Accessibility: What it is and why you need to make sure your Website has it

Did you know that the UK's Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) covers websites as well as business premises? Your web designer must make your site accessible to everyone, even those with physical disabilities. While these legal requirements are not often enforced, there have been a few cases brought and upheld with serious consequences for the site owner

Disability Statistics

Did you know that the UK's Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) covers websites as well as business premises? Your web designer must make your site accessible to everyone, even those with physical disabilities. While these legal requirements are not often enforced, there have been a few cases brought and upheld with serious consequences for the site owner.

 

Advantages of Accessibility

The advantages of having an accessible website are vast and include:

  • Your potential customer base will grow significantly if it can encompass a wider range of internet users, including:
    • Those who use their mobile phones or portable handsets to browse the internet
    • The visual and hearing impaired
    • Older people
    • People with arthritic hands or other conditions that make it hard to use a mouse
    • Anyone with dyslexia
    • Those with low literacy or cognitive levels
  • Your customers will have an even better experience on your web site and will be encouraged to return and recommend it to others.
  • You need have no fear of bad publicity and will maintain a good public image.
  • It facilitates search engine optimisation, because the changes will make it easier for the search engine crawlers to find your site.

Accessibility

 

What Makes a Site Accessible?

How will your web designer ensure you comply with the law and ensure your site is accessible? The main thing to remember is that, whatever features are used to make your site attractive and easy to negotiate for the majority of users, there should also be optional alternatives that make it easy for others.

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) sets out many examples of this. Here are just a few of the published specifications of its Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI):

  • If the site provides search functions, make them available in a number of different ways for people with different levels of dexterity and skill.
  • Make keyboard navigation an alternative to using a mouse.
  • Supplement text with visual elements, and vice versa.
  • Provide a voice over for videos and other graphic presentations.
  • Offer language choices for non-English speakers.

To achieve a fully accessible website, you need a fully qualified and experienced web designer. To get real experts on board, contact Core Media Design today.

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