Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Website Accessibility

Today i want to talk about Website Accessibility and why it is good business to be accessible. But first, there are a few important statistics out there about people with disabilities and the internet that I would like to share with you all:

1. People with Disabilities purchase 95% of their goods and services ONLINE!
2. 4 out of 10 people with disabilities spend an average of 20 hours per week conducting business online
3. Even people who cannot move their arms or legs and are paralysed from the neck down can operate a computer

With that said, let's think about Website Accessibility. When i ask you if your Web site is accessible to people with disabilities, I am asking two different types of questions.

1. Can a blind person or someone with low vision use your site? An accessible site will offer larger font options and will work hand in hand with a screen reader program. This type of program allows a blind person to hear what is on the page in front of them.
2. If your business is accessible and you have information about your building's access (ramps, parking, wide doors, etc...) online, is this information easy to find?

And what do you do about this if you answered "no" to these questions? The first thing to do is tell your Web master that you want to make your site accessible to blind people. They will know what to do. And then you should create a separate page with all of your access information and create an icon (the universal blue/white wheelchair symbol works great) on your main page that people can click on that takes them directly there. Too often this information is buried somewhere in the sight and people will often leave your site frustrated before they even find it.

1 comment:

Richard Morton said...

I think you are asking far more than just about whether a blind person can access your site with a screenreader.
What about can you access the site without using a mouse?, can you access the site if you aren't blind but have visual impairment?, can you access the site if you are dyslexix?, is it safe for you to access the site if you have photo-sensitive epilepsy?, etc.