Accessibility is a consideration that businesses need to spread across the entirety of their operations – including their website. Hosting content that can be read easily and adjusted to suit the needs of those with disabilities opens up the scope of possibility for your business. It allows your content to be absorbed by the most relevant people, regardless of how they use a computer or access websites. In fact, here in the UK, 22% of our population is made up of people who have some form of disability.
When we consider accessibility on websites, we need to take into account 6 key types of disability:
This blog will offer 5 ways to make your website more accessible, taking into account the difficulties that certain people may have.
- 1. Add Alt Text To Your Images
For those with visual disabilities, the imagery on websites presents more of a hindrance than a benefit. Not being able to fully digest what is in an image or why it has been used can be enough to throw off the entire relatability of a post. In this instance, assistive technologies such as screen readers and braille readers are used to read all of the written content on a page.
While these programmes work well for text, they do not have the technology to read images. If they come across an image on your webpage that has no alt text, it will just bypass this content meaning it’s easy for a message to be lost. If you have filled in the alt text with a relevant description of the image and its purpose, you’ll be sure to include everyone with your content.
- 2. Design A Keyboard-Friendly Website
Another challenge for visually impaired individuals is navigation. While the majority of us will use a mouse or touchpad to locate the information we’ve looking for, this is a challenge to those who cannot clearly make out your content. Blind users will likely use a braille keyboard or something similar to be able to move around the website.
To support this, you need to make sure that elements such as drop-down menus, forms, CTAs and dialogue boxes are all accessible from the keyboard. You can do this with specific code and by adding links into your website that support this.
- 3. Use Contrasting Colours
While it may be appealing to use specific colours because they fit with your brand, you should always keep usability as a priority. People with visual impairments such as diabetic retinopathy or glaucoma struggle to differentiate between colours with low contrast. You want to make sure the background and text colours are bold, strong and have high contrast.
- 4. Use Headers
H-tags don’t just help with SEO. They also visually change the look of the font and its purpose to help long-form content become more digestible. This also helps screen readers to properly interpret the content of your page and read it out in a clear, legible manner. Use just 1 H1 tag for each page. Nest these with H2, H3 and H4 tags respectively to make the page as cohesive as possible.
- 5. Make Text Easily Resizeable
For more people with visual impairments, technology allows them to resize the font on a page to suit their needs. However, if you haven’t built your site to support this, it may have a negative impact on usability. Avoid using ‘absolute units’ which specify text size in terms of pixels. Instead, use relative sizes which allow the font to be scaled alongside other content and the screen size itself.
A good way to test this is to increase the zoom on a browser and ensure it can be easily read at all times.
Here at Media Orb, we can support you in creating an inclusive website that supports user accessibility. If you would like support with this, please get in contact today.