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A red tag with 'Access All Areas' written on it: What is reserved to VIPs in the entertainment industry bears the question in the media industry: Is your website optimised for accessibility?

Access All Areas: Is your website optimised for accessibility?

 

What is web accessibility?

Web accessibility refers to the inclusive practice of removing barriers that prevent interaction with, or access to websites, by people with disabilities. When sites are correctly designed, developed and edited, all users have equal access to information and functionality.” – Wikipedia

 

How many of your customers need accessible websites?

“One billion people, or 15 percent of the world’s population, experience some form of disability, and disability prevalence is higher for developing countries. One-fifth of the estimated global total, or between 110 million and 190 million people, experience significant disabilities.” – The World Bank

According to WHO, there are 285 million people worldwide who, due to some disability (i.e. they are suffering with low vision), cannot read all content on a website. 39 million of those people are blind and cannot access any of the content via sight.

Additionally, there are 360 million people suffering from hearing loss worldwide.” – SitePoint

“According to the Office for National Statistics, in May 2015, 27% of disabled adults had never used the internet, compared to 11% of non-disabled adults.” – The Guardian

 

Being web accessibility compliant is easy

There are numerous guides with best practices and tips:

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has not only a whole section on accessibility, but also run an entire Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI).

They have a list of requirements for providing text to act as an alternative for images. They also provide tutorials how to best make images accessible.

Web Accessibility In Mind (WebAIM) has a useful article on designing for screen reader compatibility.

web-accessibility provides a guide for people with hearing impairment.

W3C also published an overview on how people with disabilities use the web.

 

Checking if your website is accessible is even easier

Nothing can replace the feedback of an actual human being, but for a quick check where your website might be not accessible, there’s a list of easy to use, web-based accessibility evaluation tools.

 

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