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Optimizing your website for people with disabilities is a must nowadays. Why? Besides being the right thing to do, it’s a good business practice. It means you’re reaching more potential clients, customers, and more.
Web accessibility centres around creating a site and assistive technologies that help people with disabilities browse the web just like anyone else. It involves making subtle changes to your design so that a greater number of people can interact with your brand.
But what does this mean in practice? If you aren’t sure how to optimize your site for people with disabilities, check out the ideas below.
Provide Transcriptions for Any Audio Media
Your website probably has a lot of video; it’s one of the most common marketing features on the web today. In fact, Biteable predicts online videos will make up more than 82 percent of all consumer Internet traffic by 2022.
While video helps share your brand’s story in a different way, it can be isolating for your Deaf and Hard of Hearing visitors. To make this part of your site is accessible to these people, you should provide captions and transcripts of any audio content.
If you aren’t sure how to create these accessibility features, you can find audio transcription services that can help. A professional transcription service produces a script of any multimedia post so that it’s available to the Deaf community, making sure everyone “hears” your message.
Refer to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
If you aren’t sure what makes a website accessible to the visually impaired, don’t panic. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are here to help. They set the standards in website accessibility best practices, making them the perfect reference when you’re designing your site.
In this guide, you’ll learn the appropriate text size and color options that best suit people who are visually impaired or color blind.
Text Size: You’ll want to select a minimum text size of 12 points (or 16 pixels) for any body text on your site. You should also test that your text remains clear should someone zoom in by 200 percent.
Colour: The WCAG recommends a text to background contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1. All this means is your text color should be 4.5 times greater in value than the background color on your site. To put this into perspective, black text on a white background has a ratio of 21:1.
Support Keyboard Navigation
Some of your visitors may not use a mouse when they arrive on your homepage; they may not have the fine motor control necessary to control a mouse, or they may have visual impairments. You may even have a power user on your hands who prefer to navigate the web using their arrow keys and tab button.
To help anyone using keyboard navigation, you should ensure your code supports this browsing technique. You’ll have to make sure your interactive items match the intuitive, visual flow of each page — that is, left to right and top to bottom so that browsers aren’t confused by your navigation order when tapping through.
Using transcription services, following the standards set by the WCAG, and supporting keyboard navigation are just the start. Take some time to speak with an established web designer and transcription service to learn how you can improve the accessibility of your site.