Presently, the web is the most important source of information. The people frequently surf the internet for information related to education, employment, healthcare, online shopping, entertainment, and much more. Every individual has equal rights to information. There is no difference for anybody, not even the people with visual impairments, hearing difficulty, and other such physical limitations. Therefore, websites must be accessible to all and sundry.
In this way, improving different elements of web pages to facilitate people with disabilities has many value-added benefits for society as well as for the businesses. So, website owners pay more considerable attention to integrate a comprehensive website accessibility policy is essential to facilitate everyone without any discrimination.
If you are thinking that ensuring website responsiveness, integrating voice search, and adding usability factors makes your website accessible for all? You may be underestimating the concept then – Read the blog until the end to get a detailed overview of everything related to accessibility features of your website.
Why is Web Accessibility Important?
21st century is the era of information – every individual living on the planet Earth shares the same sky! This is so true when it comes to the web. According to the statistics of the World Health Organization, approximately 15% of the global population is living with a particular disability. It means that around one billion people experience difficulty in normal functioning in one way or the other across the world.
Keeping the severity of need into consideration, many countries have already applied the regulations to ensure equal rights for people with disabilities. For example, the “Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)” is aimed at providing equal access to all opportunities for people with certain physical limitations.
Moreover, the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP) UAE has recognized the inability to access web or mobile applications for individuals with different forms of disability. The ministry directs the individual website owners and organizations to comply with the international standards of accessibility for offering improved user experience with enhanced features.
Nevertheless, the internet has helped the businesses to reach millions of people across the world using websites as part of their corporate identity in the world. So, it is unlikely to ignore this significant segment of potential visitors. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) has resolved the problem by helping the companies make their website accessible for all through compliance.
Does your website comply with WCAG? If not, you are surely living on the verge of risks related to lawsuits and limited business opportunities. So, getting help from experienced web design professionals can ensure all accessibility factors, including web pages structure, navigation, readability, and other necessary elements.
Top Tips for Making Your Website Accessible to Everyone
It is noteworthy to state that many individuals and organizations have started embracing the fact of website accessibility. It is owing to the reason that making your web pages accessible to all and sundry has many benefits. The companies can become able to follow the web design layouts, usability factors, and proven SEO practices in the best way possible to offer an awe-inspiring user experience. The efforts help them ensure a win-win by ever-increasing business prospects along with disabled-friendly websites.
However, the transformation of programming software and the evolution of ecommerce have increased the complexity of information retrieval and processing. So, the website owners have to adopt pro-active strategies for ensuring the accessibility of their websites. It can be done by following the given guidelines and tips – keep reading!
Ensure ease of content retrieval
Websites are designed to cater to the requirements of information access. So, it is essential to ensure the accessibility of content comprehensively. To comply with regulations, you should start by selecting a suitable Content Management System (CMS). It is because not all CMS supports accessibility. Besides this, consider the following tips:
Use a pre-defined and logical structure of headings from H1 – H6, but don’t make it complicated.
Write self-explanatory headings for information and hyperlinks. Don’t forget to make the data links clickable and highlight the links using bold fonts.
Categorize your content in well-understandable structures for easy identification of information sections and relevancy of data.
You should explain the title of every section or navigational tabs adequately to help individuals with disabilities get access to their required information quickly.
Make your website keyboard-friendly
It is the most critical element of website accessibility. It is owing to the reason because people with visual impairment use keyboards for information navigation. Additionally, individuals with Parkinson or multiple sclerosis feel difficulty in controlling a mouse or other pointing devices. Therefore, the website should ensure the facility of keyword usage for improved usability. Consider the following tips:
Ensure Tab Key is enabled for moving forward on the website pages.
Enables Shift +Tab key for backward movement on the web page navigation.
Space, Enter, and arrow keys should be enabled for other functions also.
Restrict auto-play of animations & videos
Audio-visual data is considered most important owing to the ever-increasing trend in the web design industry. No doubt, these elements help you add creativity and style into your web pages to attract and engage users for a considerable long timespan. Additionally, interactive visuals enable companies to promote their brands to allure potential customers.
However, auto-play features for animations and audio-visual data can be frustrating for many people with different types of disabilities. While integrating such elements in your business, you should ensure that auto-execution functional is turned off for the videos that can significantly help to maintain higher web accessibility. Consider the tips:
Disable auto-run for all videos linked to your landing page.
Turn the audio facility off at the start and leave the choice of turning it on to the users.
Consider proper management of slideshow for home pages and picture galleries.
Use Alt-tags and labels for images
Images are the most useful ways of sharing information. It is because the individuals have higher abilities to retain the sighted data. However, not everyone can comprehend the pictures. Therefore, the website images should contain alternative text (Alt tags) for a must to help people get the maximum advantage of the published information.
Additionally, you can add self-explanatory captions and descriptions to make it easy to understand for individuals with disabilities. Consider the tips:
Use high-deficiency images for clarity of visual comprehension.
Add alternative text for the substitute of images.
Integrate text audio translators for improved accessibility of your web pages.
Use contrasting colors for website designing
The use of pleasant colors for the websites helps improve the overall appeal of the themes and layouts. Generally, the companies pick the website color scheme while considering their branding elements. It is the right approach, but the needs and requirements of people with disabilities should be considered for a must while selecting the contrasts for the website color scheme for different elements. It is because many websites have turned to be non-accessible to the people with special needs owing to unwise color selection. Consider the given tips:
The select color scheme for your website that is appropriately distinguishable in shades.
Pick contrasting colors for hover functions and clickable links to ensure easy identification.
Ensure dark backgrounds to enhance the visibility of page content areas for improved readability.
Consider resizable text
Living in a world of website responsiveness is not easy because the business has to maintain a mobile-friendly website. In the quest for this, you should not forget web accessibility rules and regulations. It is because people with a disability usually face severe problems while reading content from smart devices.
So, the size of the text presented on the website should maintain a standardized format. It should have synchronization with the color scheme. The web owners should ensure the integration of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) that text of smaller font has a contrast ratio of 4.5:1 while 3:1 is the ratio for large font sized text. Consider the given:
Make your text resizable to cater to the reading requirements of all and sundry.
Focus more on presenting tabular data to ensure clarity of content.
The color of the text font should be readable comfortably.
Use Google fonts for improved user engagement and accessibility of the web.
Comply with web accessibility guidelines today!
Summing up, Web accessibility is not just a moral obligation but also a compulsion for all and sundry to ensure with zeal and zest. It enables the broader segment of society to access information from the internet. So, considering the accessibility rules can help the companies to reduce risks of non-compliance and strengthen their brands by improved customers’ experience.
In the end, you surely have realized that your website can be improved a lot by complying with accessibility guidelines. So, why not hire experienced website designers for content improvements and a website redesign for making it more accessible to all without any discrimination. It will not only help you reach more people but also enhance your brand value in the virtual world.
Are you interested in sharing knowledge equally to people with diverse backgrounds? Contact us to achieve the best possible accessibility goals to ensure a disabled-friendly experience for people with special needs!