What is web accessibility and how to implement it?
It is important to take into account the different needs of the users when developing a website. Web accessibility is key so that everyone can understand and navigate your content. We show you the keys to achieve it!
Nowadays, having a website has become essential for the development of any business. Whatever the sector, having a website allows you to greatly expand the audience for your company's digital services. However, according to the GAAD Foundation (Global Accessibility Awareness Day), more than 1 billion people have disabilities or impairments (hearing, visual, physical and cognitive). Therefore it is key to ensure equal participation of all people on the Internet through web accessibility.
Web accessibility is so important that every third Thursday of May is celebrated as World Web Accessibility Day.
The aim of this is to promote digital access and inclusion of people with disabilities. And as we are increasingly aware of the needs that different users may have, in this post we tell you everything you need to know about web accessibility and how you can implement it.
What is web accessibility?
Digital accessibility brings together a set of recommendations and combines design, as well as technology and programming, to create websites, applications or any online environment perfectly accessible to all people. In this way, we can guarantee a barrier-free Internet that will allow all users to understand, learn, navigate and interact with our website.
In this sense, there is an international consortium that defines the international standards for web pages called World Web Consortium (W3C).
Within this institution is the World Accessibility Initiative (WAI). This initiative is in charge of creating and publishing accessibility standards and support materials that serve as a guide for developers of web content, apps, tools or programs to implement digital accessibility.
Benefits/advantages of making a website accessible
Having an accessible website not only promotes user equality, but it can also bring many advantages for your business. Here are some of the benefits.
- Increase of potential visits.
- Increased loading speed.
- Improved positioning and online reputation.
- Bandwidth savings.
- Greater compatibility with browsers and devices.
How do you know if your website is already accessible?
Now that you know what web accessibility is, how do I know if my website is accessible? According to the W3C, there are three levels of web accessibility:
- Level A
This is the least demanding level and includes web pages that meet certain compliance criteria defined by the WCAG. For example: incorporation of subtitles, or text alternatives for audio or video recordings.
- Level AA
This is the intermediate level and is required by web access certification bodies. It includes web pages that meet more advanced criteria such as the availability of live audio captions, audio descriptions, among others.
- Level AAA
This is the highest level and includes web pages that meet the most stringent criteria such as explanations in sign language, extended audio descriptions, among others.
There are several online applications that allow you to check the accessibility level of your website. Some of the most recognized tools are the Web Accessibility Test (TAW), Hera, and AChecker. However, it is advisable to have a professional do this analysis from the moment you start developing your website.
Tips to improve the accessibility of your website
Here are some tips that will help you improve the accessibility of your website.
- Incorporate the possibility of turning off videos or gifs displayed on your web page.
- Use transcripts and captions on videos.
- Label photos, graphics and buttons so that visually impaired people can hear the visual elements of the page.
- Introduce autocomplete for forms.
- Explicitly explain options for people with different needs.
- Use a clear design that makes it easy for users to navigate your website. For example, you can enlarge the size of the contents of your web page, use concise and easy to understand language.
- Design web pages that load faster.
- Make sure your page can be moved with the keyboard and not only with the mouse.
Promoting digital accessibility is key in a world that is increasingly focused on digital. For this reason, we must bet on online environments without barriers. What are you waiting for to improve the accessibility of your website?