The Internet should be one of the best things that have ever happened. Not everyone can see all of the information on the internet, which is a shame since not everyone can use the Internet the way it was meant to be used. Digital accessibility is very important.
Simply put, digital accessibility means making sure that people who visit your website and other digital information can find their way around, use them, interact with them, and use them. But sometimes, web designers, people who make online content, and developers don’t take accessibility problems into account. Think about the following tips to make sure that everyone can use your website.
Write in Simple, Clear Language
Use plain or simple language so that everyone, even those with cognitive problems or limited reading skills, can understand what you’re saying. To make sure your language is correct, you need to work with a digital accessibility team. A lot of the time, we understand what we’re trying to say or what we’ve written, but someone else might not. Make sure you’re going in the right direction by highlighting the tips below.
If you’re not sure how your content sounds, you can use software to check for clear and simple language.
Prioritize Crucial Information
- Use words that will be clear to your audience.
- Use as many simple words and phrases as you can.
- Always define technical terms or, if you can help it, don’t use them at all.
- You should not use the passive voice. Instead, use the active voice, which gives your sentences a clear “actor” and makes them easier to understand.
Add Subtitles to Audio and Video
When processing information online, not everyone does it the way they always have. For example, people who have trouble hearing won’t be able to get information from movies and sound bites. If you put captions under the video and audio on your site, they will be able to understand what you are saying.
- Captions, subjects, and phrases that stand alone should be put together.
- Labels should be on the speakers.
- There should be captions at the same time as the sound.
- Describe sounds that can be heard but not seen, like a knock, a doorbell ringing, and gunfire.
Make It Easy to Get Around Your Content
To make a website accessible, it’s not enough to just add text to videos and sounds. It also has to do with how easy it is to find your content.
Separate the text into sections. Too much content can make it hard for any reader to keep up. Because of this, you do not have to limit how much information you put on your website. If you make it easy for users to skip over text blocks they don’t want to read, they can go straight to the part they want to read. Just make sure that the way you break up your content makes sense.
Don’t Use the Same Headings
If you use headings, it will be easier for people to understand how your text is put together. But people who use assistive technology, like screen readers, will find it easier to move between parts and find what they need.
Fix every piece of paper. You need to make sure all of your online papers can be found. Remediation is the process of figuring out what needs to be done to make PDFs and other documents more accessible. This means that people with cognitive problems and people who use assistive technology can both look at PDFs and other papers you have. During this step, you add a table of contents, headings, alternate text for images, and tags.
Add Detailed Alternative Text
Alt text is used instead of images because not everyone can see them. Alt text is a short written description of an image for people who are blind or have trouble seeing. It is also called alt attributes and alt descriptions. It could also be used in place of an image that doesn’t load.
If you add short but detailed alt text to each image on your website, people who use screen readers will be able to understand what you’re saying. Without alt text, some people may choose to ignore these photos or try to figure out what they are about by looking at the file name.
Make sure your alt text is relevant and easy to understand, just like your content. In the end, these little things add up to a lot, and you should make sure that your information is as digitally accessible as it can be.
To Add Alt Text the Right Way, Make Sure to:
Whenever possible, use keywords in the alt text. Alt text helps with more than just being able to read. Pictures can help with search engine optimization, especially for Google (SEO). If you use alt text to rank higher in Google Pictures, more people may visit your site.
Be clear and to the point. Long alt text can be hard to read, especially for people who use a screen reader. It’s best to be short and to the point. Also, you should use the correct alt text. Don’t use the same keywords or information over and over again.
Check (and Fix) the Contrast Between the Colors
Color contrast has a big effect on how easy it is for people to use your website. Color contrast affects how people see the information on your website and how they interact with it.
When making a website, web developers and designers often think about which colors will make your brand look the best. The colors chosen should be different enough from each other so that a user can tell the difference between the text and the background.
How do you then measure the difference between colors? First of all, this can’t be done with a simple visual check. Color is one thing that everyone sees differently. Even if your eyes are good, they can trick you.
Use a tool to check color contrast, like WebAIM’s Contrast Checker, to do this task right. According to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1, the contrast ratio of text and text pictures should be at least 7:1, except for large-scale text and images that go with it, which should have a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1.
More People Can Use Your Website if It is Digitally Accessible
Web accessibility makes it possible for all users, no matter what their abilities are, to access and use online content. It’s important for web designers, content creators, and developers to try to figure out what makes a website usable by everyone.
At QualityLogic, we make it easy for you to evaluate your systems and switch them over to digital accessibility. For all of your digital accessibility needs, we offer a range of testing services, as well as technologies, tools, and training. Go to www.qualitylogic.com to find out more about the services we offer.