It seems like everywhere you look, people are talking about website accessibility. But what does that term actually mean? And why is it such a hot topic lately? In this article, we’ll explore those questions and more. We’ll start by defining website accessibility and discussing its importance and the importance of using tools like accessiBe to make your site accessible. Then, we’ll take a closer look at some of the key components of an accessible website.
So, what exactly is website accessibility? It refers to the ability of everyone, regardless of their physical or cognitive abilities, to access and use a website. This includes people who are blind or have low vision, deaf or hard of hearing, and those with physical impairments that make using a keyboard or mouse difficult. It also includes people with cognitive impairments such as dyslexia, ADHD, or Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Making your website accessible is important for several reasons:
It’s the right thing to do for your customers
First and foremost, it’s the right thing to do. Everyone deserves to be able to access and use the information and services available online. By making your website accessible, you ensure that everyone has the same opportunity to participate in the digital world.
It’s good for your business
In addition to being the right thing to do, making your website accessible is also good for your business. By opening up your website to a wider range of users, you increase your potential customer base and new markets.
It may be required by law
In many cases, making your website accessible is also required by law. For example, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in all areas of public life, including websites. And in recent years, there have been several high-profile lawsuits filed against companies with inaccessible websites.
So, those are some of the reasons why website accessibility is important. But what does it take to make a website accessible? Let’s take a look at some of the key components.
There are a few key things to keep in mind when making your website accessible:
Use text primarily
First, most all of your content must be available in text format. For example, any images or videos on your site must have alternate text descriptions. Second, your site should be designed so that users can navigate it using only a keyboard. This includes ensuring that all links can be accessed with the Tab key and that form fields can be filled out using the Enter key.
Make sure your site can be scaled
Another important consideration is making sure that your site can be scaled to meet the needs of users with low vision. This means that users should be able to increase the font size or use a screen reader to have the content read aloud to them.
Ensure your site can be navigated easily
Finally, it’s important to make sure that users can navigate your site easily. This includes having a clear and consistent navigation system and providing adequate signposting throughout the site.
Those are just a few of the key considerations for making a website accessible. By keeping these things in mind, you can ensure that everyone can access and use your site, regardless of their abilities.