Website accessibility is the practice of ensuring that your website can be easily used by people with disabilities. This includes people who are blind, have low vision, are deaf or hard of hearing, or have mobility impairments.
According to the World Health Organization, there are over 1 billion people with disabilities worldwide. This is a significant portion of the population that could potentially benefit from accessible websites. In the United States, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that all public accommodations, including websites, be accessible to people with disabilities. In the European Union, the Web Accessibility Directive requires that all public sector websites and mobile apps be made accessible by September 23, 2020.
Not only is website accessibility the right thing to do, but it also has practical and financial benefits. A study by the Pew Research Center found that 15% of adults in the United States have a disability that impacts their use of the internet. This means that by making your website accessible, you are potentially opening it up to a wider audience, including people with disabilities and older individuals who may have difficulty using the internet. This can lead to increased traffic and potentially increased revenue.
In a survey of web developers, 71% agreed that making a website accessible is important, but only 40% said they always prioritize accessibility in their work. This highlights the importance of making accessibility a priority in web design and development.
Making a website accessible can also lead to increased traffic and revenue. A study by the Royal National Institute of Blind People found that accessible websites had an average of 12% more traffic compared to non-accessible websites. In a survey of users with disabilities, 71% said they would be more likely to make a purchase on an accessible website.
So, how do you make sure your website is accessible? There are a number of best practices to follow, including:
- Use clear and descriptive headings and subheadings to help users navigate your website.
- Use descriptive and meaningful alt text for images to provide context for users who are unable to see the images.
- Use proper color contrast to ensure that text is easy to read for people with low vision.
- Provide transcripts for audio and video content to make it accessible for users who are deaf or hard of hearing.
- Use descriptive link text to help users understand where a link will take them.
By following these best practices and regularly testing your website for accessibility, you can ensure that your website is accessible to all users. Taking the time to make your website accessible is not only the right thing to do, but it can also lead to increased traffic and revenue for your business.