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In today’s world, access to the digital world is a must. Whether you want to order a pizza, apply for a job or pay your rent, it’s like that you’ll be asked to do so online. For a long time, technology made life even harder—not easier—for those with disabilities. Those with impaired vision, hearing or mobility issues are finally being represented and having their rights to online accessibility instated.

The Importance of Website Accessibility Development

If you are having a new website developed or simply maintaining your existing website, it’s now essential that you make it accessible for those with disabilities. There are two reasons why website accessibility is important:

The first reason is that it’s the right thing to do. No one should be denied access to online resources that everyone else can freely access, such as websites. Just as you would never deny access to a disabled person who wanted to enter your brick and mortar store, you don’t want to deny access to your website.The second reason is that Title III of the Americans With Disabilities (ADA) Act states that all public areas must be accessible to disabled persons. Since the digital world is technically a public area, that includes websites. Case in point: A vision-impaired man recently won a lawsuit against Dominoes for not being able to place an order online, despite using his screen reader app. In short, your website is now legally required to be accessible.

What Are The Features of an Accessible Website?

Presently, there are no hard and fast guidelines as to what is required to make a website compliant with the ADA. However, most agree that an accessible website offers full access to everyone, including those with disabilities. Whatever a non-disabled person can do on your website, a disabled person should be able to accomplish the same things. This inherently means that an accessible website would have the following features, at a minimum:

  • Text alternatives for visual content
  • Availability of transcripts or summaries for embedded video or audio content
  • Closed captioning for live videos
  • Audio descriptions of videos
  • Responsive; content adapts to different-sized screens
  • Identification and explanations for input fields
  • Readily distinguishable foregrounds and backgrounds
  • Controls for audio and video
  • Minimal background noise on audio
  • No use of text images except on logos or where decorative
  • Adjustable text spacing
  • Keyboard accessibility
  • Control with keyboard

There are many more highly suggested criteria for making a website fully accessible, provided by the Web Accessibility Initiative. This resource is available to all, but it is designed to guide website developers to provide accessibility services to website owners. Notably, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) were cited often during the Dominoes ruling mentioned earlier.

No matter what you sell or what service you provide, whether you sell to consumers or B2B, it’s important that you do everything in your power to ensure that your website is accessible to everyone. The first step to take in this direction is to hire a website designer that is expert in accessibility services, such as Gravity Pixel. 

If you need to develop your business’ online presence through itemized web development services, get started with a project quote. We are ready to help ensure that your website is ADA-compliant and accessible to all who are interested in your business. Contact us today to learn more.

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