Over a billion, including those who are past their prime, are categorized as differently abled by people. Thus, ignoring this huge chunk of consumers is more than just being silly for any business. It has now become apparent that the growing tech dependence of this population needs to be reciprocated with disabled-friendly websites that would serve their needs with utmost efficiency.
However, is building a universally accessible website as easy as it sounds? It is time to discover the truth through five simple tips.
1. Be screen reader friendly
The need to put periods in abbreviations is one of the first things to be taken care of. For example, abbreviations like ASAP needs to be written as A.S.A.P or CIA as C.I.A. Otherwise, the screen reader will not be able to offer the output the user is looking for.
2. Alt-tag images
Apart from being an SEO friendly tool, an Alt-tag is useful also because it can be read out by screen reader. This is important for the visually impaired as it makes the details and function of the image available to the reader.
3. Three-sentence paragraphs
To help the aging population and people with learning disabilities, it is important to make sure that paragraphs of a text heavy page do not include more than two to three sentences. This is true even for general publications. Keeping paragraphs short improves readability of the content.
4. Detailed hyperlinking
When external links are attached to texts in the content, ensure that the hyperlinked text explains what the hyperlink is about, rather than just saying “click here”.
5. Learn from BBC
Lastly, it is essential to include a detailed explanation of the different ways, in which the website is accessible. For this, website owners can follow the example set by BBC. BBC’s official website has a detailed ‘how to’ guide for helping people understand its accessibility.
Another positive outcome of delivering disabled-friendly websites is that those websites automatically become highly user-friendly. Since efforts have already been taken to remove all the impeding elements, such websites become a delight to use for all.
As a result, it is recommended that every organization or individual doing business should immediately take the effort to make their websites universally accessible, especially since they are at a risk of losing a billion strong potential visitors to its website.