Written by: Jay H.
Browsing the internet can be extremely difficult or impossible for those with disabilities. Without accessibility enhancers in place, your website may be inaccessible to people with disabilities. Here’s what you need to know about accessibility and how you can improve your website’s accessibility.
What Is Web Accessibility?
Web accessibility ensures everyone, regardless of their disability, can access and enjoy the internet and its resources without barriers.
People with disabilities often depend on assistive technology, such as screen readers, screen magnifiers, alternative keyboards or trackpads, and other tools. You can make your website more accessible to those with disabilities.
Why Is Web Accessibility Important?
People depend on the internet every day for work, school, shopping, health care, socialization, recreation, and more. If people with disabilities cannot access or contribute to these resources, they cannot as easily participate in society.
Web accessibility also helps you do business with people with disabilities. Approximately one-in-five Canadians live with one or more disabilities, so you are shutting out a large audience if your website is inaccessible. Web accessibility also helps boost your ranking in search engines like Google, further benefiting your business.
How To Make Your Website Accessible
There are many ways you can make your website accessible. Here are some practices you can enact:
Alt tags are used to describe the purpose of images you use on your site. Screenreaders read alt tags to those with vision impairments to understand what is happening in an image without seeing it.
When you upload an image on your website, there is usually somewhere to enter an alt tag. A proper alt attribute should describe what is happening in the image so that someone using a screen reader can easily understand it.
ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications) attributes are special accessibility attributes that you can add to any of your HTML markups. They describe the specific role of objects such as buttons, alerts, or sliders.
You can learn more about ARIA attributes by visiting this website.
HTML tags add formatting and semantics to your website. For example, title tags such as H1, H2, and H3 are used for title and heading text. You can use HTML tags to make the formatting more accessible for screen readers. For instance, your navigation should have the <nav> tag.
There are many HTML tags you can use for better accessibility. You can read more about HTML tags on this website.
Adding captions to your videos and audio files makes them accessible for those with hearing impairments and even those who can’t play the audio at that current time. Moreover, text transcripts for your audio elements further enhance your website’s accessibility.
If you use WordPress, there are accessibility plugins you can install on your website. They add accessibility enhancers like sufficient colour contrast, resize fonts, underline links, and other features. There are many options out there for WordPress accessibility plugins, such as WP Accessibility or One Click Accessibility.
Make Your Website More Accessible
Accessibility should be at the back of your mind when creating your website. If you’re interested in a customized, accessible website for your business, please contact us today. Our web design experts can create a website that is accessible to all people and crafted with strategy in mind to convert more visitors.
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