Accessibility – It’s Important
Why it’s Important
The internet is meant for everyone. Or it should be. It is an electronic place of wonders, with information and entertainment just one touch of a button away. Website owners want to attract as many visitors as they can, and make their sites for everyone.
Web accessibility means making your website usable for people with disabilities. A person’s condition should not prevent them from using the internet. This is becoming increasingly important as the internet becomes a part of everyday life, especially now during this time of COVID-19.
For a website to be accessible to all, it must consider the common categories of impairment:
- Hearing Impairment – Reduced ability to hear.
- Visual Impairment – Partial or complete inability to see or recognize colors
- Cognitive Impairment – A condition that affects the mind, such as dyslexia
- Motor Skills/Physical Impairment – Difficulty in moving parts of the body.
- Photosensitive Seizures – Sensitivity to flashing lights.
Websites must be designed and made available to help those with disabilities so they can use the internet. Making your website accessible to persons with disabilities is not just the right thing to do, it is also the law.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
The Americans with Disabilities Act is a civil rights law that stops the discrimination of persons with disabilities in both public and private life. In terms of Web Accessibility, the ADA requires businesses, both online and offline, to be made accessible to users with disabilities with the help of assistive technology. If a business fails to comply with ADA, then the business can be sued for not making itself accessible. However, this law and others like it do not have actual guidelines on how a website can be made accessible. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) was then published by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) to help website owners make their sites accessible for all.
Making Your Website Accessible
Here are some tips on how you can make your website accessible.
- Create Alt Text for your Images – Some websites like WordPress have an extra caption box called the ‘Alt Text’. It serves as a text to replace images that fail to load and as a text for those using screen readers. For accessibility, describe the image so the user can understand what the picture is.
- Use the Headers – Headers help structure how your content is laid out. This makes it easier for screen reader users to understand and digest your work. Also, using the right header sizes allow for easier navigation around the website.
- Colors Matter – When choosing a color theme for your website, make sure to use colors that contrast one another. If the color is too bright or is too similar, it will be hard to read.
- No Autoplay – Do not make use of a website’s autoplay features. While useful for letting music or video clips play upon loading a page, it can be frustrating or distracting. Instead, use something like an alt text to let the user know there are extra media she or he can listen to.
If you would like to make your website welcoming to all users, then don’t hesitate to contact us. Let’s make your website accessible for all.