Let’s have a few tips today on how to make your web design more accessible.
Think about those people who are most prone to staying at home and using the internet for the company. Probably, between 20 to 30 % of them are disabled in some form. You need to take this into account when you are creating your web pages. Actually, in Britain there is a law stating that any web design created there has to take the disabled into account and make the pages’ user friendly for those with sight or hearing impairments. A similar act is in place in the USA. That’s the “508 Act”. Now knowing about it and being able to set your web design up to meet those requirements needs a little know how.
First you need to look at what kinds of disabilities the users might be facing.
The Visually Impaired
These people might not be but totally blind or might be for instants have color blindness.
1. So don’t use Red buttons.
2. Use large fonts not tiny little ones.
Now just as you were saying oh this is impossible you need to take a deep breath and say thanks to the W3C, who are the World Wide Web Consortium. They have created a list of standard practices and guidelines for the internet together with a range of tools you can use for your accessibility design.
An additional source for you is WAVE where you can see the actual set up of a web page with the icons in place. If your web page is already set up, you can also check it at this web site by entering the URL, and it will check it for you.
Color blindness problems on your page can be picked out by the Color Blindness Simulator. This can also be done by Color Oracle. These tests are done online and show any difficulties that disabled people might encounter.
Understanding the Legal Aspect of Disability
You need to understand that although your country might not yet have a law in place dealing with this aspect it is something that is coming more to the façade all over the world and its better to deal with it early and make it known to your clients (Who will think you very knowledgeable) By point these kinds of items out to them, you will be showing that you are far sighted in their interests as well. You do not want them missing out on about 25 % of their possible clientele. The tools to do so are available to use so take the step and use them and at the same time make it a selling point to your clients.
I have a friend who has a hearing impairment. To say the very least of it, she is deaf. As such she faced a huge handicap with many websites that deal in video. To enable her to “hear” she has installed a program on her computer, which translates speech into the text. If, however, the option was there on each web site to read the text in place of having to “Listen” certain misconceptions would be eliminated.
It’s something to think about. According to the survey done by the Disability Center in Denmark up to 25 % of the people on the internet have some kind of disability they are coping with. Do you want to miss 25 % of your audience?