[Approximate Reading Time : 4 mins]
The web is an extremely important resource in many aspects of our lives: employment, recreation, commerce, education, health care, etc. Therefore, it is crucial that the Web is accessible to offer equal opportunity and access to everyone, including people with disabilities too.
What is content accessibility on a website?
Web accessibility mainly refers to the access to websites, including a healthy practice of eliminating barriers and obstructions, which prevent user interaction especially by people with challenges and disabilities. When the websites are well developed, designed and modified, every user will have equivalent access to functionality and information too.
Keeping in mind the importance of accessibility, here are a few best practices for ensuring web content accessibility (WCA)
1.Flawless UX and UI:
- Having inconsistent navigation, cluttered and chaotic screens, inconveniences everyone. It becomes an even bigger challenge for the people who are visually/cognitively impaired. Having a consistent and reliable navigation, clear and reasonable design benefits everyone.
- Use of simple language – clear, crisp, and devoid of acronyms and jargons helps ensure easy understandability for all.
- Enabling users to increase and decrease the font/text size, without destroying or affecting its usability is also a big plus.
- People generally prefer keyboard navigation and the convenience of hotkey shortcuts is always an appreciated addition. However, these features become mandatory for the disabled users. This could mean going beyond the usual scrolling with the space bar or ‘tabbing’.
- Color-blindness affects more people than you think, almost 10% of the global population. Hence, while color-coding can be used as a shortcut for a faster and efficient communication with regards to functionality, it would be even better to use labels in order to explain crucial and important functions. For example, using an exclamation point icon to communicate an error.
4.Self explained Link texts:
Few screen readers provide the option to list out every possible link on the screen/page, but if the link text only mentions ‘Click Here’, then this feature is meaningless, as one wouldn’t know where this link would lead them.
Web content accessibility guidelines go far beyond just serving the purpose of equal access for the disabled. WCA makes perfect business sense as user-friendly design, content, and navigation all combine to make for a winning web experience across devices and brands.
Amnet champions digital equality and is committed to address accessibility issues and standardize content across all digital platforms and media for more inclusivity and wider reachability. To further our cause we have instituted a not-for-profit Accessibility Resource Center.(www.theaccessibilityresourcecenter.org). Sign up to stay abreast with the latest on accessibility.