The internet is a huge part of our lives. It gives employment, keeps us connected, and is a major source of entertainment and information. But, have you ever wondered what the internet is like for those who are physically disabled?
Today, we’re going to discuss ADA web accessibility. ADA web accessibility. In this article, we are going to share with you what it is, why it is important, how to make your website accessible, and more!
What Is Web Accessibility?
So, what is it anyway? Web accessibility is a concept that focuses on enabling digital access to people with disabilities through the use of assistive technologies.. These disabilities can be categorized intoThree categories::
- Situational or Conditional Disability. These are disabilities caused by certain circumstances. They’re not limited to physical disabilities. A slow internet connection is a good example of this type of disability.
- Temporary Disability. These are disabilities (mostly physical) that can make internet access more challenging for a short period of time. For instance, you’re just recovering from surgery and you can’t use your hands.
- Permanent Disability. Finally, there are permanent disabilities such as the loss of sight and hearing.
Why Is Web Accessibility Important?
Can you imagine what will happen to us without the internet? The internet is so essential to our lives that according to Business Insider, The United Nations has declared internet access a basic human right. It is a gateway to information, education, even health services!
As a website owner, it can exponentially grow your online reputation and boost your search rankings. The more important question, though, is how does one make an accessible web site?
How to Make Your Website Accessible
Here are a few tips:
Use Alt Tags
Alt tags are the descriptions you assign to the images of your home page. By using them and being more descriptive, you will allow screen readers to understand the information that you are trying to convey on a page.
Your alt tags don’t need to be too long. However, they should be enough in order to tell a person what he expects to see once he does look at the image.
Another important step in order to make your website more accessible is by allowing keyboard navigation. There are some people who don’t have (or simply can’t use) a mouse. If that’s the case, this means that they will heavily rely on their keyboard to navigate through the page. By allowing keyboard navigation, you will help these people explore your website with ease and confidence—mouse or no mouse!
Use Default HTML Tags
We don’t know why some web developers choose to deliberately mix up their HTML tags but please for whatever reason, don’t do so. These tags were applied in order for the screen readers to understand the elements on your page.
ARIA Attributes Is A Must
Speaking of HTML, ARIA or Accessible Rich Internet Applications are HTML attributes that translate web content and applications into versions that are more accessible for people with physical disabilities.
There are a lot of different ARIA attributes, but one of the most helpful is the “role” attribute that seeks to define what a particular web element is.
Accessibility Guide And Statement
Finally, if you’re an establishment or business and you want to share with your online visitors that your physical facility is designed to cater to people with physical disabilities as well, then don’t forget to publish your accessibility guide and statement on your website.
To Sum It Up…
The world is a challenging place for people with disabilities but let’s all help to make it a better and more open place to live in by prioritizing web accessibility features when we’re developing websites.
There are various steps that one can do in order to make a website more accessible. For instance, adding alt tags to the images that are on your page is already a big help in letting screen readers know what your page is all about.
You should stick to the usual HTML tags as well, so as not to confuse screen readers in determining the elements on your web page. This includes the use of ARIA HTML attributes.
Aside from that, you must also allow your website to be easily navigated using a keyboard. This would assist people who cannot use the mouse to input information for whatever reason.
And finally, you can also indicate your business’ accessibility guide for more information on how your business can help people with various disabilities, both permanent and temporary.
By keeping these tips we have shared with you in mind, we’re sure that not only will your search rankings increase, but more and more people will be drawn to your website and business. Good luck!
David started Be Accessible because of his passion for website accessibility and ADA compliance. He spent much of his career working for financial institutions creating websites and mobile applications. He earned his Master’s in Business Administration from Salve Regina University in Rhode Island. David is an advocate for creating web interfaces usable by all users.