All domain owners aim to reel in as many users as possible. However, few understand the measures they need to take to ensure that their respective websites are usable for everyone. After all, there is a sizable demographic of users with disabilities who cannot navigate through web pages in the same way that others can. And if you fail to acknowledge and recognize their needs and adhere to ADA compliance, not only will you miss out on the opportunity to increase your inbound traffic. But you’ll also be violating the law at the same time.
Fortunately, the implementation of accessibility is neither as tricky nor as hard as it appears. In reality, it’s simpler than you might think. All you need is the awareness of the fundamental issues that may make it more challenging for certain people to use your site. Once you’ve grasped what they are, you can then take all the necessary steps to make it a lot more inviting than it is. With that said, we’ll cover how you can be more compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and let people who are disabled to access your website easily.
Web accessibility via ADA compliance
In an ideal world, everybody should have the same experience when browsing a website. However, the reality is that people with impairments and conditions can prevent, if not make it impossible, to use most sites. And designing yours with the challenges that they’re likely to face in mind is the primary purpose behind web accessibility. Here are some of the most common disabilities that people suffer from.
- Visual impairments. Includes, but aren’t necessarily limited to, loss of vision and inability to perceive contrasts in color.
- Hearing impairments. People who are entirely deaf or are hard of hearing.
- Physical impairments. Those who have difficulty or are unable to move physically.
- Photosensitivity. Epileptic seizures caused by flashing images.
- Cognitive disabilities. Conditions that have an impact on cognitive functions like dyslexia.
To get over these obstacles, many leverage assistive technologies when browsing the World Wide Web. From screen readers to read out text to speech recognition programs that can convert what you say to text, there are many software that can accommodate special needs. Their integration into your website will make it more accessible to everyone.
- Make the website keyboard-friendly
One of the best ways to make a website more accessible is to make it work without the need for a mouse. This is primarily because assistive technology tends to be dependent on navigating through the keyboard only. For this reason, you must offer users the ability to browse through your site and its web pages using only your keyboard. It may sound simple, but you’ll be surprised at how much of a difference it can make, especially for those whose motor skills are limited.
- Ensure the accessibility of your content
Apart from a keyboard-friendly option, you must ensure that the content within the domain is accessible to everyone. As mentioned earlier, assistive tools like screen readers, speech recognition, and transcription software can go a long way in helping those with disabilities mentally consume information. And by incorporating them into the overall design of your website, you’ll give them more access than they otherwise would have had.
- Pair images with alternative text
The addition of alternative text to images has become commonplace in recent years. After all, beyond providing search engines with much better context and descriptions to aid them in indexing images correctly, they’re also one of the principles in web accessibility. This is because those who have vision-related problems can better understand what the on-page images are.
- Select the right fonts and colors
In addition to helping those with visual impairments with alt text, selecting the right colors and fonts is imperative in designing a website. Some people may perceive them in more unique ways, after all. And if you fail to do so, some people may not be able to distinguish all of the Web page facets. More importantly, if the text fails to stand out against your chosen background color, they won’t be able to read what it is.
No one can deny the difficulties that people with disabilities face in daily life. If you don’t want to make your website one of them, you must understand and meet their needs. Doing won’t just help you attract more users, but it’s the right thing to do.