When it comes to digital content, accessibility refers to the design and development that enables people with disabilities to access and use mobile applications, websites, and other digital technology. With as many as 25% of adults in the United States living with some form of disability, ensuring your law firm websites are accessible to everyone is vital.
People living with disabilities tend to process data and information differently. Accessibility makes sure that users with disabilities have a similar experience to those who navigate the website using point-and-click and keyboard-based methods. All visitors should be able to access your entire website, from submitting a consultation request to making payment.
With 25% of the adults in the United States disabled, a fourth of your audience cannot use your law firm’s website effectively. Thus, it’s your responsibility to take all the necessary steps to ensure that the site is effectively accessible to all. Fortunately, web content accessibility is nothing complicated. In this article, we discuss how you can make your site accessible to everyone.
What Is Web Content Accessibility?
In a simple sense, we can define web content accessibility as all the strategies you use to develop a website’s design and make it easier for people with disabilities. The W3C or World Wide Web Consortium established a set of guidelines called the “Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0” or WCAG 2.0 back in 2008.
The WCAG 2.0 provides a clear standard for web developers to ensure that a website is accessible to those living with disabilities. It includes different compliance levels ranging from A (the lowest) to AAA (the highest). This guideline seeks to enhance a site’s accessibility in four areas –
1. Perceivable: Perceivable refers to providing information in such a way that all users can understand. For example, providing alternative texts that users can convert into speech, large print, symbols, speech, or simple language
2. Understandable: Web designers must ensure that all information and features on a website are understandable. They should assist users in avoiding and correcting errors and ensure that web pages are consistent in their operation and appearance.
3. Operable: All features of a website should be accessible via a keyboard. Furthermore, all the content must be designed so that the users have enough time to read them. The site’s navigation design should be simple as well.
4. Robust: Websites should be robust enough to be compatible with different user agents such as assistive technologies.
Why Web Content Accessibility Matters For Your Law Firm’s Website
Web content accessibility ensures that everyone can access the web content regardless of their abilities or limitations. Ensuring web content accessibility isn’t only a moral obligation and financially advantageous for your practice. When your law firm’s website is accessible to everyone, it demonstrates that you care about everyone in the community.
Thus, you create an inclusive environment that stands against any discrimination people with disabilities face. In addition, you won’t have to worry about users with hearing or visual impairments facing any hindrances when navigating through your website. This way, you increase your law firm’s ability to attract more clients.
Your website ADA compliance is also important to maintain social responsibility and improve accessibility. Even as a moral obligation, your website should ensure accessibility to all as it brings us closer to a user’s experience. One of the most vital reasons for prioritizing accessibility is to provide a friendly user experience to website visitors.
Every visitor should find the website appealing, and there shouldn’t be any differences in the content or user experience based on their level of vision or hearing. Improving accessibility also benefits older people who can’t see well and those with slow internet access.
Ways To Make Your Law Firm’s Website Accessible For The Disabled
Let’s take a look at all the easiest ways you can make your website accessible to the people with disabilities –
1. Ensure That All CTAs And Forms Are Easily Accessible
Online forms are the primary key to your website’s lead generation. So it’s important to have forms that are both functional and accessible to ensure that more users can input their information. You can make forms and CTAs easily accessible on your site through –
1. Adding short and clear instructions.
2. Labeling all the form fields appropriately.
3. Make all the button instructions clear, like – “Submit consultation request” rather than “Submit.”
4. Check that all the forms are entirely operable through a keyboard.
2. Text Explanations For Audio And Video Content
In recent years, infographics have become hugely popular for a proper reason. However, they can make information inaccessible to people with visual disabilities.
So it’s important to use visual aids in your websites like labeled tables, detailed alternative titles, tags, and numbered or bulleted lists. Adding Image alt text can benefit both SEO and web content accessibility.
3. Enable Keyboard Navigation For Your Website
Many disabled internet users may be unable to navigate using a mouse. Such people tend to rely on a keyboard or various other input devices. Unfortunately, keyboard navigation may be frequently overlooked.
You can improve ADA website accessibility by keeping the most common keyboard navigation tools on your website. For example, –the ‘Enter’ key to access dropdown menus, the ‘Esc’ key to close the menu, and the ‘Tab’ key to alternate between web pages.
4. Remove Or Modify Time-constrained Elements
Individuals who use pointers or keyboard navigation often take longer to navigate a website. Unfortunately, many websites have timed elements, especially during the checkout process.
If your customers don’t get enough time to navigate the website, they may be timed out and lose their data. You should take proper steps to ensure no data is lost, even when an automatic time-out should occur.
5. Pay Attention To Usability Across Platforms And Technologies
According to current guidelines, websites need to evolve with the times. You may want to keep your website strong, but you should also ensure its content is valuable and serves a purpose.
Developing a user-friendly website is probably the most critical aspect to consider when making changes to your site. Check your site’s performance across devices and platforms regularly to ensure it remains high.
Making your law firm’s website content more accessible and usable ensures lead generation, SEO, and all visitors to your site have a positive experience, including disabled people. This article explains what web content accessibility is, why it’s crucial for your law firm websites, and how you can make them ADA compliant.
To remind you, website accessibility lawsuits are very real and it could really affect the image of your law firm if it gets one when you yourself deal with the lwa. We hope it was helpful, and thanks for reading till now.