“The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect.”
– Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web.
In today’s inclusive world businesses must be certain that their products and services can be engaging for all users. Website accessibility is important to maintain ADA legal compliance, build your reputation, and approach the largest audience.
This article will give you the steps to create an accessible website, or audit an existing website.
Understanding the audience is very important to creating a pleasant experience for all your website visitors. Types of disabilities include:
Consider how a grocery store or restaurant would accommodate their disabled customers. Handicapped parking, entrance ramps, bright red exit signs, etc. Your website must be able to match the in-person experience already available to make it a viable option for these users.
Website accessibility is not limited to only assisting those with disabilities. In fact, every user may need accessibility features at one point or another. Ever try to watch a video in a noisy environment? What about using apps or websites with weak internet connection? You have benefitted from their accessible design if so.
It is important to recognize that alternative ways to interact with a website result in happy users no matter if they are disabled or not.
Visual disabilities include blindness, nearsightedness, farsightedness, light sensitivity, and colorblindness to name a few. According to WHO, on a global scale 2.2 billion people have near or distance vision issues (World Health Organization). Among those 2.2 billion, 1 billion have moderate to severe impairment or blindness.
This means that over 1 out of 4 people have some visual problems, and over 1 out of 10 suffer from moderate to severe impairment. The following checklist will help make your website more accessible.
According to the NIDCD, 1 out of 8 U.S. citizens over the age of 11 have hearing loss in both ears (National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders). 1 out of 2 U.S. citizens over the age of 74 have disabling hearing loss.
There are a couple of implementations available to website owners to assist these users.
According to Mozilla, cognitive impairments include a broad range of disabilities including limited capacity for memory, learning, and recognition. ADDitude magazine reports that 50 to 60% of those who are diagnosed with ADHD have learning impairments. Dyslexia affects 8 to 17% of the global population’s ability to read and process that information.
Website owners can take the following actions to assist these users.
According to the NIDCD, 7.5 million Americans suffer from speech impairment. These users may have trouble controlling their voice, pronouncing words, or the tempo of their sentences.
There are a couple of ways to include these users within your web design.
According to the CDC, 16% of people have obstructions to their physical movement (Center for Disease Control). It is necessary to allow these visitors to interact with your website in various ways depending on their abilities.
Follow the checklist below to ensure your users can have a pleasant user experience.
In short, website accessibility helps those with and without disabilities. Creating an inclusive website is not only an ADA legal requirement, but an identifier that you are supportive of your entire audience.
This checklist will help audit your site or provide guidelines for building a new one. If this article was helpful to you, let us know below.