While technology gives us countless tools to share our creations with the world, it also can create a disparity for others.
It’s been reported that there are 1 billion people around the world that cannot access most of the web’s information and services.
Making your website is accessible starts with adopting a few simple practices, especially when you’re committed to being a force for good (and avoiding legal drama).
I was so intrigued by this subject after reading about Rihanna (my idol) and Beyonce both faced legal trouble from a lack of accessibility options on their websites— crazy right?!
Let’s explore four simple strategies to make your website accessible.
1. Have a good color contrast for text and graphics
Approximately 8% of men and 0.5% of women are affected by some form of color blindness.
When designing your website, keep this ratio in mind: 4:5:1.
This is the magic number to make sure that you use the right contrast between the foreground and background colors on your site’s pages. I like to use Webaim Contrast Check—a free, online contrast calculator to keep me on track. Or Color Oracle, a useful tool that lets you look through the lens of how people with common color vision impairments see a webpage.
2. Add image descriptions
Image descriptions or alt text tells those who are using assistive screen reading technologies what is on your website. Adding these details also gives search engines the information they need to “read” your website. You’ll also inadvertently boost your websites SEO ranking by adding alt text to your website— a total win/win!
Don’t get lazy when writing your alt text. Remember you’re writing for humans so it’s important to be descriptive.
Here are a few rules of thumb:
Keep it short and sweet (less than 10 words)
Adding keywords is helpful
Write in real sentences, don’t abbreviate or use hyphens
3. Turn on closed captioning for videos
Add synchronized captions to your YouTube and Vimeo videos embedded on your website.
Follow these steps to add your subtitles and closed captions to your YouTube video or hire a freelancer.
4 Organize your site structure
Headings help users with screen readers browse through your content by pressing the “tab” key on their keyboard. Using header tags lets visitors skip between major sections of your website quickly and easily.
H1 designates major sections, while subsections can use H2 and H3.
If you want to create anything meaningful in this world, it’s important to make sure that your content is visually equitable and inclusive for everyone.
(Disclaimer: This article and accompanying content (blog, website description. herein referred to as “Content”) is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice of any kind. Dania Bernard and DB Creative Agency assumes no liability for use or interpretation of any information contain in this document. This article should not be an alternative to obtaining legal advice from a licensed attorney in your state based on the specific facts of your legal matter.)
As always, insight without action is worthless so I want you to apply all these strategies and implement it into your business website.
In the comments below, tell me if you’ve come across websites that aren’t accessible or share what strategy you could use some support with implementing.
Are there any other actionable insights and strategies you can share to help others make their website accessible for all viewers?
Thank you, for reading, sharing and commenting with such enthusiasm and kindness.