Discover What You Should Know About Web Accessibility (Part 1)

blindfolded person behind laptop computer

Do you know what Web Accessibility is?

There is a lot of talk these days with regard to proper development practices and accessible web design. If you don’t think any of this applies to you or your website, you probably don’t understand exactly what this is all about. Web Accessibility refers to the practice of creating websites that will be usable for people of any ability or disability. Many things come into play when accounting for a person’s eye sight, mobility, auditory and logic skills.

Too many web development companies overlook the importance of coding a website in meaningful HTML. Utilities for blind users, such as text-to-speech software, make use of alternate text for images and properly named links. Another downside to overlooking proper HTML lies with the robots search engines send out to read your website. These computers that browse the internet by themselves can learn a lot more about your website, and get a lot deeper into your site when they aren’t confused by poor coding practices.

Many people have difficulty controlling a mouse with precision, and can become frustrated while attempting to select a small link. Web designers need to allow for enlargeable text sizes and create larger clickable areas whenever possible. Links should always be styled and colored different than body text so that even color blind users can quickly locate the links on any web page. Pages can even be coded in a fashion that allows them to be navigated without a mouse or keyboard should your audience be likely to require this.

No website should ever rely solely on a video or audio component to convey information. Problems here extend farther than those who are hard of hearing or have poor eyesight. You are relying on certain hardware and or software to be installed on the visitor’s computer. If a user has no speakers, or if they are turned off, they could miss your important message or even be annoyed if they were listening to something else. Visitors are valuable and you should never do anything to encourage them to leave your site quickly.

Aside from looking tacky, flashing effects are to be avoided to ensure those sensitive to seizures are not at risk. Content is both more effective and better understood by those with developmental and learning disabilities when it is written in plain text.

Web Accessibility is complex and can be a complicated process, but it is also tantamount to your small business success.  To uncover the blind spots in your web accessibility guidelines, you may want to enlist the help of qualified and competent professionals like us, Two Blind Marketers & Associates.  We can be reached by phone at (575) 233-6355 or by email: michael@twoblindmarketers.com. Call us to meet with one of our web accessibility consultants today!

Mike

About Mike

Despite the challenges of being legally blind since the age of 10, Michael has had the entrepreneurial spirit his whole life. He started his internet marketing career in 1997 selling collectible books on eBay. After that, he ran a successful computer consulting business for over 10 years. In January 2008, after the birth of his special needs child, he realized that he would no longer be able to do computer repair work in the field. While attending an online marketing workshop, he discovered that he had the passion to help small business owners with their marketing. He and his wife specialize in Website Design & Accessability, as well as Reputation Marketing. Michael decided, with the support of his wife, to found Two Blind Marketers in June 2009.

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