What is Website Accessibility and Why You Should Take It Seriously?
Did you know that there are over 1 billion people in the world who have some form of disability? This means that almost 20% of the world's population has some limitation that affects their ability to use the internet. For businesses, this is a huge market that cannot be ignored. If your website is not accessible to these people, you are missing out on a lot of potential revenue. In this article, we will discuss what website accessibility is and why you should take it seriously.
What Is Website Accessibility?
Accessibility has to do with making sure that everyone, regardless of any potential disability or limitation, can have access to all the content on a website. This includes things like making sure that all text is readable and properly formatted, ensuring that images and videos have appropriate alt-text descriptions, and providing clear navigational cues so that users can easily find their way around.
In recent years, accessibility has become an increasingly important issue as we become more aware of the various ways in which people may need an accommodation to use the web. The good news is that making your website accessible doesn't have to be difficult or expensive - there are many simple steps you can take to ensure that your site is welcoming to everyone.
The Types of Disability
There are many types of disability, both visible and invisible. Website accessibility is important for everyone, including people with disabilities. Here are the most common disabilities:
Visual Impairment: This includes blindness and low vision. People with visual impairments may use screen readers or magnification software to access the web.
Motor Disability: This includes conditions that affect movements, such as cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson's disease. People with motor disabilities may use alternative input devices such as a mouth stick or head pointer to interact with websites.
Deafness and Hearing Loss: Approximately 48 million Americans have hearing loss in one or both ears ( deafness ). Many deaf and hard of hearing people use captioning or sign language to access online content.
Cognitive Disability: This includes conditions such as autism, Asperger's syndrome, and Down syndrome. People with cognitive disabilities may use assistive technologies such as screen readers and text-to-speech software to interact with websites.
What Does Website Accessibility Do For Your Business?
There is a multitude of reasons why website accessibility is so important for businesses, both small and large. Website accessibility improves web usability which in turn results in increased traffic and better customer conversion rates. Additionally, website accessibility makes it easier for all customers - including those with disabilities - to find the information they need and complete transactions on your site.
According to The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), "accessibility means that people with disabilities can use the same Web sites, tools, and technologies as everyone else." In other words, website accessibility is making sure that your site is usable by everyone, regardless of their abilities or limitations. This includes people who are visually impaired, hearing impaired or have mobility issues.
How to Make Your Website More Accessible?
Making your website more accessible is not as difficult as you might think. There are a few simple things that you can do to make your website more user-friendly for everyone, including people with disabilities. There are many ways to make your website more accessible. The most important part is to be aware of the issues and how to address them. Some common ways to make a website more accessible include:
use clear and concise language
using headings and lists to structure content
providing alternative text for images
using colors that are easy to see against a background
avoiding busy or flashing designs
testing pages with different browsers and screen readers.
The best way to ensure your website is accessible is to get feedback from people with disabilities. You can use online resources like WebAIM, which offers free accessibility audits, or you can find local organizations that offer assistance with making websites more accessible.
The Right to Accessibility Is a Human Right
According to the United Nations, "accessibility" is a human right. What does that mean for your website? It means that you need to make sure that everyone can access your content, regardless of their ability. This includes people with disabilities, as well as those who are using assistive technology to access the web.
Making your website accessible is not only the right thing to do, it's also the law. There are several laws and regulations around the world that require businesses to make their websites accessible. Failing to do so can result in legal action and fines.
So Why You Should Take Website Accessibility For Your Business Seriously?
There are multiple reasons why website accessibility should be taken seriously for businesses. Here are some key points to consider:
The WCAG guidelines are a set of internationally recognized standards that outline how websites and digital content should be accessible to everyone, regardless of ability. Meeting these guidelines can help ensure your website is inclusive and welcoming to all visitors, as well as help avoid any potential legal issues.
Certain countries have laws in place that require businesses to make their websites accessible. Failing to do so can result in hefty fines, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with the relevant legislation in your area. Even if your country doesn’t have specific laws surrounding website accessibility, following WCAG guidelines is still the best way to ensure your website is inclusive for all.
Increased Visibility and SEO
Making your website accessible can also have a positive impact on your SEO. Websites that meet WCAG standards are more likely to show up on search engine results pages, so making these changes can help get your business seen by more people.
It’s important to remember that website accessibility isn’t just something that benefits people with disabilities. Meeting WCAG guidelines makes your website more user-friendly for everyone, which can lead to increased traffic and better business outcomes.
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.