Accessible Websites

Posted on Friday, 24 January 2020 by Marissa Sapega

An accessible website should be a key consideration for any forward-thinking organization. Not only are digital accessibility lawsuits growing exponentially each year, but with an estimated one billion people on earth with a disability, it’s a pretty large market for a business to ignore.

Creating accessible websites

To start, let’s review what an “accessible website” actually means. Accessible websites are those that people with disabilities can experience in a way that’s comparable to what an able-bodied person would experience. To ensure this happens, first start with conforming to web accessibility standards, which are laid out nicely in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). These guidelines provide a foundation for creating content and an experience that all users will find appealing.

How do people with disabilities engage with digital content?

Visually impaired people use technology known as screen readers. A screen reader literally reads what is on a computer screen. Mobile devices often have built-in (native) assistive technology that performs the screen reading task as well. For example, Apple offers VoiceOver and Android has TalkBack.

People with motor control limitations may be unable to use a mouse, so they navigate using the keyboard.

These are just a few examples of how people with disabilities consume online content, but there are many more. By conforming to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines you’ll be putting yourself in the best position to ensure that your digital content is accessible to users with a wide range of physical and cognitive abilities.

Testing your accessible website

You’ve followed the WCAG success criteria and are ready to test your website’s accessibility. Excellent work! The Paciello Group offers several tools used for both manual accessibility testing and automated accessibility testing.

For single-page manual testing, check out ARC Toolkit. It’s our free Google Chrome extension that you can use to dig into the nitty gritty details of your website code to identify WCAG failures. For ongoing accessibility monitoring and testing, our ARC Monitoring solution offers recurring scans and easy to read dashboards that provide valuable insights into the root problem of reoccurring accessibility barriers.

To test the contrast of text color against a background of a design, look no further than our Color Contrast Analyser. This free tool has a color picker or an option to drop in the hex code to test if your text will be visible to people with visual impairments against the background.

When it comes to creating accessible websites, sometimes it helps to have an expert on hand to assist. For help with your accessible website, contact The Paciello Group today!


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