What is website accessibility and why should I care?

Graphic of a person writing "Website Accessibility" on a window
Jun 29 2022 BUSINESS & TECH

According to Scope, there are currently 14.1 million people in the UK with a disability and 19% of all working adults are classed as disabled. Just like everyone else, these populations need or want to use mobile apps and websites as part of their everyday lives. But sometimes it can be more difficult when the website has poor accessibility design and lacks accessibility functions. 

What is website accessibility? 

Website accessibility is all about making your website accessible to everyone, especially people with disabilities which could make using a standard website more difficult. The best websites ensure everyone can use the website seamlessly by providing additional features to overcome a wide variety of disabilities.

Some groups that don’t make their website accessible are deemed to have breached the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and the Equality Act 2010.  

Why should I make my website accessible? 

The UK Government has created strict requirements for all public sector websites and mobile apps. These websites and apps must be accessible and functional to everyone, including those with visual, motor and auditory difficulties. Unfortunately, one study into public sector websites found that 40% of homepages failed to meet the government’s website accessibility requirements.  

If you own a private business website, it isn’t mandatory to create a website that is accessible to people with disabilities – but that shouldn’t stop you from wanting an accessible website. Businesses should see website accessibility as an opportunity and investment with the possibility for good returns, rather than an additional expense.  

By owning a website that caters to more people, you can grow your share of the market and increase website profitability over the long term. Whereas competitors may not be able, or willing, to provide a website service that meets a segment of the available market, you could. This will simultaneously enhance your brand and position your business as an inclusive business that goes the extra mile.  

How to make your website more accessible 

Now we know what website accessibility is and why you should care, how do you make a website more accessible? There are additional features and services a website can provide that makes it accessible to certain populations. You’ve probably seen some of them before, even if you can’t think of any right now.  

Here are just some of the common ways that websites can be made more accessible: 

  1. Choose the right text and background colours 
  2. Enable the text size to be increased 
  3. Provide screen reader functionality (and add Alt text to images!) 
  4. Add keyboard navigation 
  5. Create videos with audio description 
  6. Don’t use placeholder text in contact forms 
  7. Don’t use too many tables 

Speak to a WEBPRO Creative developer to find out more and ask your website accessibility questions!

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