• Emily Moore

Is your website accessible?

I think we all have won an argument through Google. When tensions get high and bickering ensues, the majority of us have whipped out our phones and searched the World Wide Web in order to win the argument. It's almost a basic instinct now that the answer to every question we ask will be found with your nearest search engine. But what if it weren't available? What if whilst everyone around you could find answers you were left in the dark?

Website accessibility is creating an online platform that can be accessed by those with sight, hearing, physical and mental disabilities. We live in a society that is promoting individuality and identity and given that we are all inherently different, so are our needs. Building a website that can be used by everyone is key to growing your organisation.

The Governments Family Resources Survey 2020/2021, recorded that one in five people of working-age reported having a disability. Making your website accessible will not only allow a more diverse audience of people to explore your company but it will have benefits to your organisation. Closing the doors on 20% of your available audience can majorly reduce and limit your customers. Being accessible promotes inclusion and gives more people the chance to enter the World Wide Web. In an era of digital advancement, creating a welcoming platform for anyone who is browsing the internet will not only gain you and your brand more customers but gives everyone who chooses to browse the internet the same sea of information at their fingertips.

But it's not just those with disabilities. Some older generations are not as technologically savvy as we who grew up around it. For those of us with grandparents you might know what it's like to be on call for any technological need that might crop up. For them it's a foreign language they don't understand and with banking, bills, messaging and social media all being online they can feel left out. So putting as little as subtitles on your videos can make a massive difference.

A whopping 75% of those who have difficulty with website access would rather pay more to use an accessible website! So providing simple things like transcriptions for video and audio materials enables people who have hearing trouble or learning difficulties to read at their own pace and give them space to scroll your webpage at their leisure.

Physical disabilities can alter the way you use technology, whether you rely on mobile phones or laptops the website you are browsing should be compatible. As mobile phones assist us regularly, they are normally our first port of call for searching the internet. But you may have stumbled upon pages which look rather bizarre because they don't have a different format for mobile phones making them much harder to use causing you to abandon the website altogether. Some physical disabilities mean relying on prosthetic or motor control hands to scroll through websites. But they must do this using arrow keys on a keyboard and not a mouse. Having a website that allows you to use scroll keys to navigate will let people explore more than just the front screen of your website!

Providing the simple assuraties of a well planned and organised website means it lets the customer flow through the webpage giving them a look at all the services which may be available. Giving individuals a sense of comfort in an easily accessed online space is not to be taken for granted. There are loads of resources and information which allow you to create a more accessible space and moving forward it is an encouraging change to see, as those who choose to create more open spaces can open doors for a lot of people.


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