How To Design Your Website To Be Accessible To Everyone


Imagine you are designing a website to diversify your business and attract more customers. However, you are not getting the results that you have been aiming for. A major reason behind that could be website accessibility. Luckily, there are many web accessibility companies out there that design websites and conduct web accessibility audits to help people with these issues.

With the rapid digitalization across the world, websites are now an integral part of any business, firm, or organization. Thus, your websites need to be accessible to everyone. Otherwise, you might end up losing a large share of your revenue.

Important Steps To Make Your Website Accessible
Many of us may be unaware of the steps and procedures for making our websites easily accessible to everyone. It allows people with disabilities and physical restraints to have a user-friendly experience with the website.
There are multiple steps to make your website accessible to everyone. Some of the most important ones are given as follows.

Keeping The Website Keyboard Friendly
In simple words, keeping the website keyboard-friendly means that the website is accessible without the use of a mouse. Many assistive technologies for people with disabilities are majorly dependent on keyboard use. So, your website must allow such users to use the website’s major features without the use of a mouse.
So, accessing all pages, links, features, and contents of your website must be keyboard-friendly. Make sure to break down the long pages into multiple sections with anchor links. Allow a “Skip to main content” option on your website to keep it keyboard-friendly. These are a few of the many ways you can keep your website keyboard-friendly.

ADA Compliance For Websites
To make your website easily accessible to everyone, you must follow the ADA compliance guidelines. ADA compliance stands for Americans with Disabilities Act Standards for Accessible Design. It is a list of guidelines and procedures to follow while designing your websites. Making your websites ADA compliant allows disabled people to have easy access to your website.

You must follow the guidelines and checklist of ADA compliance when you are designing your websites. This should be equally followed by all public and private organizations, businesses, and service providers. Thus, you can ensure a better user experience and easy accessibility to your websites.

Making Dynamic Content Accessible
By dynamic content, we refer to the content of a page that can change or be updated without reloading that page. When a website has dynamic content, it means that there are frequent shifts or updates to that content. So, the designers need to make sure that the dynamic content is easily and smoothly accessible by everyone.

To make dynamic content accessible on your websites, you can add multiple assistive tools to the website. As a result, the user will not miss the content or face difficulties reaching it. The assistive tools may include ARIA roles and alerts. You can also make sure that videos are accessible by keyboard and do not auto-play. Thus, you can make dynamic content accessible.

Include Proper Alt Text For Images
Alt texts are an essential part of a website with images. It provides an easy explanation of the message of an image used on the website. For screen reader users, it is a vital feature. Especially when it comes to multiple images and infographics, alt texts are very important. It is one of the most important components of making your website accessible to everyone.

When you are creating an alt text, make sure that you are using basic and simple explanations. So, the users will understand the message conveyed by the image without difficulty. At the same time, if there is text included in the image, make sure to include those words in your alt text. It is a vital part of making your websites easily accessible.

What Happens If You Do Not Follow The Website Accessibility Guidelines
Website accessibility guidelines are constructed in a way to allow disabled people, people with injuries, and many other physical constraints to have easy access to your websites. Without these features, your website becomes complex and inaccessible. The target audience and customers struggle to access your content. So, the purpose of the website becomes futile.

So, it is immensely important that your website follows the accessibility guidelines. In that way, you can create a better experience for your audience. General people, irrespective of their disability or impairment, will be able to access your website and all its contents.

Working on a website can be difficult. Adding new media and updating pages is chore, even though you know your company website needs to evolve and become more accessible to the many users you are trying to reach. Maybe when you first built it, accessibility wasn’t even really discussed. But now you’ve taken a step back, looked at your customer base with a desire to include everyone and you’ve realized just how important it is to make your site accessible. However, the thought of building a robust site that can do all the things you want it to do is overwhelming.

What is Web Accessibility

A practice of designing and coding the website in order to provide complete compatibility in accessing it by people with disabilities. In addition, it is a way to improve search engine optimization only an ADA Compliant Web Designer will help you to make your website Compliant. Is your website compatible? By going through the checklist below, you can get the answer.

