Over the last couple of months, I have been increasing the accessibility on websites I designed for my clients. This of course all included in the annual Hosting fees, so there is no additional charge for this improvement.
What is website Accessibility?
Web accessibility (also known as a11y) refers to improving websites in such a way that there are no barriers to interacting with the website for those who have disabilities that make it difficult to easily consume the content of a website. It’s the virtual equivalent of adding sounds to a crossing walk signal for those who are blind, for example. The purpose is simply to ensure that everyone can access the website and consume its content, removing any possible barriers.
What this means when it comes to websites is a lot of extra work! I’m only in the early phases (the low-hanging fruit), but some examples of what was done or needs to be done:
- Adding in extra tags and metadata to various elements on a webpage, ensuring alternative text is present for every element (especially images!) so it can be easily read by a screen reader
- Ensuring that the primary elements of the website can be “tabbed” for easy navigation without a mouse
- Ensuring that buttons / action icons are large enough to be tapped without needing to be super precise
- Making everything easily readable (this means proper use of colours, especially the colours for text and section backgrounds
There is a whole lot more though needed for a truly accessible website. If you’re interested in learning more about website accessibility, please review the following resources: