Disability may limit how a person can interact with their environment, including the internet. But fully accessible websites, along with assistive technology, can help users with disabilities enjoy the benefits of being online. Unfortunately, many websites have accessibility problems that prevent people with disabilities from interacting with site content.
If you take the step to make your website accessible, you might find yourself with a big edge over the competition. People with disabilities are likely to become loyal customers of websites that work well for them, and word-of-mouth marketing can be significant among these groups.
So, let’s take a look at some reasons to improve your website accessibility, along with 15 practical steps for doing so.
3 Reasons to Improve Web Accessibility
Failing to comply with accessibility requirements could raise the risk of penalties and civil action, as these examples demonstrate:
- In June 2017, a blind man sued the American supermarket chain, Winn-Dixie and won because the chain had failed to make its website accessible to blind users.
- In 2016, Target paid $6 million in damages to the National Federation of the Blind for accessibility issues that included failing to include alt tags for their product images.
- In June 2021, a judge ruled that Domino's Pizza had violated Title III of the ADA, because its website was inaccessible to the plaintiff, who was blind.
These are just some of the legal cases involving web accessibility issues.
How Disabilities May Limit Website Interactions
- Visual impairments
- Auditory impairments
- Motor impairments
- Cognitive and neurological impairments
15 Practical Ways to Improve Web Accessibility
Include captions and text transcripts
Use proper color contrast ratios
Poor color contrast can make it difficult for users with color blindness to read text. The WCAG recommends a color contrast ratio of 4.5:1 for text that appears over a background color or image.
If you don’t have a graphic designer on hand, the easiest way to make sure your site uses proper contrast is to use a contrast checker, a tool that scans your site’s text colors and backgrounds.
Remove flickering content
Use headings to structure content
Simplify website designs
Simplify website designs
Add image alt text
Add labels and titles to forms
Offer different CAPTCHA options
Make your site keyboard-friendly
Allow more time for data inputs
Avoid using tables for content layouts
Use descriptive link text
Include skip links
Include multiple contact options
Test and improve web accessibility
Building an Accessible Website Is the Right Thing to Do
An accessible website demonstrates a company’s commitment to inclusivity. It also presents opportunities to reach new users and improves the user experience for people of all abilities. Making your website accessible is the right thing to do.
Monsido helps companies bring their websites into compliance with modern accessibility standards. We use automated accessibility testing and human expertise to evaluate websites and provide detailed recommendations for improving accessibility. Learn more about our platform, and contact us when you’re ready to make your website fully accessible.
For more tips on web accessibility, be sure to check out our "Web Accessibility 101" webinar.