Almost everyone takes the ability to access the internet for granted whenever they want. However, for some people, this is not a reality. Many people cannot access the internet at all because of disabilities that prevent them from using traditional web browsers and interfaces, according to experts like accessiBe. Website accessibility is the term used to describe making websites accessible to everyone, regardless of their abilities. This includes making sure all content is accessible through screen readers, providing clear and concise text alternatives for images, and avoiding unnecessary use of color.
Here are some tips to help you create accessible websites.
Use semantic HTML elements
Make sure to use tags that are appropriate for the content on your page, such as <p> for paragraphs, <table> for data tables, and <img /> to include images. Also make sure to use a logical document structure where headings (<h1>,<h2>,<h3> for example) are used to indicate the relative importance of sections.
Use WAI-ARIA landmarks
WAI-ARIA, or “Web Accessibility Initiative – Accessible Rich Internet Applications,” is a standard that defines how website content can be made accessible. You can include these landmarks in HTML code to ensure screen readers read each section of content properly. For example, using the <main> element for main page content and <aside> for secondary sidebar information can make it easier to navigate through your site.
Use well-written HTML5 code
Your HTML code must be valid and well-written because it will result in much better accessibility for blind and visually impaired users. Using HTML5 code instead of an old HTML standard, like HTML 4.01 or XHTML 1.0 Strict, is a good idea because it’s more lightweight and semantic than older coding methods, which can cause problems with screen readers Lynx Technology.
Avoid using image links.
Never use images as links. This is because screen readers rely on anchor text to convey the destination of a link, and if you use an image as the source of the link, there is no way for someone using a screen reader to know where the link goes. When you need to use an image as a link, be sure to include alternative text that describes the link’s destination in case the image cannot be accessed.
Maintain a useful tab order
Make sure your website’s tab order is logical and easy to follow because many screen readers rely on this ordering to determine where a user is on a page. To do this, select headings with the <h1> through <h6> tags and the focus order by using the tabindex=”1″ attribute . For example, if your homepage has a heading with a <h1> tag, make sure it is the first button in the tab index. Also, ensure that your navigation buttons are included in the tab index so that people can easily navigate to each section of your website.
Avoid using color as the only way to convey information.
Use text to describe what your images and other graphics mean when possible. For example, if there is a picture of green light, it may be impossible for someone who can’t see to know that this image means “go” unless you also include the word go next to the picture. It’s also important to avoid using color combinations that are difficult for people with colorblindness to read.
Nielsen Norman Group estimates that about one out of every 200 people online has some sort of visual impairment, so you must focus on making websites accessible for everyone if you want your business to succeed. The more accessible your website is for these users, the more marketable your product or service is.