February 22, 2023
  |   Ecommerce, Technical Development

Accessibility: Your Business’s Top Priority for 2023

What is Accessibility?

Web accessibility refers to the practice of making websites usable and accessible to everyone, including individuals with disabilities. The goal of web accessibility is to ensure that everyone, regardless of their abilities, can access all available content. Nowadays, websites play a key resource for information, communication, and entertainment, in which accessibility helps make it available to everyone. 

However, in today’s world, many websites are not designed with accessibility in mind. They can make it difficult or almost impossible for some individuals to use them, especially those with disabilities such as visual, hearing, motor, and/or cognitive impairments. How often do you rely on a website to shop? Read the news? Pay a bill? This is where accessibility falls behind for those who have a disability and do not have the same experience as everyone else. 

In order to create an accessible website, there are several key areas to focus on, such as technology, design, content, navigation, and device compatibility.  

Top Accessibility Issues Overlooked

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) covers a wide range of recommendations for making Web content more accessible. Some you may not have known deal directly with accessibility issues on your website:  

Color Contrast

  • Color is not the only indicator to convey meaning
  • There is clear contrast between all text and its background
  • All content that uses color should have an expected color contrast ratio of 4.5:1 
  • Large-scale text and images of large-scale text have a contrast ratio of at least 3:1

Keyboard Navigation

  • Elements receive focus in an order that preserves meaning
  • All interactive elements receive keyboard focus
  • Keyboard interaction and navigation is never trapped in a component
  • There is a visual indicator of focus at each tab stop

Headings, Link Names, and Page Titles

  • Headings are informative to its corresponding content
  • All links and buttons are descriptive in letting the user know what action is being taken or what page they are being taken to.
  • All form fields and controls have visible text labels
  • Page titles are unique and match the H1 of that page
  • Link names make sense on their own
  • Links with the same name must point to the same target

Alternative Text for Images

  • Describe the image to those who are in some way visually impaired or blind
  • All meaningful graphics have alternative text for users with assistive technology
  • Decorative images are hidden from screen reader users
  • Alternative texts are descriptive enough for the user to gain the same experience as sighted users 

These issues are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to following accessibility guidelines. It is both a usability and legal requirement, met by making a site perceivableoperableunderstandable, and robust in over 50 ways.

A Digital Solution and Next Steps to Take

This is where Blue Acorn iCi steps in. Our certified in-house professionals can provide proper accessibility support. Whether it’s providing remediation, accessibility training, or reviews, we’re here to pave the way so you fully understand what needs to be accessible. We can help identify the issues at hand and act to provide immediate solutions. 

Remember, accessibility requires an ongoing approach, not just a one time solution.

In conclusion, web accessibility is a crucial aspect of digital design and development. By ensuring your website is accessible to everyone, you are not only making it usable for individuals with disabilities, you are also improving the overall user experience for anyone that visits your website. 

Need help optimizing your accessibility or unsure where to start? The Blue Acorn iCi team is here to help with your accessibility needs. Contact us to learn more about how our services can provide an accessible solution. 

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