Website accessibility keeps your website accessible to people with disabilities using tools like accessiBe. This means that it should be easy for a person using assistive technologies to access, understand and use the content on a site.
If you make an effort to learn how to make your site accessible, you will have an extra group of happy users. In addition, people with disabilities will thank you for making their experience on your site easier.
This article will explain the basics of website accessibility and give some examples. It is not extensive, but it should be enough to get you started with the right foot forward.
How to make your website accessible for people with disabilities
Accessibility means that people with disabilities can use and interact with your website. There is a wide spectrum of issues that cover the term “disabilities,” but for our purposes, people with disabilities are classified as:
– Blind or low vision
– Mobility or dexterity disabilities
– Cognitive impairments that affect learning, thinking, and problem-solving
– Auditory disabilities
No matter who your website is for – it should be accessible. If you are making a site for people with disabilities, it should follow the same rules as any other site. It will just mean more work. But, if you make it accessible and use the right code and semantics, you will be making your site work for everyone – shortening your development time in the long run.
Tips for designing an accessible website
- Keyboard access is essential. This means using tabindex=”0″ for every element on the page that can be focused upon. You will need to know what HTML elements are focusable via keyboard, so you may want to look into WAI-ARIA for this information.
- Using colors and fonts with care will help to reduce visual confusion.
- Making your website responsive helps everyone – especially those using mobile devices.
- Use semantic HTML elements and use them as they are supposed to be used. For example, you should not use <font> or <center> tags for formatting. They were deprecated in HTML 4.01 and shouldn’t be used – you should use style=” instead.
- Validate your code to ensure that it is clean and follows web standards. If your website passes the W3C validation tests, this is a good indication that it will also work for assistive devices.
At its core, designing an accessible website requires you to make it work for everyone. Therefore, it should be as flexible and versatile as possible. One way to help with this is by following the core web standards: HTML and CSS.
Accessibility is one of those things that you may not think about when creating your website. But it will make a difference to the people who use assistive devices to browse the Internet, and it will also save you time in development while helping to ensure that others can see your content.
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