In today’s digital age, having a website that is accessible to everyone is not just a matter of following laws and regulations. Web accessibility means you’re making sure that people of all abilities can access and use your website and digital content without barriers—and so your company doesn’t get targeted for a lawsuit.
In this blog, we’ll explore the importance of web accessibility and why it should be a top priority for businesses. We’ll also discuss some best practices for ensuring your content is accessible to all.
Why Is Accessibility Important?
Business benefits – By making your website accessible, you can reach a wider audience, including people with disabilities who may not have been able to access your content before. This can lead to increased traffic, engagement, and meeting your unique goals.
Ethical responsibility – Ensuring that everyone has access to the same information and services online is a moral obligation. Responsibility falls on your businesses to create and offer your content in a way that is accessible to all users, regardless of ability.
Legal compliance – Many countries, including the United States, have laws that require websites to be accessible to people with disabilities. Businesses in the U.S. are required to make their websites accessible, according to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Failure to comply with these laws can result in legal action, which can be costly in terms of fines, legal fees, and damage to your reputation.
Note: There are businesses across the world that focus on detecting websites that are not fully compliant, and subsequently filing lawsuits against the companies, which can result in some major financial repercussions, depending on the size of your company.
Several of our clients have come to Moxie to implement accessibility options into their online content specifically to avoid being targeted, which unfortunately we have seen happen. To safeguard against this, Moxie’s expert graphic designers and web developers have come up with the following list to help you optimize content for all users and avoid any legal situations.
- Use descriptive headings and labels: Descriptive headings and labels make it easy for users to understand the structure of your content. This will help them navigate through your website easier, especially for screen-reader users.
- Make sure your website is keyboard friendly: Not everyone can use a mouse or other pointing device. Therefore, make sure that all website features are accessible via keyboard navigation. This will help users with motor disabilities or who rely on assistive technologies like screen readers.
- Provide alternative text for images and videos: Users who are visually impaired may rely on screen readers to access the content on your website. Make sure all images and videos have alternative text descriptions that convey the media’s meaning and purpose.
- Ensure color contrast: Make sure that the contrast between text and background is sufficient for users with visual impairments, especially those with low vision. The recommended contrast ratio is at least 4.5:1 for normal text and 3:1 for large text.
- Avoid using flashing or moving content: Flashing or moving content can cause seizures in users with photosensitive epilepsy. Avoid using it or provide an option to turn it off.
- Use accessible web design: Make sure your website’s design is accessible, including the layout, font sizes, and colors. Consider consulting with a web designer or developer with expertise in web accessibility.
- Test your website for accessibility: Use tools such as accessibility checkers, screen readers, and keyboard-only navigation to test your website’s accessibility. This will help you identify and fix any accessibility issues.
Each step takes some time, but just think about the huge impact you’re making to ensure equal access of content for all—and all the additional people who will now have access to your business and all that you offer.
We know it’s a lot. And discovering you are potentially a target for those with ill intent can be unsettling. If you’d like the Moxie team to help you navigate through this process, we’re here when you need us at experiencemoxie.com/contact-us.