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You know by now that the ADA requires your website to be accessible, meaning that there should be no obstacles preventing a user from freely navigating your site. It must be easily used and understood by anyone with a physical or socio-economic disability. However, do you realize that accessibility does not necessarily mean inclusivity? Read on for ways to make sure you welcome all visitors to your website with thoughtful, inclusive design.
1. Make All Users Equal
Accessibility can mean providing an alternative method, such as video, audio or larger text, as an option for those who need it. It is essentially an opt-in to go to a separate version of the site. This is exclusive, isolating those who must choose a different site. Inclusive design not only embraces and welcomes all users, but it also saves time, money and effort with only one website that is easily read, heard or navigated by any visitor.
2. Use a Streamlined Layout and Font
A staggering 14.5 to 43.5 million people have dyslexia, representing 5-15% of Americans. Design a website that is inclusive for these and other users by using larger fonts, keeping plenty of whitespace between words, providing responsive fonts and utilizing a consistent layout to keep your pages readable for everyone.
3. Employ High Color Contrast
The WCAG outlines a minimum color contrast ratio for the approximately 285 million people with visual disabilities. Using color contrast analyzers can measure the contract ratios. Be sure to use one that simulates the effect of contrast for different levels of color blindness as well, and consider using symbols for those who can’t distinguish color at all. By optimizing the color contrast, you enhance the readability for every user and include those with visual disabilities.
4. Assist Users With Input Errors
Make your website easy to use for everyone by anticipating ways that visitors to the site, particularly ones with motor impairments, could cause an error. Use autocorrect and autocomplete to minimize the keystrokes required to fill out forms. Clearly describe the input fields with form labels, including expected formats. Verify that error messages are clear and respectful and explain how to address the problem.
This is by no means an exhaustive list for inclusive design. Instead, it is intended to prompt you to consider how to homogenize the user experience for every type of user. When you want to ensure that your website provides an optimal experience for every user, contact Amnet for a full range of accessibility services to welcome every type of visitor to your site.