Use of online shopping and the internet has increased at an unprecedented rate during the pandemic. It’s more important now than ever that your online content doesn’t provide barriers to users and customers. So how accessible is your company website? Is it easy to use? Is it suitable for people with disabilities?
The tenth Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) was 20 May 2021. It’s purpose is to promote digital access and inclusion – which is more important now than ever as more of our lives are increasingly lived online.
How Accessible is your Company Website?
It’s fair to say that we only understand what we know or experience. If you don’t have, for example, a sight disability, you might not have realised that your website is impossible to use for someone who has.
That’s why it’s important to run checks. Easy to use ones are automated. Even better, include disabled people and accessibility experts in your review.
You can learn more about assistive technology and accessibility tools on the GAAD website.
In addition, Disability Confident Leader, Microlink, has a free guide on digital accessibility with links to a range of resources to help your business evaluate your web and mobile accessibility.
Making your Website Accessible
Digital accessibility is much more than just about compliance. Plus which, automatic web and mobile accessibility evaluation tools can only help with testing, simple fixes and reporting. Ideally you should combine automatic testing with manual checks. Include disabled people and accessibility experts in your review if you can.
The Microlink website provides a list of resources to help you to check the accessibility of your website and digital content.
For example the Web2Access Audit Tool from the University of Southampton provides an automated review of your site. It then explains where you can make improvements. There’s even an Accessibility Statement template which you can personalise and use.
The Microlink website also provides further guidance and productivity tools for people with disabilities and health conditions in the work environment.
Accessibility is Important
Most of us think of disability in terms of wheelchair users, or has some kind of visible evidence that we can see and define. But disability is something that can be acquired during our lifetime – not necessarily something we’re born with. For example arthritis, dyslexia, anxiety… and hundreds of other things.
With 1 billion people having disabilities across the globe, it’s important to make sure they’re not excluded from your website.
Keep in touch
Make sure that you’re following our website and sign up for the Jones Harris enewsletter here