Based on the principle of Ethics most websites ought to be accessible to normal people as well as those with disabilities. However, is it really the case? Research carried out by experts points out that most websites have at least one failure on their homepage that makes it difficult for people with disabilities such as blindness and deafness to access and use the website.
These failures or disability barriers as they are called range from low-contrast text, to missing image alt text, to empty links.
To overcome this problem, it is advisable to get your website audited by an experienced and professional WordPress development company, who can quickly identify the errors and have them fixed. Below are some guidelines that can help you get started:
Use a theme that is accessibility- ready
Your WordPress development company will guide you to choose a them that is not complex, but friendly towards disabled people. Balasana and Mayland are excellent examples of accessibility-ready themes.
Ensure that site title and tagline are displayed
While certain themes may allow you to upload a custom header image, other themes may not allow alternative text, or a written copy that appears in place of an image, in case the image does not get uploaded on your visitor’s screen. In such instances, it is advisable to display your site title and tagline text in text.
Put appropriate headings on pages and posts
It is essential that visitors read and follow your content. For this you must use the Heading Block to add headings and to organize pages and posts. The “i” icon in the top toolbar of the block editor indicates errors and incorrect heading sizes.
Choose appropriate fonts and colors
Select those fonts and colors that improve the visual aesthetics of your site. Avoid fonts, sizes and colors that make your site difficult to read. Secondly ensure that there is contrast between darkness of the text and lightness of the background.
Put a description around your links
It is a best practice to describe what your link is about by putting descriptive text around it instead of just using the words “click here”.
Put captions on images
Always add a caption on an image to indicate to visitors what the image is about. This improves the user experience and provides more context to your website visitors.
Put alt text to your images
Always remember to add alt text to your images. Firstly, it helps in SEO and secondly it is vital for blind people as they can hear alt text aloud. Alt text is also facilitated by screen readers.
Build easy-to-find CTAs (Call-to-Action)
It is a good idea to create call-to-action buttons to important pages and posts on your website. For this you may hire a WordPress development company and they will implement the tasks for you quickly and professionally.
Handle Multimedia content with care
Ensure that any multimedia content used is handled carefully. This means that for both audio and video functions, files must be available and working, buttons must be functional and wherever required transcripts and captions must be available. Transcripts work best with people who have disabilities since by documenting speech, sounds, as well as actions seen on-screen, viewers are able to correlate the context.
With multimedia content, also ensure that video and audio content does not auto-play, and options to pause or adjust the volume are easily visible on the page.
Always try and improvise
The above best practices serve as a guideline, but it is recommended to always do more and learn new ways to improvise and make your website more accessible to people with disabilities.
Making your website accessible for people with disabilities is an essential element of web development. It has a bearing on SEO and how your website ranks in search engine result pages. Also, looking at the social aspect, it is a good idea to plan and implement a strategy to make your website more accessible for people with special needs and disabilities.