An accessible website is a website that is designed and developed to ensure that people with disabilities can access and use its content effectively.
The goal of web accessibility is to create an inclusive online environment that accommodates users with a diverse range of abilities and disabilities. Key characteristics of an accessible website include:
- Perceivability: Information and user interface components must be presented in a way that users can perceive. This includes providing text alternatives for non-text content, ensuring sufficient contrast between text and background, and offering alternatives for multimedia.
- Operability: All functionality of the website should be operable through a keyboard interface. Users should be able to navigate and interact with the website using a keyboard or other assistive technologies.
- Understandability: Information and operation of the user interface must be clear and straightforward. Users should be able to understand and predict the behavior of the website.
- Robustness: Content should be compatible with current and future technologies, including assistive technologies. This helps ensure that the website remains accessible as technologies evolve.
Common elements of web accessibility include providing alternative text for images, using semantic HTML markup, ensuring proper document structure with headings, using descriptive link text, providing keyboard navigation, and testing websites with assistive technologies. Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) developed by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) are widely accepted and followed standards for creating accessible websites. These guidelines are organized around the principles of perceivability, operability, and understandability. Creating accessible websites not only benefits people with disabilities but also enhances the user experience for all visitors, regardless of their abilities or disabilities. It promotes a more inclusive and diverse online environment.
Although not completely a new concept, having an accessible website is now becoming more important and in some states is legally required.There is some good news.
- If your website is organically optimized for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) you are halfway there but it is always good to double check! You can do that here for FREE: RUN SCAN
- Having an accessible website can give your business a competitive edge and even result in tax benefits?
- Making your website accessible can also increase your audience reach to include people with disabilities, leading to better customer loyalty as your brand becomes more inclusive.
- Finally, an accessible website can improve your SEO, potentially increasing your business’s traffic and revenue.
Considering these benefits, I’ve done extensive research and found a great solution with a company called accessiBe, which I believe is the best option for your website. If you are a Little Web Design Shop client, we have a great deal for you with no charge for the edits that may need to be made (I’m hoping that there should be very few!). As a potential client, we have a great deal for you too…after a brief review of your website, we can give you a free quote for any work that needs to be done to make your website compliant.
About the Author
Alyson Stasek is the owner of The Little Web Design Shop, LLC based in Mount Olive, Mississippi. The Web Design Shop works with small businesses to help them with their online identity, website, social media, marketing, and search engine optimization.
Essentially, The Web Design Shop helps small businesses to grow, succeed and to develop an online identity and brand that will take them into the future. This can include helping right from the beginning and the initial concept for a company. Services include designing of a logo, writing a business plan, domain & hosting purchases, email, and set up social media accounts, in addition to web design, development and marketing support.
The road is long, and full of distractions and hazards. Let The Little Web Design Shop help guide you and support you.