visual disability. You can also manually check for accessibility issues by looking at the code of a website to see if it meets the guidelines set forth by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Finally, there are accessibility optimization companies, such as accessiBe, which use AI and cloud-based methods to ensure accessibility compliance. (Reading the accessiBe reviews shows a good reputation, but you should always double-check before hiring any firm.)
Easy Accessibility Checks
Some checks for accessibility are easy to perform without outside assistance. These include:
There are several reasons why accessible websites have keyboard-friendly navigation:
- It allows users who cannot use a mouse to navigate the site still.
- It can be faster than a mouse, mainly if the user is familiar with keyboard shortcuts.
- It can be more precise than a mouse since the user can directly select an element on the page without moving their hand back and forth between the keyboard and the mouse.
Functional zoom capability
Websites with adequate zoom capacity allow users to change the text size on the screen without losing functionality. This is important for users who have difficulty reading small text or need to enlarge it to see it more clearly.
Alternative text (alt-txt) for images and other non-text content
The purpose of alternative text is to describe the content of an image or other non-textual element to someone who cannot see it. This is especially important for people who are blind or have low vision, as they will not be able to see the image and rely on the alternative text to understand what it represents.
High-contrast color palettes
High-contrast color palettes are used on accessible websites to improve content visibility for people with visual disabilities.
Captions and transcripts of video content
There are a few reasons why accessible websites have captions and transcripts on video content. First, it allows people with visual disabilities to understand the content of the video. Second, it will enable people who are not native English speakers to follow along with the video. Third, it makes the content more searchable online, which can help people find the video. Finally, it can help people with cognitive disabilities understand the video better.
Business websites must be accessible to allow potential customers to find and use the site. Accessibility means that the site can be used by people with disabilities, including those who are blind or have low vision. By creating an accessible website, you ensure your brand reaches as many people as possible.