The need of accessible websites is becoming more important than ever in the increasingly digitalized world of today. Most people take the ability of surfing the web and browsing online content for granted. But people with disabilities do not have such a luxury. Anyone with a visual, hearing, motor or cognitive impairment, particularly face a lot of issues in navigating the web. At times, it can be next to impossible for them to use certain websites. As almost twenty percent of the global populace suffers from a disability, websites that are not accessible would ideally be excluding millions of people from getting the information they need. This is why seeking out resources from companies like AccessiBe and creating accessible websites is important.
The perfect place to start off with understanding web accessibility is through the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) resources. W3C as has produced guidelines on web accessibility to reduce the hassles disabled people have to face while exploring the web. These guidelines are known as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, and form the basis of laws on web accessibility in many nations. These guidelines broadly cover four areas that web developers and designers must take into account to make websites accessible. According to WCAG, web content needs to be understandable, robust, operable and perceivable.
The WCAG document outlines several areas that web designers can address in order to meet levels of compliance from A (the lowest) to AAA (the highest). Here are some of them:
- Including alternative (alt) text in order to describe any non-textual content like images so that it can be is useful for people needing the assistance of screen readers.
- Structuring documents in a manner that they can be easily navigated both by keyboard and mouse.
- Making use of the proper markup for tables so that screen readers are able to understand them with ease.
- Making it easier for people to fill out forms, as well as understand them, by including the right labels for all form elements. It is also a good practice to avoid putting time limits on form filling.
- Using links that are descriptive and make sense, rather than just a simple “click here”.
- Structuring pages in a manner that disabled users can easily move around the screen, as well as avoid certain elements as per their need.
- Ensuring that the page design does not depend on color for meaning.
- Using color contrasts for the ease of visually impaired web users.
- Keeping content concise, clear and easy to understand, while using easily readable fonts and appropriate heading styles.
- Using semantic markup for identifying diverse content elements.
AccessiBe offers solutions that make accessibility modifications compliant with WCAG 2.1 AA & AAA requirements. Its AI and ML technology leverages contextual understanding and computer vision for the purpose of addressing complex, back-end requirements required for keyboard and screen reader navigation adjustments.