Accessibility is the term used to describe how a product, service or place can be easily used by as many people as possible. It is about empowering all people, whatever their age, abilities or disabilities.
When we think about designing accessible websites, we often think of ‘blind’ users who need assistive technology such as screen-reading software to easily access the content. However, ‘blindness’ is only one of the many areas where your users may be disadvantaged when using your website. When designing, building and maintaining websites, we need to consider people with any type of disability, including cognitive, motor skills and hearing-related impairments, as well as visual. The 3 major types of disability are:
Vision impairment: ranging from slight vision problems, including those who wear glasses and are mature-age, to color blindness and various levels of blindness.
Cognitive and motor skill impairment: may be experienced by people who have had an injury, a stroke, an illness like Parkinson's or Cerebral Palsy, or are mature-age.
Hearing impairment: affects people with genetic deafness, environmental deafness and who are mature age.
Of course, the benefit of complying with accessibility standards is that all people who visit your website will enjoy a more user-friendly, and therefore engaging, experience. For example, having text transcripts for audio and captions for video assists users with hearing impairments, but also gives access to users who don't want to listen to audio, such as those working in an open space office. Thinking about accessibility greatly improves the user experience for all visitors, which in turn helps you deliver on your business goals.
WCAG 2.0 is a series of international standards from the World Wide Web Consortium. This organization creates guidelines and supporting criteria for the web based on consultation with various interest groups including software developers, private enterprise, governments and members. WCAG 2.0 identifies techniques to create and manage web content in ways that are more accessible to people with disabilities. Websites that are more accessible are also generally more user-friendly to everyone.
Designing an accessible website is an ongoing commitment – one that means spending time educating yourself, investing in new resources, and knowing where to improve. Doing so without appropriate tools could be likened to going fishing without a rod, reel or a net.
We believe accessibility is important, even if it is hard, which is why we offer our customers a unique and comprehensive tool to speed up your journey to compliance, with a minimum of human effort.
Let’s be realistic, achieving accessibility can be a hugely manual process. Understanding WCAG 2.0 standards, identifying failures to comply on your site, and then addressing these hundreds (if not thousands) of issues over your entire website takes a long time. You could hire a consultant to assist you here, but still, the time required by this human resource will be costly. On the other hand, mass identification of common failures over thousands of web pages at a time is guaranteed to make the task of bringing websites to compliance faster and easier.
Our Accessibility Auditor will vastly minimise your human effort by:
Digital solutions should support your business activity - not be the focus of your day. Get back to doing what you do best and leave the hard labor of accessibility with us.
Web accessibility doesn't only impact impaired users - it has far-reaching effects on your website as a whole. This can be seen in the many synergies between accessibility and usability best practice. Showing that you care about users who may be impaired shows that you care for your users on the whole, which will gain you their trust, their respect and their loyalty.