The Missing Link: Making Your Site Accessible to Everyone

Stop Missing Out On Traffic Through Digital Accessibility

The internet is an excellent tool for businesses and individuals to reach new audiences. But, unfortunately, many people cannot take advantage of the vast resources available online due to digital accessibility constraints. Digital Accessibility refers to the ability of an individual with disabilities or impairments (blindness, deafness, physical impairment) to use and enjoy all aspects of electronic media on computers or any other devices that can access the internet. 

This blog post discusses three ways you can make your site accessible so that everyone has equal opportunities!

For The Blind Or Visually Impaired

There are many ways to improve digital access to the blind or visually impaired. Here are some of them.

  • The first is to make sure your site uses text formatting for headlines, paragraphs, sub-headings, and bullet points or numbers instead of relying on image placement.
  • If you are visually impaired, there is an option for you in most browsers to access the web without relying on graphics. You can install screen reader voice software that reads the text aloud and allows you to navigate your computer with a keyboard or touchscreen device like an iPad if you cannot see what’s on your monitor. You can start your computer with VoiceOver activated, which will get these jobs done for you.
  • You can adjust the font size on your screen to make it larger so that you can see what is written without having to squint or strain your eyes. In addition, you can get a program, such as Jaws for Windows, which displays the contents of any window in large print so it would be easy to read from your computer monitor and provides a full navigation menu with keyboard shortcuts. You may also use word processors, which allow this to be set as a default.
  • You can use a screen reader to have your computer read back what’s on the screen. Also,  refreshable braille displays are an option if you have low vision, and magnification software can help make the text on the screen more prominent and easier to read.
  • If you’re suffering from color blindness, you can also install software called Enchroma that helps people see colors more clearly by filtering out specific wavelengths. Again, it is not perfect for everyone, but it does provide an option for those who need assistance in identifying colors.

For People With Physical Impairments

The changes in how web pages are organized and structured have made websites more accessible to physically impaired people. Physical impairment includes people with limited or no use of their hands and fingers and motor impairments that stop them from using a mouse.

  • For Limited Hand Use:

You don’t need a mouse to use the web, so if you have limited hand use or are unable to move your hands at all, there is an option for you too! You can install voice recognition software called Jing to allow you to use your computer with just a few keys and commands. This makes it easier for you to surf the web without using a mouse or keyboard.

  • For Motor Disabilities: 

If you have motor disabilities that prevent you from using your hands (such as cerebral palsy), many free and paid programs are available on Macs and PCs. One such program is VoiceOver for Apple. This program allows you to hear a description of what’s happening on your screen and then use the arrow keys to navigate.

For The Deaf

If you’re a deaf person wanting to access the internet, you may have a few more issues to contend with. These issues include using sign language, which can be very difficult or even impossible for your browser to identify the words you’re signing and reading them aloud in real-time.

There are some things that deaf people have an easier time accessing online: images, sound clips, etc., but you may also use sign language or type out what you want in a text message. This strategy can help not only deaf people but also those who are hard of hearing.

Conclusion

Web accessibility is essential, not just for those who need it. There are many ways to integrate web accessibility into your website design to have more traffic and a better user experience. 

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