“The number of working age citizens that have a disability is nearly one in five of the population – approximately 1 million people. Making websites accessible doesn’t just benefit disabled users, it benefits all web users.” (gov.scot)
Accessible websites benefit individuals, businesses and society. When designed professionally websites can be inclusive and easy to use which can benefit your business substantially. However, unfortunately many current websites and poorly developed with accessibility barriers that make them very difficult for some people to use. This can lead to visitors abandoning an online purchase, having a negative user experience on your website and leaving a poor impression of your business.
What is Web Accessibility?
Web accessibility encompasses all disabilities that may affect access to the web including auditory, cognitive, physical, neurological, visual and speech impairments. However, web accessibility also benefits people without disabilities e.g. people using smart phones and smaller devices, older people with changing abilities, people with “situational limitations” such as an environment they can’t listen to audio, those with temporary disabilities such as lost glasses or a broken hand and also people with a slow or limited internet connection or expensive bandwidth.
When websites, tools and technologies are developed and designed so that people with and without disabilities can use them with ease, this helps people navigate, understand, interact and contribute to the web more effectively.
How can you improve your Web Accessibility?
There are international web standards to define what is required for accessibility and below we will list a few things you can do to improve the accessibility of your website.
Add ALT Tags to your images
Optimise your website for all devices
Compress file and photo sizes for quicker loading
Think carefully about font type and size
Videos should include subtitles
Design easy to use navigation menu, tabs, onsite links etc. so that users can browse your site with ease
Hire a Professional to advise further and help you out!
If you would like to know more about website accessibility, there is great article on The Scottish Government website here.