Accessibility Online

I, myself, am hemiplegic, so when I hear that properties are ‘accessible’, it normally means my most dreaded thing…. Ramps. Now I understand that it is hard to accommodate for all in the real world but in digital marketing, small considerations make a real difference.

Accessibility Online

After all, being accessible online means users can engage, acquire information and enjoy your content in exactly the same way. There’s a great, but slightly overwhelming, WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) online to review but remember, when tech changes, so does the WCAG version.


The W3C break things down into three main sections:


Perceivable 

Is your content presented in a way that people can perceive regardless of hearing, seeing etc?


Operable

Make sure your navigation and components are operable to all. Is your website controllable by keyboard? Do you have flashes in video that could trigger epilepsy? 


Understandable 

Is the information and navigation understandable by all? Is it clear and predictable?


Robust 

Is your website robust enough to work with assisted technologies such as screen readers etc?


As an agency we work in two different disciplines; Digital design & motion design so what are the main considerations for both?


Video considerations:

  • Include closed captions so people can read the subtitles

  • Include complete transcripts for people to read or use screen readers, in its entirety

  • Be careful of low contrast colours

  • Use clear legible fonts

  • Consider using people so users can lip read

  • Make sure audio is engineered to be clear and loud


Web Considerations:

  • Use clear legible fonts

  • Turn URLs into informative words for screen readers so that it’s a clear link. But try not to include full addresses including https://www.wearedrum.com, followed by 50 characters that readers will read one by one

  • Make sure CTAs are informative for screen readers. ‘Click here’ would become I want to find out more about Drum

  • Alt tags are a must but forget about SEO for a moment, these should be a description of the image

  • Finally consider your text layout. Use a structured layout so it goes h1, h2, body, bullet for example so it can be read how it is intended


There are so many reasons users need accessible content. Here are just a few.


First let’s consider visual impairments. Now, people always consider blindness but there are 3 different visual impairments; being blind, having low or altered vision and colour blindness. 


Blindness - Make sure readers can scan and understand your site's content and structure. 


Low vision - Consider font size, contrast, large images and font legibility. The best readable fonts are Helvetica, Arial, Verdana and Calibri.


Colour blind - Change colours to icons. Change your red and greens to ticks and crosses.


Viewers could have hearing issues so make your visuals illustrate what the voice is saying. And then ask yourself, is it loud enough? Can users obtain the same information as if they had no hearing issues?


One disability sometimes overlooked is motor function. People could be paralysed, have limb loss, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, arthritis. The list is endless! Users may use voice search or control your site independently by the keyboard or mouse.


Finally, cognition. Users could have issues with memory, concentration, literacy, numeracy. The content should be simple, easy to understand and navigate, but most of all predictable with universal design.


Accessibility considerations are huge. 


Ramps into property are like screen readers online, they may work for some, but certainly not all. Don’t forget the users with disabilities that don’t conform to the stereotype. 


Engage, delight and inform your audience. With accessibility at the heart of your next scope, your audience reach grows as does your brand.


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We’ve just completed a gov.uk website with accessibility in mind. If you’d like help on your next project or would like an accessibility audit on your current marketing, get in touch with DRUM.