Ways To Make Your Website More Accessible
When you’re launching a website, there are many factors you need to consider. Among them is making it accessible for people with visual or hearing impairments. To ensure that your site can be accessed by anyone regardless of their ability, here are some ideas on how you can make your website more accessible.
Ensure your site has a good contrast
The contrast between the background and text color is important for people with visual impairments.
To ensure that the contrast is high enough, you can use the accessible color palette tool to check if the colors on your site meet the required contrast levels. You can also check if the background color of the site is high enough by putting a piece of paper behind it.
If you can’t see the paper, then your background is high enough contrast. For people with color blindness, you will also want to make sure your site meets the color contrast requirements for color blindness.
To do that, use the color accessibility palette tool to determine the contrast for people with color blindness.
Add video captions
If you have a video on your site, add captions to it so that people can understand the video better, even without sound. Captions can be helpful for those who are deaf or hard of hearing and anyone who might be in a place where they can’t hear the audio.
If you’re using a video hosting platform like YouTube, you can add captions to your videos by installing the CaptionTube app. CaptionTube allows you to create and edit captions and then automatically uploads them to your video’s YouTube page.
Captions are especially useful for videos that contain information about your products or services. This way, you can make your videos more accessible to people who prefer to watch them instead of reading information.
You can even add captions to your website so that viewers can read them with the video running in the background.
Use auditing tools
Not all people with visual impairments will be able to tell you if the text of your site is too small or if there aren’t enough alt tags on your images. This means that you might not know if you’re violating accessibility standards and potentially missing out on new customers.
To make sure your website is accessible, you can use auditing tools like the WAVE tool or the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) checklist. The WAVE tool will allow you to check for accessibility issues and let you know what you need to change in order to fix them.
For the WCAG checklist, you will want to go through each section and check if your site meets the requirements. Once you’ve gone through each section and figured out what changes you need to make, you can mark each section as “passed.”
This way, you can keep track of all the accessibility changes you’ve made and know where to go if you have questions.
Check your navigation and menus
The navigation and menus on your site are important for people with visual impairments. If you have a drop-down menu, make sure it’s high enough contrast so that people can see it.
When designing your website, you may want to consider using the “skip to content” button. This button will take the visitor directly to the content they want without having to navigate through the menus.
Another thing to note is that the navigation menu should be easy to understand. For example, don’t name your menu items as “About Us” and “Contact Us” if that isn’t what they lead to.
For people with auditory impairments, you will want to make sure your navigation and menus are loud enough. This means that you should try to avoid using words like “click” or “select” since they aren’t very loud words.
Add transcripts for videos
If you have a video on your site, you can add a transcript for it so that even people who can’t or don’t want to watch the video can still read the information. Adding transcripts to videos also helps someone who is deaf or hard of hearing to follow along.
If you’re using a video hosting platform like YouTube, you can add transcripts to your videos by using the CaptionTube app. Adding transcripts to your videos is a great way to expand the information your website provides.
For example, if you have a product overview video, you can add a transcript that includes things like the product name, price, and features it includes. If customers can read the information without watching the video, they can save time and can be more efficient with their time.
Include keyboard shortcuts
If you have a website with a lot of information, you may want to consider adding keyboard shortcuts to make your site more accessible. For example, you can create a shortcut that pulls up a “Contact Us” page with useful information for people who are blind.
The best way to implement keyboard shortcuts is to use the <a> tag and add the “href” attribute. This will allow you to link the button on your site to a different page or even open a new browser window.
You can even create a button that opens a virtual assistant like Siri or Google Assistant to help customers navigate your site better.
Add a skip-navigation button
If your website has a lot of information, you may want to consider adding a skip-navigation button. This button will allow people who have visual or auditory impairments to skip over the navigation menu and go straight to the information they want.
You can create a button that says “skip navigation” or “skip menu” and then place it in a place where it won’t be in the way of the people who are using it. For example, you may want to place the button in the upper-left corner of the website.
This way, it is out of the way and still easy for customers to find. You can also create a button that leads to the same page but with the navigation menu opened up.
When you launch a new website, accessibility should be at the top of your list of priorities. You can make your site more accessible for people with visual or hearing impairments by adjusting the color, font, and images used on the website. You can also add video captions and transcripts for videos.
When you’re designing your site, you may want to consider adding keyboard shortcuts and creating a skip-navigation button to make it easier for people to navigate.