Seven affordable steps for website accessibility

One in four people in the United States is disabled. The aging population is increasing. Every day, inaccessible web and app design prevents billions of people globally from accessing digital information. People with visual impairments, learning disabilities, hearing loss and more routinely encounter dozens of unique challenges behind most URLs. If your website cannot be accessed by a person with a disability, you could miss out on potential customers and face legal risk.

Listed below are some simple steps that can be taken right away for website accessibility that won’t exceed your budget.

1.   Use alt text.

When you hover your mouse over an image on a website, the words that come up are called alt text. A visually impaired person who uses a screen reader can identify that image with alt text provided. Take alt text seriously and use it to describe the image exactly and succinctly.

2.  Produce transcripts and subtitles.

Provide subtitles to videos, especially if you’re producing the majority of your own video content. Popular video hosting sites such as YouTube have tools that allow users to add subtitles to their clips. Making a transcription of the video available online is also an incredibly helpful resource for users with hearing impairments.

3.  Describe your links.

When embedding a link in a post, it’s more useful to describe the link, rather than just telling the reader to “click here.” Also, underline your links or make sure that there is a color contrast between hyperlinked text and regular text. That way, colorblind users can find a link immediately without having to hover over it with their cursors.

4.  Use color control.

Utilizing smart color choices is valuable for all websites. Avoid pairing garish colors, and be wary of using yellow, blue and green close to one another (this is especially difficult for colorblind users). Black text on a white background is the best general practice, because it’s readable for most audiences.

5.  Get clickable.

Users with mobility problems can struggle clicking on small items within a tiny clickable range. It’s like trying to nail a bullseye every time you play darts. Give the clickable item a wider range so the user can click on it within the item’s general area.

6.  Keep your copy clean and simple.

This is helpful for any audience, but critical for seniors or those with learning disabilities. If using a lot of text, break into smaller paragraphs. Use headers and simple, straightforward language in the active voice.

7.  Include an accessibility guide.

Create an explanation of the accessibility features used on your site. This communicates that you are making efforts to be disabled friendly and have provided tools for easy navigation.

These affordable steps will  help ensure your website is accessible to people with disabilities.

 

Outlook Business Solutions provides accessibility testing for organizations and companies. Skilled technicians – people  with disabilities – test  various aspects of your online/digital platforms and provide suggestions you can implement to ensure your content meets with ADA and WCAG guidelines.

Our new subscription service, Ally Support, lets you move your website, app or digital content toward accessibility at your own pace.

Add accessibility expertise to your internal or external development team without adding full-time staff with your subscription to Ally Support. Your team can use the support hours provided with the subscription to consult with our accessibility experts, have analysts spot-test new functions, or provide ideas for making content accessible from the start.

Ensure everyone – including people with disabilities – can take advantage of the goods or services you offer by subscribing to Ally Support today. For more information, contact Natalie Hadley at 531-365-5347.