web content accessibility guidelines

As a designer, you need to ensure everyone is accommodated while using a website. In society, many people are visually impaired in terms of hearing, seeing, touching, and talking. Thus, you need to have them in mind while designing a website and writing code. The impaired tend to use aids to help them read the text on the internet. 

Why you should take the visually impaired into consideration when making a website?

How many times have you gone to a non-responsive website and left the site immediately? Countable times, right? Well, that same way you feel disappointed with difficulty in reading is the same way the impaired or elderly feel. Their case is even more difficult than yours! 

The changing times have made it a necessity for everyone to be computer literate and research on the internet.

Eyesight issues are a major issue for most people. For starters, as one grows older, the eyes weaken and it becomes hard to see some text. If you have a website, it should be enabled to allow anyone to zoom in and out to be able to read texts or see the content of the website.

The elderly also have a hard time when they have to fill in details, make transactions, make bookings, and other actions online. That’s why, if you have a non-adhering site, you can easily make them leave the site immediately.

We are all equal and we should make it easy for anyone to access the content.

How to evaluate your website accessibility?

  • WCAG

WCAG – Web content accessibility guidelines

This is an amazing platform that provides the guidelines to ensure web content is easy to access. It has clearly outlined the various ways you can make your website to be more user-friendly. You just need to scroll over and find the topic you want to work on and follow the guidelines provided. Make the best use of the site and make the modifications needed.

  • WAVE

In case you need to evaluate your website, use the WAVE – Web Accessibility Evaluation tool. All you need to do is access the website and input the website URL of the site you want to check and see the results. It is effective,  will help you find issues, and know what to change on your website.

Wave evaluation tool

Alternatively, you can also check the Chrome Accessibility developer tool and it will help you navigate through different sites. Also, you may uses TENON application which is another free website checker.

How to use Screen readers?

The visually impaired normally use screen readers such as Voice Over found in Apple, NVDA – Non-visual desktop access, Windows eyes, and JAWS. They help to make navigating through the internet easier and read texts easily. That’s why it is important to enable your website to allow navigating using your keyboard arrow keys.

How best to Optimize your website text for the impaired.

Ensure it is possible to use a keyboard to navigate through the text on your website. Without necessarily using a mouse that can be hard for the mild visually impaired. Also, you need to know how to optimize content for the search engines.

Buttons and color

Also, ensure you don’t put buttons too close to each other because it will be hard to manage to click just one and leave the other. Also, don’t give users of choosing an option based on the colors. This is because if one can’t see, it will be hard to know which option to opt for. There are also color blind people who may find it hard to distinguish one color from the other

Headings

In your content, you need to input headings and subheadings. Some keyboard shortcuts can be used to find the vital parts of a web page using a screen reader. Thus, when a person decides to click on the shortcut, gets the relevant texts under the headings.

Alternative text

It is important to have alternative text for any media on your website. This is because the screen readers can’t easily describe an image or infographic, thus, it’s much better to have an alternative text that will tell the user what is there. Also, if possible, ensure you provide a brief description.

Text

Ensure the content is properly organized for easy navigation. The text should also be properly organized to ensure that it is easy to navigate through. Thus, the texts should be able to resize. It is also possible to change the font size through your browser, plus ensure your website won’t be cluttered in any way.

Form

If you have a form, ensure the filling boxes are focused, and also, the links are elaborative so that when the screen reader reads the text. The user may get full information.

Conclusion

Always keep the vital things in mind while making a website. Also, ensure you provide viable, straightforward content that will help the readers. Don’t go around the bush. Also, go through the various links to know what tool will help you to jumpstart. Also, learn about what an effective homepage should have.

 

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Written by 

Trizah has been writing for Intela Designs for over four years. She provides content writing, coaching, web development, and ghostwriting services. Her educational background in website design and community development has given her a broad base from which to approach many technological topics. She has also written for Kenya News, We got it e-commerce site and independently on Upwork. She also enjoys embracing innovations, art and new designs :-) Twitter||Linkedin||Medium||Instagram

5 thoughts on “How to make websites accessible for the visually impaired

  1. Greetings from Colorado! I’m bored at work so
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  2. Having read this I thought it was very enlightening.

    I appreciate you taking the time and effort to put this content together.
    I once again find myself spending way too much time both reading and posting comments.
    But so what, it was still worthwhile!

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