Why Web Accessibility is So Important
Web accessibility is, in its bare essence, about creating digital solutions, digital design and content that can be used by all people on the web regardless of cognitive or motor skills.
Why is web accessibility important?
Web accessibility is also known as "universal design." The term emphasizes the focus that the solutions we build should be as useful as possible for the widest and most diverse audiences. Concrete examples of this could be: to ensure that color contrasts are not a problem for users with impaired vision; that you can navigate without the use of mouse; that users with dyslexia can get text read aloud; or that buttons and links can be hit by users with shaking or big thumbs. Accessibility is all about inclusiveness, a way to ensure that no one is excluded.
As more services become digital, the number of people using the Internet increases. There is a growing problem that the majority of websites cannot be accessed by everyone. Studies show that approximately 20% of the US population lives with a disability. For public institutions, it is essential that everyone can access information and self-service solutions on an equal footing. For private companies, 20% means the exclusion of up towards one fifth of the US population, and that is a colossal group to exclude from their business.
One of the biggest upsides to an accessible website is that it provides a better user experience for everyone, not just for people with disabilities. Who wouldn’t like to navigate via keyboard, see sharp color contours, or easily decode icons, links, input fields and images?
Still not convinced it's not just a good idea, but also good business to focus on web accessibility? Then you might want to read our blog on what accessibility means for your business.
The EU directive: Law on the accessibility of the websites and mobile applications of public sector bodies
Whether you are convinced or not, you must, as an employee of a public organization, consider web accessibility. On September 23, 2018, an EU directive entered into force to ensure accessibility of public organizations' websites and mobile applications. As of September 2019, all new websites are required to comply with the accessibility requirements of the directive. By September 2020, "old" websites (published before September 23, 2018) must be updated to also comply with the accessibility directive.
Small changes can make a difference
There are lots of things you can do yourself to create a more accessible website. It may seem like a big hurdle, so look at actionable areas on your website, and take it one step at a time. We’ve created a "Guide to Web Accessibility" to help you. Additionally, Siteimprove has a helpful color contrast checker you can use to see if any color improvements need to be made. Small changes can make a big difference.
Great user experiences - for everyone
We focus on developing digital solutions that meet the needs of a wide range of people, including users who have specific challenges, both physically and cognitively. At the same time, we focus on ensuring that the solutions we develop live up to general user-friendliness standards. We focus on developing solutions that are technically sound, semantically correct, and scalable.
Depending on who you and your customers are, we can help assess the level of accessibility you should strive for on your website.