Assessing Current Web Pages and Content

  • The website must include a feature like a navigation link at the top of the page. These links have a bypass mechanism such as a “skip navigation” link. This feature directs screen readers to bypass the row of navigation links and start at the web page content. It is beneficial for people who use screen readers to avoid to listen to all the links each time they jump to a new page.
  • All the links should be understandable when taken out of the context. For example, images without alternative text and links without worded as “click here”.
  • All the graphics, maps, images, and other non-text content must provide text alternatives through the alt attribute, a hidden/visible long description.
  • All the documents posted on the website should available in HTML or another accessible text-based format. It is also applicable to other formats like Portable Document Format (PDF).
  • The online forms on the website should be structured so assistive technology can identify, describe and operate the controls and inputs. By doing this, people with disabilities can review and submit the forms.
  • If the website has online forms, the drop-down list should describe the information instead of displaying a response option. For instance, “Your Age” instead of “18-25”.
  • If the website has data charts and tables, they should be structured so that all data cells are associated with column and row identifiers.
  • All the video files on the website must have audio descriptions (if necessary). This is for the convenience of blind people or for having a visual impairment disability.
  • All the video files on the website must have synchronized captions. People with hearing problems or deaf can access these files conveniently.
  • All the audio files on the website should have synchronized captions to provide access to people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
  • All web pages should be designed so that they can be viewed using visitors’ web browser and operating system settings for color and font.

About Website Accessibility Policy and Procedures

  • One must have a written policy on website accessibility.
  • The website accessibility policy must be posted on the website at a location where it can be easily found.
  • The procedure should be developed to ensure that content is not added to the website until it has been made accessible.
  • It should be confirmed that the website manager has checked the code and structure of all new web pages before they are posted.
  • While adding the PDFs to the website, these should be accessible. Also, the text-based versions of the documents should be accessible at the same time as PDF versions.
  • Make sure that the in-house and contractor staff has received the information about the website accessibility policy and procedure to confirm the website accessibility.
  • It should be confirmed that in-house and contractor staff has received appropriate training on how to ensure the accessibility of the website.
  • The website should have a specific written plan if it contains inaccessible content. Also, it should include timeframes in place to make all of the existing web content accessible.
  • A complete plan to improve website accessibility should be posted along with invited suggestions for improvement.
  • The homepage should include easily locatable information that includes contact details like telephone number and email address. This is useful for reporting website accessibility problems and requesting accessibility services with information.
  • A website should have procedures in place to assure a quick response to the visitors with disabilities who have difficulty in accessing information or services available on the website.
  • Feedback from people who use a variety of assistive technologies is helpful in ensuring website accessibility. So make sure to ask disability groups representing people to provide feedback on the accessibility of your website.
  • Testing the website using a product available on the internet is helpful, These tools are of free cost and check the accessibility of a website. They may not identify all accessibility issues and flag issues that are not accessibility problems. However, these are, nonetheless, a helpful way to improve website accessibility.

Checklist of Action Items for Improving the Accessibility of a Website

In addition, while considering the above suggestions, the following checklist initially prepared by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for Federal Agencies provides further guidelines on ways to make websites more accessible for persons with disabilities.

This practical advice, as well as another checklist, are available at:

Satisfying all of these items does not necessarily mean that a website complies with ADA, but it will improve the website’s accessibility and decrease the risk of litigation. Again, an Expert or Web Accessibility Consulting & Services provider should be engaged to conduct a comprehensive review of your website.
Nothing brings you closer to reality than actually facing it. This is the premise of my latest attempt to spread awareness about Web Accessibility.
For better understand, here is a link in which a practical example is shown to make the websites’ user experience better by following the guidelines. Also, it tells the issues affecting various users on the internet with solutions.
You can make your website ADA compliant in an easy way by consulting the professionals, who can do this job effortlessly. Also, you can get a quick website audit from To Be ADA Compliant that offers complete web accessibility consulting & services in California, USA.