As a topic that many people look to with confusion, we wanted to provide you with a guideline for the basics - covering what web accessibility is, who it is for, and why you might consider making your own site accessible.
While this post should give you some basic information about accessibility, we invite you to download our eaglevision magazine here to learn a lot more on the topic.
What is web accessibility?
Web accessibility is about empowering all online users; it is about making sites accessible to those with disabilities.
Why is web accessibility important?The issue of web accessibility is becoming increasingly important as we rely on the internet more and more to learn, to connect with one another, for entertainment, and to complete our daily tasks, from shopping to banking.
The internet can make our lives easier, and can be hugely beneficial to all of us, but if the sites you need to use, or enjoy using, are inaccessible to you this can be a huge barrier.
Just as many restaurants and stores provide accessible entrances and facilities, many site owners are looking into how to make their websites more accessible for everyone.
Who does web accessibility or inaccessibility impact?Site inaccessibility can affect people with a range of disabilities – those with visual disabilities might be unable to use sites that are not screen reader compatible, seizures can be triggered by sites that use flashing lights, and those with physical, hearing or cognitive disabilities may also encounter barriers to using certain websites.
Having an accessible site impacts all users – it is often found that accessible sites are easier for everyone to navigate and enjoy.
What are the benefits of having an accessible site?
Making your site accessible is beneficial to everyone involved; you’re increasing your customer base by making your site easier for everyone to use, potentially improving your SEO and promoting an inclusive online community.
While considering site accessibility is relatively new to many, there are already some examples demonstrating the advantages to businesses embracing the change – UK supermarket Tesco reportedly increased their revenue to £13 million (almost 19 million US dollars) a year after making their site accessible to blind users, according to W3C.
We would be delighted if you’d take the time to read our eaglevision magazine – and if you have any outstanding questions on web accessibility, or any other area of web design and development, we would be very happy to help!