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A Practical Guide to Website Accessibility

Making your website accessible to everyone is not only the right thing to do, but it can also open your business up to a new and untapped market. In this article, we will discuss some of the basics of website accessibility and how you can make your site more user-friendly for everyone.

A Practical Guide to Website Accessibility

What is Web Accessibility?

Web accessibility entails a set of tools that enable everyone to use the Internet, understand it, and interact with others regardless of their circumstances.

This implies that websites, tools, and technologies are properly designed, built, and coded in such a manner that persons with long-term impairments or those with short-term difficulties can use them. People may perceive, comprehend, maneuver around, interact with, and contribute to the internet world in which that webpage or program is hosted.

Why Should I Be Concerned About It?

Accessibility is an important consideration for all websites, as it can help to ensure that as many people as possible can access and use your content. This is particularly important for businesses, as making your website accessible can help you reach a wider audience and improve your bottom line.

There are several reasons why you should be concerned about website accessibility:

1.  It's the law: In many countries, including the United States, it is now mandatory to make your website accessible. Failing to do so could result in legal action being taken against you.

2.  It's good for business: A study by WebAIM found that making your website more accessible can increase revenue by up to 15%. Moreover, inaccessible websites can be damaging to a company's reputation.

3.  It's the right thing to do: Accessibility is about ensuring that all people, regardless of ability, have equal access to information and services online. It is the right thing to do, and it's the law in many countries.

Web Accessibility Standards

There are many different web accessibility standards that organizations can follow to make their website more accessible. The most common standard is the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) created by the World Wide Web Consortium (WWC). WCAG is a set of guidelines that outlines how to make web content more accessible for people with disabilities. There are three levels of conformance: A, AA, and AAA. Most organizations strive for level A or AA conformance, but some may require level AAA conformance.

There are also other web accessibility standards such as Section 58 of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA). Both of these acts outline specific requirements for making websites accessible for people with disabilities.

While there are many different web accessibility standards, they all have the same goal: to make websites accessible for everyone. By following one of these standards, organizations can ensure that their website is accessible to as many people as possible.

Some of the most common disabilities that can affect website

There are many different ways to make your website more accessible, and we will cover some of the most common methods in this guide. But first, let’s take a look at some of the most common disabilities that can affect website use.

  • Visual impairments, including blindness and low vision

  • Hearing impairments

  • Mobility impairments, including paralysis and Cerebral Palsy

  • Cognitive impairments, including learning disabilities and ADHD

Each of these disabilities can present unique challenges when using the web, so it is important to take into account all potential accessibility issues when designing and developing your website.

How do I know if my website is accessible?

The first step to improving the accessibility of your website is to determine whether or not it is accessible in the first place.

  • Use online accessibility checkers.

A good way to do this is by using an online accessibility checker. A few popular ones include WAVE and Bobby. These tools will scan your website and report any errors or issues that may prevent people from using your website.

  • Use a screen reader.

A screen reader is a software application that reads aloud the text on a computer screen, making it accessible for people who are blind or have low vision. To use a screen reader, you can download one for free from the internet. The most popular screen readers are JAWS, NVDA, and VoiceOver. Once you have a screen reader installed, you can test your website by navigating to it and pressing the Tab key on your keyboard. The screen reader will read aloud the text on the page, as well as any errors or issues that may prevent people from using your website.

Ways to Make Your Website More Accessible

The following are just a few of the most common methods, but there are many other ways to make your website more accessible.

  • Use clear and concise text: When writing content for your website, be sure to use clear and concise text that is easy to understand for everyone. Avoid using complex language or jargon, and be sure to use proper spelling and grammar.

  • Use descriptive titles: When creating headings and titles for your pages and articles, be sure to use descriptive keywords that will help people with disabilities understand the content.

  • Use images with captions: Whenever possible, include images on your website with descriptive captions. This will help those who are visually impaired understand the content of the image.

  • Use contrast ratios: Be sure to use sufficient contrast ratios between text and background colors to make your website easy to read for everyone.

  • Use accessible forms: Whenever possible, use accessible forms that are easy to use for everyone. This includes ensuring that all form fields are properly labeled and that input is easy to navigate.

  • Use clear navigation menus: Make sure your website’s navigation menus are clear and easy to understand for everyone. Be sure to use proper headings and labels, and avoid using complex or confusing navigation menus.

Does Your Business Need a New Website That Actually Brings in New Business?

Remember, when creating a website you have two audiences that are equally important: Humans and Google.  Most website designers stick to designing for humans. Why? Because the client wants a beautiful site first, and the designer is interested in making that client happy.  But unfortunately, that’s where most designers stop.  Magnified Media designs sites for both Humans and Google. Why again you ask? The reason is simple - if you don’t make your site Google-friendly, it won’t ever get seen by Humans! Interested in seeing what we can do for your business? Schedule your free Online Presence Audit now.

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