- Accessibility benefits not only those with disabilities but the wider population as well
- It is sustainable and socially responsible to make your website accessible
- Clients will require those in partnership with them to ensure accessibility
- Website accessibility is surprisingly easy to achieve with a few simple adjustments
Imagine your business was in retail – would you feel comfortable if potential customers with certain impairments were prevented from entering your shop? It’s time to take a look at your website’s accessibility!
What are the advantages?
Let’s start with the most obvious and important…
- ESSENTIAL ACCESS
People with impairments and disabilities can access your website. 15% of the world’s population have a disability [ref] plus many more with age related acquired disabilities.
- ACCESS FOR ALL
Accessible websites can be used by as many people as possible – also benefiting people without disabilities too. People using devices with small screens, those with changed ability due to ageing or a broken arm, as well as people with ’situational limitations’ such as bright sunlight or an environment where they cannot listen to audio.
- ACCESS TO INNOVATION
Accessibility drives innovation – accessible design is flexible and anticipates the most intuitive ways to interact online.
- ACCESSIBILITY ENHANCES
Accessible design improves the online experience for all users, increasing satisfaction and enhancing your brand reputation.
A redesign to include accessibility, alongside other best practices, can result in reduced costs for maintenance and service.
- THE LEGAL CASE FOR ACCESSIBILITY
In many situations accessibility is required by law; many countries have laws requiring online accessibility, with legal cases increasing against those seen to discriminate.
“Businesses that integrate accessibility are more likely to be innovative, inclusive enterprises that reach more people with positive brand messaging that meets emerging global legal requirements.” [ref]
You’re doing the right thing
Access to information and communication technologies is defined as a basic human right in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities [ref].
- The world we live in today makes no excuse for those who don’t have inclusivity at the heart of their business
- Equal access and equal opportunity should apply everywhere, echoing the world we want to live in
- Excitingly, accessibility barriers that are present in the outside world to audio, visual and print can be more easily overcome by web technologies
- Accessibility can combat social exclusion of those who are isolated due to certain factors; people with disabilities, older people or those living in rural areas.
What’s in it for the clients?
Clients big and small are increasingly aware of the importance of accessibility, and of their responsibility to ensure they are compliant. Together in your quest to make the recruitment marketing world a more accessible place, you’ll understand each other on this one and they’ll require you to know your stuff. Job pages will need to be accessible, language gender-neutral and inclusive as well as many of the website changes listed below.
Achieving accessibility is easier than you think
But how? you may ask…
First start by checking what is required to be fully accessible and what the international standards are here.
There are many ways to make a website accessible, here are a few to consider:
Text alternatives for non-text content
- Brief descriptions of audio and video files
- Descriptions of data in illustrations, diagrams and charts
- These can be read aloud, enlarged or displayed on a specialist device
- Descriptions must be informative and meaningful
Captions and other alternatives for multimedia
- Audio descriptions – narrations describing important visual detail
- Captions and transcripts for audio content
- Sign language for audio content
- Captions for tables, diagrams and graphs
Adaptable content presented in different ways
- Text increase and decrease options
- Automatic generation of page summaries
- Custom colour combinations
- Must work if zoomed in or on mobile/tablets
Content easier to see/hear
- Foreground and background colour contrasts
- Control for automatically played audio – could interfere with assistive devices
- Everything available by mouse also available by keyboard
Enough time to consume content
- Controls to stop or hide content that scrolls or moves
- Controls to adjust or stop time limits
- Session expire without losing data
Content that doesn’t cause physical reactions
- Avoid unnecessary flashing content with particular patterns that may trigger seizures etc
- Controls to switch off automatic animations
- Provide warnings before flashing content begins and alternatives where possible
Well organised content
- Clear titles and section headings used to organise pages
- If content is repeated on multiple pages, provide ways to bypass this
- Meaningful link text making what the link does very clear
- Use of whitespace to reduce clutter
Text content is understandable to broadest audience possible
- Identify the primary language of the web page
- Use simplest and most concise language possible
- Provide definitions for unusual words or phrases
Content is predictable
- No changes to the page without consent of user
- Navigation is in the same place on each page
- People are able to operate the website in a way that works for them
Help with user error
- Provide opportunities to correct or undo submissions
- Detailed instructions for complex functionality
- Feedback given if something goes wrong
- Content works well and flexibly with assistive technologies
- Content is compatible with different browsers
To find out more complete the below form to receive our free guide on improving accessibility.