Imagine visiting a website — your own website — if you couldn’t use your hands for keyboard & mouse. Or if you were blind. Or if you had a severe color blindness, and both green and orange buttons were perceived as brown. It might be hard. Potentially, really hard.
There are things that website owners can do to make their sites more accessible. You can make sure there are things like larger buttons and code included that makes it easy for voice activated controllers to be used to navigate around your site. You can add “alt text” descriptions on your images and charts for “screen readers” to describe images and visually represented information to people with visual impairments. You can make sure that the color contrasts make it easy to find the right buttons.
It’s estimated that some 20% of the general population has a disability that requires some sort of accommodation for website accessibility. Does your site prevent 20% of your potential users — potential customers, clients or donors — from engaging your content? Wouldn’t it be great to get a wider audience pool for your website by making it more accessible to more people?
We are launching a series of blog posts about website accessibility. This is a big topic that gets complex quickly, but we are hoping to help make this more understandable to business owners and website managers. We welcome your questions in the comments!
You can start working on website accessibility by running your site through this online checker. This won’t be a complete website accessibility audit (it can’t check for keyboard navigation, for instance), but it should give you some ideas to get started.
Some accessibility improvements will be things you might be able to do yourself, like creating “alt tags”. Other things might require some help depending on your site and your skill levels. Fortunately, there are growing numbers of website developers who have experience and training in accessibility. We would be glad to answer any questions, and if our agency isn’t the right fit for your needs, refer you to other resources. (Call us at 541-640-5136, or schedule a call here).