So you have your new website designed and launched. It has all the pages and images you want, the beautiful green colour scheme is exactly what you wanted, it works flawlessly and you couldn’t be prouder.
But have you taken the time to ensure that your website is as accessible as possible? Is your content ” accessible to a wider range of people with disabilities, including blindness and low vision, deafness and hearing loss, learning disabilities, cognitive limitations, limited movement, speech disabilities, photosensitivity and combinations of these.”
It was for this reason that the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines were created. Known as the WCAG, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines outlines everything you should be doing to make your site accessible to as many people as possible.
For example, did you know that approx 8% of the male population has some sort of colour blindness (its only 0.5% of the female population). Because of this, the colour blind can have trouble with a lot of websites, signs, games or anything else involving colour. So the beautiful green website as mentioned above, may give those who are colour blind a great deal of difficulty.
Making your website accessible may seem like a lot of work at first but there are a number of simple things you can do:
- Use the “alt” tag to add text descriptions to each of your images
- Don’t rely just on colour to convey important information, for example red might mean danger but colour blind users may not make the automatic connection and your message may be lost
- Use online tools like, the Color Laboratory, to check how colours look in conjunction with each other so you can easily create colour schemes that work well for anyone – colour blind or not – on any operating system
- WordPress actually have their own plugin which offers a wide variety of features, all designed to make a site meet the WCAG by modifying your WordPress theme
- Content should be clear and concise and use language that could easily be read by a computer voice. Avoid jargon if possible but offer definitions to technical language or abbreviations.
- Avoid using flashy gifs or animations that may cause seizures!
Accessibility in web design means taking into account all types of disability and designing your website in the correct manner to cater for the widest audience.
If you are serious about making your web site accessible, the most valuable resource available is the website of the Web Access Initiative (WAI), part of the World Wide Web Consortium. There you’ll find guidelines for making web pages along with explanations and techniques. The content guidelines are found at W3.org.