Accessibility is an important topic these days. If you’re a small business owner thinking about making your website accessible, it can be overwhelming to know where to start.
An accessible website is essentially a website that is designed to work for all people, regardless of hardware, software, language, location, or ability. This includes people who have a wide range of cognitive, visual, mobility, and hearing abilities.
However, web accessibility is more than just mechanics – it’s also a way of thinking.
It’s important to learn as much as you can about website accessibility and what is required for compliance before implementing a full accessibility program. Starting with best practices for accessible website design, here are 5 things you can do to add greater accessibility to your website.
Color – People with color blindness may not be able to distinguish between different elements or prompts on their screen if color is the only differentiator. You can utilize both color and pattern to differentiate information, or make sure that the information in the image is also available as text.
Audio Control – Background audio can make it difficult for people who rely on screen-reading technology to read page content. If your website automatically plays audio for more than 3 seconds, include a mechanism to either pause or stop the audio, or avoid utilizing background audio on your website altogether.
Headings – Organize all content on your website into sections with headings. This improves comprehension and makes it easier to navigate page content. It also improves the ease of navigating the page via keyboard alone.
Non-Text Content – Provide text alternatives, including images, video, audio, and animation for all non-text content that serves the same purpose. This helps people who rely on assistive technology see, read, hear or input information.
Language of page – It is important that the text content is correctly presented by assistive technology. One way to handle this is to specify the default language of the page content in the language attribute of the website’s code.
Getting started with accessibility can feel like a daunting task, however, there are a great number of resources available if you’re just getting started. TOH Webmasters recommends businesses start by checking out the World Wide Web Consortium and WebAIM.
Feel free to contact us with any questions.