What Is Web Accessibility? [2-Minute Snippet]

The internet is one of the most important tools at our disposal. Whether it’s video conferencing with a client or coworker, checking the weather for your evening commute, or getting the latest updates on current events, access and ability to use the internet has become an integral part of our day-to-day experience.

At the most fundamental level, using the internet requires using a mouse, keyboard, or touchscreen; reading blocks of text written in small fonts with single-line spacing; deciphering differences in color to follow links, directions, or prompts; listening to instructions in how-to videos or consuming daily news, and so on. For folks with disabilities, these requirements can limit their access to the internet.

According to the Center for Disease Control, one in five adults has a disability. Further, according to the World Health Organization, almost everyone will experience a permanent or temporary disability at some point in their lives. 

Enter Web Accessibility

Web accessibility ensures that the largest number of people possible has access to all functionalities of your website, whenever they need it.

We recommend following the accessibility requirements laid out in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0), reaching Level AA. Some of the guidelines include:

  • All non-text content must have a text alternative that serves the same purpose
  • Captions must be provided for prerecorded audio content
  • Text must have a contrast level of 4.5:1
  • The page doesn’t have anything that flashes more than three times in one second, or the flash is below the general flash and red flash thresholds

The full list of Level AA requirements can seem daunting on first glance, but they’ve created a WCAG 2.0 checklist to make sure the process is easier to swallow.

Why You Should Care

There are many reasons why web accessibility has tremendous benefits—more site traffic, more leads and conversions, better SEO, and higher ranking, to name a few— but the most important benefit is plain and simple. With an accessible website, no users—whether they’re able-bodied, temporarily disabled, or permanently disabled—will be excluded or shut out by barriers presented by your website.

Want more information on how Olive & Co. tackles website redesign projects? Understand our process on the growth-driven web design section of our blog.