Website accessibility

Website Accessibility: Four Easy Steps to Get Started

Website accessibility refers to the inclusive design and development of websites and digital content, ensuring that all users, including those with disabilities, can access, perceive, navigate, and interact with the information and functionality provided on the web.
  1. Web accessibility is about ensuring that everyone can access and use your website.
  2. You can start to improve your website accessibility by taking four steps.
  3. Check your colour contrast, ensure easy keyboard navigation, use proper heading structure, and always include alt text with images

What is Website Accessibility?

Web accessibility refers to the inclusive design and development of websites and digital content, ensuring that all users, including those with disabilities, can access, perceive, navigate, and interact with the information and functionality provided on the web.

Why is Website Accessibility important?

Web accessibility is important for small business websites because it ensures that all potential customers, regardless of their abilities, can access and engage with the website’s content and services. It expands the business’s reach, enhances user experience, promotes inclusivity, and helps comply with accessibility laws and regulations.

What can I do to improve website accessibility?

Improving website accessibility is crucial to ensure that all users, regardless of their abilities, can access and navigate your site effectively. Here are the top four easily actionable steps you can take to enhance website accessibility:

  1. Provide Alternative Text for Images: People with visual impairments rely on screen readers to access website content. By adding descriptive alternative text (alt text) to your images, you enable screen readers to describe the image to visually impaired users. Alt text should be concise, accurate, and convey the essential information of the image. This ensures that users who cannot see the images can still understand their purpose and context.
  2. Use Proper Heading Structure: Organizing your content with proper heading structure benefits both users and assistive technologies. Headings (H1, H2, H3, etc.) create a hierarchical structure that helps users understand the content’s organization. Ensure that you use headings in sequential order and avoid skipping levels. Screen readers can navigate through the headings, making it easier for users to skim the content and find the information they need. Proper heading structure also improves readability and comprehension for all users.
  3. Ensure Keyboard Accessibility: Some users have mobility impairments and rely on keyboard navigation instead of a mouse. To accommodate them, ensure that all interactive elements, such as links, buttons, and form fields, can be accessed and activated using the keyboard alone. Implement the ability to navigate through the site using the “Tab” key, highlight focused elements, and provide clear visual indications of the focused state. Test your website’s keyboard accessibility to ensure a seamless experience. Keyboard accessibility not only benefits users with mobility impairments but also provides an alternative method of interaction for all users, including those who prefer using keyboards.
  4. Check Color Contrast: Color contrast plays a vital role in website accessibility, particularly for users with visual impairments or color vision deficiencies. Ensure that the color contrast between text and background meets accessibility standards. Low contrast can make it difficult for people with visual impairments to read content. Use tools and resources available online to evaluate color contrast ratios and adjust the colors as necessary. By improving color contrast, you enhance the legibility and usability of your website for a broader range of users.

While these steps are a good starting point, web accessibility is a broad topic. Consider consulting accessibility guidelines such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 or WCAG 2.2 for more comprehensive recommendations.

What are the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines?

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines are a set of guidelines that help make websites and digital content accessible to everyone. It focuses on four main principles:

  1. Perceivable: Make sure that all information and user interface elements can be perceived by users, regardless of their abilities. Provide alternative text for images, captions for videos, and clear text that can be adjusted for readability.
  2. Operable: Ensure that users can navigate and interact with your website. This means making it compatible with different devices and input methods, providing clear and consistent navigation, and giving users enough time to read and use the content.
  3. Understandable: Ensure that your website is easy to understand for all users. Use plain language, organize content in a logical way, and provide clear instructions and error messages.
  4. Robust: Make your website compatible with different technologies, both now and in the future. This means using standard coding practices and avoiding reliance on specific software or devices.

By following these principles, you can create a website that is accessible and inclusive to everyone.

At Boom12, we have committed to making our work as accessible as possible by the end of 2023. This includes the work we do for our clients. If we do it, accessibility will be an essential part of getting the job done.

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