Website accessibility is the ability for an individual or a business to provide information and services in a non-discriminatory accessible manner. This simply means that it is a way to make website content easily accessible for everyone, including disabled people.
The internet has made a difference in everyone’s lives. It has changed the way we communicate, get news and information and do our jobs. However, websites are not created with everyone in mind.
Why is it important?
It is important that everyone can access the same information and content when using the internet. People with disabilities have the right to obtain the same information and resources as everyone else such as government, health, education and e-commerce. Websites need to have equal access and opportunity.
An accessible website can also help people with disabilities in society therefore becoming more socially active.
In some cases under the Australian Discrimination Act 1992 some businesses and agencies are required to ensure information and services are provided in a non-discriminatory accessible manner.
How can a website be made accessible?
Alt-tags (alternative) are a small piece of HTML code which is used to describe an image. Assuming you were blind, this would help you identify what is being shown on the web page by a screen reader describing what the image is.
Screen readers use preset html tags such as H1, H2, table, td, tr etc for identifying the elements of a webpage shown on screen. It is best not to create custom tags as accessibility may be an issue.
For example, this blog post is using relevant heading and body tags for the content so a screen reader will easily find it.
Videos and audio of a website should have closed captions. This is useful for people with disabilities as well as people who cannot use their audio device as they are able to read the same content that others may be listening to.
Transcripts are also a recommended alternative if captions cannot be added with the running content as this helps to share the same information for everyone.
Colours & Styles
For a better user experience selecting the right colours, fonts and styles are important as this helps all visitors find content easily as well as not be driven away from a poor design or selection choice. Even choosing fonts that are too small or a difficult to read can drive a visitor away from your website.
Where can I get help with me website accessibility?
An accessible website is not only helpful for people with disabilities but can also provide a better user experience even for people without limitations. This is why Digital Start Web Design works closely with clients to ensure that website accessibility is a top priority when starting the design process and is important for business growth.
Even for people with existing websites can take advantage of custom website solutions by having Digital Start help create elements to assist with accessibility.