by Christine Scott

There are a billion people in the world with some form of disability according to World Bank. That means about 15% of the world’s population has difficulty accessing or navigating the web because of it. Creating a disability-friendly website will help you increase the number of potential new viewers by tapping into an entirely new demographic that many don’t think to consider. Making minor changes  to your businesses website can make a world of a difference, and is simple to execute. Here are 4 simple tips to make your company’s website disability-friendly:

Create Alt- Tags

Alt- tags are the little words that pop up when you hover your mouse over an image or graphic.  Someone who is visually impaired and uses a screen reader will need a text to identify what the image is. According to the World Health Organization, 285 million people worldwide are visually impaired and these numbers only continue to increase with the growing senior citizen population. That means there will be a lot more people using screen readers in the near future. When creating an Alt-tag describe the image accurately and concisely. For example: if the image is of Beyoncé write out her name in the Alt-tag to accompany it.

Offer A Wider Clickable Range

A person with mobility problems may have difficulty clicking on specific items on your webpage because of its clickability range (the area or text that is hyperlinked to a secondary source). Imagine browsing a website on your mobile device that isn’t mobile friendly; it’s the absolute worst. You find yourself getting frustrated because you cant read the text or have to zoom in and out of the page because the hyperlinked text is too small. Well, that’s how a person with mobility problems feels when using certain webpages. By widening the clickable area of the hyperlinked text, the user will be able to locate the links much easier. Widening the clickable space on your website isn’t difficult at all. Here is an easy to follow tutorial from Webcredible.

Add Subtitles

If your website includes video content you should provide subtitles or give the option of subtitle conversion. People who are hearing impaired or suffer from hearing loss will now be able to interact with your videos. YouTube already allows users to add subtitles, so this can be an easy fix if your website hosts videos from this platform. Another beneficial option is to create a transcript PDF of the video.

No More “Click Here” Actions

If you’re going to embed a link in a blog post then you should describe the link rather than direct the reader to “click here.”  For example: hyperlinking the sentence “Learn the difference between Vector and Raster Graphics” is better than “To learn the difference between Vector and Raster Graphics, click here.” It makes the link more prominent and easier to locate within the context of a post. In addition, underlining and color contrasting links within posts allow those who are colorblind to locate the link with little to no difficulty.

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