Website Accessibility: in a nutshell
As the internet plays an increasingly central role in our daily lives, it's essential to recognise the importance of website accessibility for people with special needs.
Accessibility refers to the design and development of websites in a way that makes them usable and navigable by individuals with disabilities, such as visual, auditory, motor, or cognitive impairments.
Why is website accessibility so crucial for people with special needs?
Let's take a closer look at some key reasons your website should be made accessible:
Equal Access to Information:
People with special needs have the same rights as anyone else to access information and services on the internet. An accessible website ensures that individuals with disabilities can access content, navigate through web pages, complete forms, and interact with online tools or services independently.
Improved User Experience:
Accessibility features, such as alternative text (alt text) for images, captions for videos, and proper heading structure, not only benefit people with disabilities but also enhance the overall user experience for all users.
An accessible website is more user-friendly for everyone, including older adults, users with slow internet connections, or users accessing websites on mobile devices.
Many countries and regions have implemented accessibility laws that require websites to meet specific accessibility standards. For example, in the United States, websites that are considered "places of public accommodation" under the Americans with Disabilities Act must be accessible to individuals with disabilities.
The UK accessibility legislation states “public sector bodies must comply with the accessibility requirement”.
Ensuring website accessibility not only demonstrates compliance with the law but also reflects a commitment to social responsibility and inclusion.
Increased Audience Reach:
According to the World Health Organization, over 1 billion people worldwide live with some form of disability. By making your website accessible, you are not only providing equal access to people with disabilities but also potentially reaching a wider customer base of people.
Ethical and Inclusive Design:
It's important to consider the diverse needs of all users, including those with special needs, during the website development process. Accessibility should not be an afterthought but an integral part of the design process, ensuring that websites are usable, inclusive, and welcoming to all users.
As a website designer and a Wix Partner, I have had an interest in learning more about making website accessible and was pleased to see how forward-thinking Wix has been in providing the tools to make Wix designed websites accessible.
When the opportunity arose to learn more on their course and become a 'Wix Accessibility Specialist', I wanted to take it.
The Wix course completed covered topics including:
Page Titles & Menu Titles and Structure
Use of fonts and colours
Contrast and Simple design
Alt Text use for images and video
Alternative media use
Mobile site design
Testing a site
By incorporating these accessibility considerations into the website design process, our clients can now feel confident that we can create websites that are more inclusive and accessible to users with disabilities, providing them with equal access to information and services on the internet.
Let's strive for a web that is accessible to all!