This message was added Tuesday 10th October 2023
Are your web wages accessible? Or, to put it another way, can as many folk as possible make sense of your website without requiring assistance from support workers, advocates or other relatives/ professionals? Let’s help people to play their part on an equal footing with the rest of society, by designing websites accessible for everyone to ’reach the lost’ 14.6 million people that are out there (Government 2020-21 guidelines). Its a challenge, and in some countries, a legal obligation to do so. Without internet access, modern day life becomes increasingly problematic particularly if you need to get shopping delivered, work from home, get in touch with your health service or access benefits, pay bills and shop around for competitive prices. If you want to reach a wider audience, or help a particular sector of society with special needs, it is essential that responsive web pages are compatible on all devices.
Accessible web design is a challenge - but worth it!
There are, too, many marketing possibilities out there for web designers who think creatively to provide a level playing field to benefit everyone. A previously untapped audience can finally be included by designing accessible web pages, which work to attract more customers to your services giving them the freedom to make their own choices independently. For those who need a little extra assistance to navigate web pages, you can give that help by anticipating and finding ways around potential pitfalls for users with disabilities. So this is why we encourage making accessible web design a priority and this should be built in at the start of your web design journey. So when we are talking about making web sites accessible to all users, what specifics do you need to consider?
Visually Impaired Users need:
Users with Hearing Impairment need:
Motor Impaired Users may be using mouth sticks, or eye tracking devices. They need:
Cognitively Impaired Users
Help those with attention disorders, Dyslexia, or Autism by including pictures, clear, logical language, or as above, captions, and avoiding jargon or abstract concepts that are hard to follow. Keep consistent, plain colours and symbols for navigation throughout the site, to aid interaction and avoid frustration. Also avoid distracting background music!
To ensure that your website is truly accessible, healthy and easy to use for every visitor - or at least as many visitors as possible - you could also test it out first on people with disabilities, if you are able, and deal with their feedback, being ready to adapt if necessary. You should also keep your team updated with current guidelines, which are available here: Home | Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) | W3C
If you would like advice on accessible web design, just call our helpful team here in Eastbourne!