Imagine you built a brick-and-mortar location for your business. You’d have a lot of decisions to make; location, floor plan, the materials used, and even things like lighting fixtures, paint, furniture, and decoration. You might make a stunning building, but if the only way into your building is up a flight of stairs, a customer in a wheelchair may never be able to enter, let alone see the decorations you chose.
Of course, you would install a ramp, an elevator, or whatever was needed to accommodate all your potential visitors. But are you doing the same for your website?
Even though 26% of the US population has a disability, only 98% of websites are accessible. ADA laws consider websites to be public places, and therefore, they must be accessible to everyone. It is as important to accommodate for users with disabilities online as it is in person.
Here are a few things to consider while making your website more inclusive.
Some users may require the aid of a screen-reader, technology that converts image or text to speech or braille. It’s important to ensure that all elements of your site can clearly communicate to the user the purpose of each element.
It’s important to make sure that any non-decorative images have a descriptive text alternative, that way, users won’t miss out on any buttons or links. Likewise, improperly labeled might be mistranslated by the screen reader, leaving the user unable to complete it.
Colors that are too similar can also make a site inaccessible. Color should never the only difference between options on a website. For a colorblind user, some colors may appear identical to one another. Text or icons could be added to make things clearer to any user.
Color contrast is especially important when it comes to text. Light text on light backgrounds, or dark text on dark backgrounds can be difficult to read, especially for those with impaired vision. Try to include as much contrast as possible to make text easier to read.
Some users may not be able to navigate a site by using a mouse or conventional touch screen. Make sure that a user can navigate using a keyboard, or by using a screen-reading app.
Additionally, using proper heading structure and clear organization can prevent users from getting lost and make it easier to find parts of the site that they want to access.
Captions and Transcripts
If you have a video or audio recording on your site, captions and optional transcripts are a must. Auditorily impaired users also need to be able to understand everything on your site without being able to hear it.
Of course, there are many other areas to consider when making your website accessible to all users. Big Red Jelly understands the importance of having accessible, compatible, and compliant websites. Our web services can set you up with the right tools, like AccessiBe to make your websites accessible to anyone/everyone.