Making your website accessible for people with disabilities is not only the right thing to do; it can also be a smart business move. A recent study by WebAIM found that nearly 20% of the world’s population has some form of disability, and that number is only going to increase as the population ages. That means if your website isn’t accessible, you’re potentially missing out on a large chunk of potential customers if you don’t use a service like accessiBe WordPress.
Here are some ways to make your website more accessible for people with disabilities.
1. Add closed captions to all your videos for those who are deaf or hard of hearing
Closed captions are essential for both video and audio content. The National Association of the Deaf says that close captions are especially important because “deaf people do not have access to sound or background noise,” meaning they rely entirely on visual cues.
2. Use proper alternative text for your images so that screen readers can better understand what they’re describing
Another way to make your images more accessible is to use proper “alt text” for every image you post on your website. One of the most common problems with alt text, or “alt tags” as they are sometimes called, is that they don’t accurately describe the image. For example, instead of saying “Select the image to see more,” you should say something like “Image of a wolf walking in the woods.”
3. Make it easy for your customers to reach out via social media
Another common issue with websites is that they don’t make it easy for people to reach out to the business via social media or are poorly designed or outdated. People with disabilities are more likely to use social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, so your website links must lead to up-to-date accounts.
4. Make sure all of your text can be enlarged on screen for readability
If you make your text larger or use a contrasting color for emphasis, it’s going to be much easier for people with low vision to read and understand your content. 40% of those with disabilities that affect their eyesight have trouble reading regular-sized digital text.
5. Use lots of white space
Using lots of white space is another way to make your website more accessible. If there isn’t enough space between each element on the page, people with lower dexterity may find it difficult or impossible to navigate around the site.
6. Make sure your website loads quickly on mobile devices
Slow-loading websites particularly impact people who are blind or have low vision. This is mainly because they are more likely to use their mobile devices for internet access, which have slower connection speeds than regular computers.
7. Don’t rely on flashing images or animations for information
Never use animated graphics or flashing images as a form of communication since they can cause seizures in people with photosensitive epilepsy.
8. Set the proper text and background contrast for readability
People who are color blind can also have a hard time reading your website, depending on how similar the colors you’re using are to each other. The good news is that tools like WebAIM’s Contrast Checker can help you determine how well your website is meeting the needs of those with disabilities.