Corporate communicators have a legal requirement to make their content accessible by disabled people. One in five of the population has some type of disability. If your website cannot be used by them then you are potentially missing out a good 20% of your potential market.
The World Wide Web Consortium, 3w.org, has done a lot of work to help website designers make their content accessible. It has devised a framework which says sites and features on sites should be perceivable, operable, understandable and robust:
- Provide text alternatives for non-text content.
- Provide captions and alternatives for audio and video content.
- Make content adaptable; and make it available to assistive technologies.
- Use sufficient contrast to make things easy to see and hear.
- Make all functionality keyboard accessible.
- Give users enough time to read and use content.
- Do not use content that causes seizures.
- Help users navigate and find content.
- Make text readable and understandable.
- Make content appear and operate in predictable ways.
- Help users avoid and correct mistakes.
- Maximize compatibility with current and future technologies.
Even better it has devised a series of quick tests so that when the site is designed it can be tested against simple criteria for accessibility.
Here’s an example of a bad home page:
And this is the same page made more accessible:
The differences are subtle but essential for accesibility. Who can spot the most differences?
And you can win a free e-elarning course from ContentETC when you get the best caption in our Caption Competition.