A website is a crucial tool for any business. It’s a place where customers can learn more about your company and what you have to offer. But if your website isn’t accessible, you could miss out on potential customers. Worse still, it could make your company a target for lawsuits. Here are some tips to make sure your website is accessible to everyone.
How Does Website Accessibility Affect Your Business?
Businesses must provide equal access to their goods and services to people with disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Websites are vital in delivering goods and services to customers, so they must also be accessible to people with disabilities.
If a business website is not accessible to people with disabilities, the business may be liable for discrimination under the ADA. In addition, the Department of Justice has stated that it is actively investigating companies with inaccessible websites and may bring enforcement actions against them.
Making your website accessible avoids potential legal problems and makes good business sense. People with disabilities have combined spending power of billions of dollars, and making your website accessible can help you tap into this critical market.
How to Check Your Site’s Accessibility
Perform a manual accessibility check
There are a few common accessibility issues you can quickly check for without using any automated tools.
- Ensure that all images have alternate text
- Make sure that links make sense when read out of context
- Ensure that the website can be navigated using only a keyboard
- Test to see if users can resize the website without losing functionality
- Make sure that any audio or video content includes transcripts or captions
Invest in an accessibility audit for your website
There are a few reasons why you should invest in an accessibility audit for your website:
- It is estimated that 1 in 4 people have some form of disability, so by making your website accessible, you are opening up your site to a larger audience.
- Accessibility audits can help identify potential problems with your site that could result in legal risks
- An accessibility audit can help you improve your search engine optimization (SEO) since search engines are increasingly considering factors like accessibility when ranking websites.
During an accessibility audit, experts will analyze your website to identify potential accessibility barriers. They will also test your site using various assistive technologies, such as screen readers, ensuring that it is usable for people with disabilities. After the audit, you will receive a report detailing the findings and recommendations for improving your site’s accessibility.
When choosing an accessibility optimization firm, it’s essential to choose carefully. You’ll want a company specializing in ADA compliance and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. An example of a reputable firm is accessiBe. Reading the accessiBe reviews on Glassdoor gives us a good grasp of their reputation. Of course, you do not need to use this specific service, but it does give us a good idea of what we want.
Best Practices For Website Accessibility
Images should have alt-text.
Alt-text provides a text description of an image for people who cannot see the picture. This is important for people with visual impairments and for those who are using screen readers.
Colors should be high-contrast.
High-contrast colors are more accessible for people with visual impairments to see.
Use headers to sort content.
The main reason is that it allows screen readers to navigate and understand the content on the page. Headers also help to break up the content so that it is easier to read.
Optimize for keyboard navigation.
Websites should optimize for keyboard navigation because it allows users who may not be able to use a mouse or trackpad to navigate and interact with the site.
Business websites must be accessible to ensure all customers can access the site and its content. This is important because it allows businesses to reach a wider audience and provides an equal opportunity for all customers to access the information they need. Additionally, accessible websites are often easier to navigate and use, which can lead to increased customer satisfaction.