As the world becomes increasingly more digitized, more and more businesses are moving their operations online. This is a great way to cut costs and reach a larger audience, but making your website accessible to everyone can also be difficult. In fact, according to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), an international community that develops web standards, one percent of the world’s population has a “disabling condition.” This means that if your website is not accessible through tools such as accessiBe, you could be excluding a huge chunk of your potential customer base.
What is accessibility?
Accessibility refers to designing products, devices, services, or environments for people with disabilities. The goal is to create an inclusive experience that meets the needs of as many people as possible.
There are four main principles of accessibility:
- Perceivable – Information and user interface components must be presentable to users in ways they can perceive.
- Operable – User interface components and navigation must be operable.
- Understandable – Information and the operation of user interface components must be understandable.
- Robust – Content must be robust enough to be interpreted by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies.
What does this mean for your website?
Making your website accessible doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. You can do a few simple things to ensure that everyone can use your site.
Speak simply and plainly
The wording on your website should be easy to understand. Avoid jargon and long, complicated sentences. If you must use technical terms, be sure to explain them in plain language.
Optimize for different browsers and devices
People view websites on different devices, from desktop computers to smartphones. Make sure your site can be accessed on all of them. This may mean creating separate versions of your site for different browsers or using a responsive design.
Use clear and consistent navigation
Your website should be easy to navigate, even for first-time visitors. All the links on your site should be working, and it should be easy to find your way back to the home page from anywhere on the site.
Add alt text to images
Alt-text is a short description of an image displayed if the image can’t be seen. It’s important to include alt text on your website so that people with visual impairments can still understand what’s going on.
Provide captions for videos
Captions are a written transcript of the audio in a video. They allow people who are deaf or hard of hearing to follow what’s going on.
What is the difference between accessibility and usability?
Usability refers to how easy it is to use a product, while accessibility refers to how well people with disabilities can use it.
How much does it cost to make a website accessible?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The cost of making your website accessible will depend on several factors, including the size and complexity of your site.
I’m not sure if my website is accessible. How can I find out?
There are a few different ways you can test the accessibility of your website. One is to use an automated tool, such as the Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool. Another is to hire a professional to perform an accessibility audit.