Why is Web Accessibility Important?
Updated: May 10
In a world where the internet could be considered a fundamental part of the human experience, it's becoming more and more important for the web to be designed for inclusion. Especially during COVID-19, quality internet access has proved to be the best option for connection, commerce, education, and information. COVID-19 has therefore increased awareness of accessibility in digital landscapes.
The idea behind web accessibility is to give everyone access to the same information, regardless of the impairments they may have. By creating websites that are aesthetically pleasing and accessible, users with and without disabilities can have easy access to information. According to the World Wide Web Consortium, accessibility “means that websites, tools, and technologies are designed and developed so that people with disabilities can use them. More specifically, people can: perceive, understand, navigate, interact with the Web and contribute to the Web.”
According to WHO, 15% of the world's population possesses a disability (over 1 billion people.) Accessibility should cater to auditory, neurological, visual, motor, physical, and cognitive disabilities.
While accessibility seems to predominantly pertain to users, the benefits also spill over to the business by making a frictionless user experience. When user experiences are enhanced, consumers tend to stay on sites longer, express greater satisfaction, and stay loyal to brands. Businesses should care about accessibility for many reasons including improved reputation (consumers appreciate inclusivity), enhanced SEO (accessibility efforts can improve organic search rankings), and legal compliance (website accessibility lawsuits are on the rise).
Some interesting ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) website compliance lawsuits include Beyonce vs. Mary Conor, Domino's Pizza vs. Guillermo Robles, and Nike vs. Maria Mendizabal. Some of the issues stated in these lawsuits include relying on heavy visuals, no alt-text, no keyboard controls, no captions on videos. Typically if a website is commercial in nature, it needs to be ADA compliant. E-commerce websites and hotels, financial institutions, healthcare, travel agencies, and educational institutions are all at greater risk of litigation.
Perodigm brought accessibility best practices into play when working on Elite Cognition's website. During discussions about the type of visitors the website would attract, it was decided that Open Sans was the perfect readable font for those with learning disorders like Dyslexia. While something as minor as font choice might not affect the majority of users, it could make all the difference for a person with disabilities.
Here are some simple ways to make a website more accessible:
Use alt tags
Make smart color choices
Keep copy simple
Avoid using small fonts
Organize with headers
Use appropriate font sizes
Ultimately, web accessibility is ethical and good for both businesses and users. If your business or organization is looking to make your website accessible or ADA compliant, feel free to reach out to us. Our team can do an accessibility audit to see what improvements can be made.
Here are more resources: