Have you ever considered how a user with a disability, such as a visual impairment, accesses your website? Visually impaired users use special software that reads the contents of a website aloud, including descriptions of any images.
If your website is not accessible, this software won’t work, and these users will encounter barriers when browsing your website. The web was originally designed to work for everybody, irrespective of their device, location, language or ability.
What is accessibility?
Web accessibility is all about inclusivity, delivering online experiences that have been designed and developed to be used by as wide an audience as possible. For a website to be accessible, its design and content must be clear and easy to use.
There is a strong business case for ensuring your website is accessible. By embracing accessible web design, you can:
→ Ensure inclusion
→ Improve the experience for users of your website
→ Deliver invaluable benefits to your users
→ Demonstrate Corporate Social Responsibility
→ Enhance your brand
→ Extend your reach
In September 2018, new accessibility laws came into force for organisations in the public sector. As a result, every website developed for, or by, public sector organisations must meet WCAG 2.1 Level AA accessibility standards and publish an accessibility statement on their website.
Why accessibility is important:
Every day, many people take accessing websites for granted, but the reality is much more difficult for people with disabilities. There are 13.9 million disabled people in the UK (20% of the population), and over 2 million people have a learning impairment, such as dyslexia, that affects their ability to absorb and digest information.
When a website is designed with accessibility in mind, the impact of a person’s disability is reduced, with the barriers that many people face in the real world removed. Many aspects of accessibility are easy to understand as a site owner. Some are more complex, and require specialist knowledge and expertise to implement.
How Connect can help?
At Connect, we provide Website Accessibility Audits that evidence compliance to accessibility standards with balanced and solution-orientated feedback provided.
The service can be carried out before a new website goes live, or even if a website has been live for several years. Our audits help organisations to understand their website’s current accessibility level, providing steps to achieve compliance with a clear and concise report.
As a digital agency, we advocate for an inclusive web. As website creators, it’s our responsibility to champion accessibility; to make sure that everyone has access to the content we create regardless of their ability.
For more information about the Web Accessibility Initiative, visit the World Wide Web Consortium’s by clicking here. Or to learn more about Connect’s Website Accessibility Audit service, visit the agency’s website by clicking here.