Accessibility means accessing devices, services, and products for people with disabilities. People with disabilities need to use some assistive technologies that help them access these things.
Users with disabilities cannot access any product, device, or service without taking their disabilities into account. Due to this, users with disability miss new possibilities and may feel discriminated against.
By considering accessibility in advance, we can save resources such as time and money. Any decision based on accessibility would ensure that products, services, and devices are accessible across all users.
Web accessibility is a need of the moment, and it is a vital aspect of achieving your goal as it enables all users to have equal access to your website content.
Web accessibility practices help websites to have easy access to all visitors, regardless of their disabilities, obstacles, and limitations. Web accessibility includes specific design modules that ensure that people with difficulties or disabilities have similar experiences to those who have none.
Accessibility has principles that overlap with usability. Both may seem to achieve the same goal, but there is a slight difference between these two aspects of technology. Let’s see the difference!
Accessibility focuses on making website content more accessible specifically for people with disabilities. Whereas Usability, At the same time, focuses on the overall user experience across all users, including users with disabilities.
- Normally, websites with illustrative graphics and images make them look more engaging and convey a crystal clear message. There is an attribute in HTML that displays alternative text if an image couldn’t be displayed for some reason.
- This attribute helps users with disabilities like visual impairments to access web content easily with assistive technologies like text-to-speech software.
- People with colour blindness may not be able to distinguish between Normal text from clickable links and areas because these elements are similar, and differentiating would be challenging for some users.
- There are several ways to resolve this issue. Underlining link text can be one way. It differentiates links from regular text and tells the difference. Creating a hyperlink button is another option.
Website content often uses a collection of images, sounds, and text. Each relates to a feeling of the human body, eg vision or hearing that helps users consume various content on the web.
WCAG guidelines have two versions. WCAG 2.0 was released in 2008, and WCAG 2.1 was released in 2018.
With the help of these Web Accessibility guidelines, we can make our website more user-friendly and adaptable for visitors with disabilities and limitations. such as,
- Blindness/low eyesight
- Deafness/Hearing loss
- Learning disability
- Speech disability
- Physical disability
Web Accessibility will not only enhance your website but also improve user experience. It shows how much you value and care for every visitor who visits your website. In turn, this boosts your brand value.
WCAG guidelines mainly focus on below four principles for creating an accessible website.
Visitors need to perceive or understand and be aware of the content and information available on your website.
- Offer text alternatives to all non-text items on your page including, images, videos, and audio content
- Offer alternative ways to consume time-based media like audio and video content
- Write your website content in a structured and adaptable way
- Make your content easy to see with the utilization of colour contrast and hear or halt audio playback option
Every part of the website should be fully operational, with functionalities like navigating a page, selecting a link from a menu bar to playing and pausing video and audio.
- Ensure total functionality via the keyboard and mouse
- Provide reasonable time to engage with your website
- Avoid blinking and flashing content on your website
- Provide a clear page title, meaningful links, a keyboard focus indicator, and proper headings for navigation.
The website’s written and graphic design content should be understandable and absorbable. Your web page has to be organized intuitively, and your navigation should be readily available.
- Make your website text content readable
- Structure your web pages and site logically
- Write helpful error messages
Your website content should be powerful easy to interpret and consume for all visitors.
- Writing your HTML should be done so that assistive technology can parse your code without a visual reference.
Web Accessibility Testing Tools List
W3C has compiled and shared a list of web accessibility testing tools on its website.
To check, please follow the link https://www.w3.org/WAI/ER/tools/