Prioritizing digital accessibility—equal access—benefits everyone, and has never been more important. Why is it often overlooked?
So, what is Web Accessibility?
Wikipedia has a good definition, but in short, it means making your site accessible to everyone, regardless of their individual circumstances, abilities or bandwidth restrictions. Web accessibility enables sites to be used and understood by as many people as possible.
The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect.
W3C Director and inventor of the World Wide Web
There are two aspects to web accessibility, what you see and how it works. The W3C Web Accessibility Initiative is actively developing and establishing guidelines and standards (WCAG) for building accessible websites. Visual design is one part but, how the site is built has the lion’s share of the impact. In order to create a feature-rich experience without sacrificing accessibility, it is important to work with a partner who understands and implements the WCAG standards correctly.
How will it help my company?
By definition, accessible websites are easy to use by everyone in every circumstance. This translates to a better user experience for every visitor— which means more time spent on your site, lower bounce rates, and higher engagement. It’s not a coincidence that many SEO-optimization techniques are also accessibility best practices.
Where do I start?
Some organizations tackle accessibility problems incrementally, one at a time. Others address them as part of a larger redesign — a ground-up reimagining of your website is an excellent opportunity to ensure it’s accessible to everyone. Whatever your approach, the first step is to find the right partner (or partners) to support you in the rebuild or upgrades. And, be sure to craft a strategy for ongoing monitoring, because every new image, video and article has the potential to knock you off track.
Ideas On Purpose has years of experience designing and developing sites that meet W3C standards, creating accessible PDFs (yes that’s a thing) and partnering with companies to create accessible communications. Check out the accessible, award-winning and stakeholder-pleasing digital work we’ve created — and email to get in touch if you need help with yours.