An accessible website is a key element of digital inclusion. It ensures that everyone, irrespective of their physical ability, can access vital information on the internet.
Unfortunately, many websites are not accessible. Almost 98% of web home pages, according to a WebAIM survey, contain at least one WCAG 2.0 failure.
To enhance website accessibility, many companies implement the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). WCAG website compliance is widely regarded as the industry standard for website accessibility solutions.
By implementing the ten tips mentioned in this article, you may broaden the audience you reach, increase the usability and inclusiveness of your website, and show that you value equality and inclusion.
Why Should a Website be Accessible?
A website should be accessible due to the following factors :
- Inclusivity: Being inclusive will guarantee that users and visitors of all abilities may use and access your website. This promotes the development of an online community where all members have access to the same resources and information.
- Legal Requirements: Websites must be accessible to individuals with disabilities according to numerous national laws and regulations. For instance, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA compliance for websites) in the United States mandates that companies and organizations make their websites accessible to individuals with impairments.
- Business Benefits: Your business may benefit from making your website accessible. You may reach a larger audience and increase consumer satisfaction by developing an inclusive online environment. Accessible websites can also help you rank higher in search results and get more visitors to your website.
- Ethical Considerations: Being accessible on your website is the correct thing to do. It demonstrates your appreciation for diversity and inclusion and your commitment to ensuring everyone has access to your website.
How to Check Your Site’s Web Accessibility
To check your site’s web accessibility, you can:
- Use accessibility checkers like WAVE, Axe Accessibility, or A11Y Accessibility Checker.
- Employ automated testing tools, such as WebAIM’s accessibility testing tools or Google Lighthouse.
- Employ assistive technology, such as screen readers, keyboard-only navigation, and speech recognition software, to carry out manual testing.
- Work with a knowledgeable accessibility specialist to assess your website.
10 Proven Strategies to Make a Website Accessible to Everyone
1. Understand the Guidelines and Standards
It’s important to understand the standards and accessibility requirements for websites before you start making your website accessible.
The most extensively used set of principles for producing accessible web content is WCAG 2.1. Although these guidelines are usually used as the standard for digital accessibility, they are not enforceable by law.
2. Color Contrast Matters
For people with limited eyesight or color blindness, color contrast is crucial. Make sure there is a strong contrast between the text and backdrop colors to make the text clearly readable.
For standard text and large text, the WCAG specifies a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 and 3:1, respectively.
3. Use Descriptive Headings
Making your website accessible to everyone requires using descriptive headings. Headings make your website easier to navigate and understand for those using screen readers and other assistive devices.
Simply arrange your information using HTML heading tags (H1-H6) in a logical sequence that reflects the hierarchy of your content to employ descriptive headings.
The content that follows should be accurately summarised in the headings, which should be descriptive. Users will find it simpler to understand your website’s arrangement and structure as a result.
4. Use Alt Text for Images
Making your website accessible to all users requires using alt text for photos.
Screen readers and other assistive technologies can read an image’s alt text, which is a brief description of the image. It makes it easier for those with visual impairments to comprehend an image’s information and its placement on a webpage.
To use alt text for images, simply add descriptive text in the “alt” attribute of the HTML image tag. Alt text should be concise, accurate, and convey the essential information of the image.
In short, adding alt text to images is a simple and effective way to improve the digital accessibility of your website.
5. Include Captions and Transcripts for Multimedia
Add subtitles and multimedia transcripts to improve your website’s WCAG compliance score. Transcripts are written versions of video or audio content, whereas captions are text descriptions of audio content.
Adding captions and transcripts to multimedia content helps people with hearing impairments to understand the content and context of the media.
To provide captions, add a text track to your video or audio file. To provide transcripts, create a text document that includes a written version of the audio content. Both captions and transcripts should be accurate, complete, and synchronized with the media.
6. Ensure Keyboard Accessibility
Accessibility to the keyboard is crucial for individuals who might be unable to use a mouse. Ensure that your website’s keyboard interface can access all of its features and that users can traverse it using only the Tab key.
7. Use ARIA Roles and Attributes
ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications) is a set of attributes that can be added to HTML elements to make them more accessible. Use ARIA roles and attributes to provide additional information to screen readers and other assistive technologies.
8. Make Forms Accessible
Forms are an essential part of many websites, but they can be difficult to navigate for users with disabilities.
Ensure that your forms are accessible by providing labels for each input field, using ARIA attributes, and ensuring that error messages are clear and easy to understand.
9. Provide Clear Navigation
For all users, but especially for those with disabilities, clear navigation is crucial. Make sure users can quickly locate what they’re looking for on your website and that the navigation is simple to understand.
Make sure that your website’s navigation is consistent throughout by using labels for links and buttons that are clear and descriptive.
10. Test Your Website for Accessibility
It’s crucial to assess your website’s accessibility to ensure everyone can use it. The WAVE Online Accessibility Assessment Tool and the A11Y Accessibility Checker are only two of the many tools that can be used to check whether your website conforms with the WCAG.
Making your website user-friendly for everyone is a crucial first step in developing a more diverse online community. These 10 suggestions will help you make your website more accessible and inclusive while also making sure that no users with disabilities or impairments are left out.
Your website can be made accessible to everyone in a variety of ways, including utilizing informative headings, offering captions and transcripts for multimedia, and assuring keyboard navigation.
If you need help in making your website accessible, consider Hurix Digital, a leading provider of digital solutions, including accessibility solutions.
Contact Hurix Digital today to learn more about our accessibility services and how we can help you make your website accessible to everyone.