What Is Website Accessibility?
When we talk about an “accessible website”, we are refering to a website that is designed to work for all people, including people who have a wide range of cognitive, visual, mobility, and hearing abilities, regardless of hardware, software, language, location, or ability.
High profile lawsuits such as Dominos v Robles, NAD v. Harvard, and a class-action lawsuit against Beyonce have made Website Accessibility a hot topic in recent days. Accessibility has become more prominent in the time of Covid-19 as more people rely on the web daily for their groceries, work, education, and health needs.
Now more than ever, it’s important for businesses to consider the accessibility of their own websites. “By some counts, as many as 57 million Americans have impairments that can impact the accessibility of websites and online applications,” says George Gabrelian, Lead Developer at TOH. “That’s a big portion of the population who not only deserve equal access to online information for ethical reasons but can also be an important market for your business.”
Having an accessible website also means protecting your business from potential lawsuits. The number of accessibility lawsuits are increasing, not just against big brands, and small and medium businesses also should protect themselves.
WAVE Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool
Tackling website accessibility can feel like a daunting task, however, there are a great number of resources available if you’re just getting started. “A business should first understand what accessibility really means to their brand and then how to achieve it,” says Gabrelian. A company that is experienced with web accessibility can be a great resource for businesses looking to implement an accessibility plan. He also recommends businesses start by checking out the World Wide Web consortium, WebAIM and Googling “website accessibility” for information and implementation resources.
“Website Accessibility is not a design trend, it grows increasingly important as the world rapidly changes. Accessibility is really an extension of user experience,” Gabrelian adds.
Since user experience is a fundamental design consideration when creating a website, it goes without saying that all users, regardless of ability, should have an intuitive and accessible experience.
If you have questions about your website and accessibility, we’re here to help.