How to Make Your Website Accessible

When developing a website, the needs of people with disabilities are often overlooked.  For your website to serve its purpose, it must be accessible to everyone, including those with disabilities. Providing equal access to information to all users via your website not only will serve the needs of more potential customers, but it’s also the law. If your website is not accessible, you are at risk for an expensive lawsuit! 

With the rise in claims for websites not meeting accessibility standards, and to provide inclusiveness for the disabled community, it’s important for businesses to make website accessibility a top priority.  Here’s how you can get started…  

Conduct an Audit 

Hire a company, like Blue Tangerine, to conduct an audit of your website, looking for accessibility issues including missing alt tags, closed captions and labels, poor color contrast, styles, and more.  
 

Clean Up Outdated Code 

Have a developer review the website’s code and CSS to implement best practices and update outdated data. For example, best practices include identifying what language the site should be read in to help visitors using screen readers. This distinction goes in the header code for screen readers to identify and function accordingly.  
 

Alternative Text 

Make sure all images on your site have descriptive alt tags. While alt tags are often credited for improving how a website ranks in search engines, alt tags also provide context for what an image is specifically displaying. Intentional alt text allows search engine crawlers to index the photos correctly while working in conjunction with screen readers, players and voiceovers to describe image elements for those with disabilities. 
 

Text Transcripts for Video/Audio Content 

All video and audio content should include text transcripts or closed captions for the visual information needed to understand the content for hearing-impaired users. Without text transcripts, this content would otherwise be inaccessible to them. 

Styles and Elements  

Less is more when it comes to overall website layout. Menus, links and buttons should be arranged in such a way that they are clearly independent from one another and easy to navigate throughout the entire site to create a consistent, organized website. Review overall elements and styles including buttons, headers, links and color combinations. In the spirit of creating a website that can accommodate all types of users, including those with disabilities, steer clear of small or hard-to-read fonts or lighter-hued colors on light backgrounds as they may be indecipherable for some users. Opt for specific color contrasts and clean font selections that are easy to read at a glance.

 

TIP: Run a quick test on your website to see what accessibility issues are present using the WAVE web accessibility evaluation tool and download the free browser extension.
 

Getting Started 

By making your website accessible, you are providing a better user experience for all, and avoiding potential lawsuits. Additionally, a compliant website can ultimately lead to new sales and improved search engine rankings. 

To learn more about website accessibility, review the Website Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1) or download our FREE Website Accessibility Guide. Getting your website compliant is not a one-time solution; it is a part of ongoing website maintenance. Call 321-309-6900 or contact us to get started with the Blue Tangerine team. 

By making your website accessible, you are providing a better user experience for all, and avoiding potential lawsuits. Additionally, a compliant website can ultimately lead to new sales and improved search engine rankings. 

To learn more about website accessibility, review the Website Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1) or download our FREE Website Accessibility Guide. Getting your website compliant is not a one-time solution; it is a part of ongoing website maintenance. Call 321-309-6900 or contact us to get started with the Blue Tangerine team.