2 min read . July 10, 2021

Web accessibility isn’t just a fancy add-on. It’s an essential part of the digital world. Why? Because it ensures that everyone, regardless of their abilities, can access and use web content.

Imagine being unable to read your favorite blog because the text is too small. Or struggling to navigate a website because it’s not compatible with your screen reader. Frustrating, right? That’s what people with disabilities experience when websites aren’t accessible.

According to the World Health Organization, over 1 billion people worldwide have some form of disability. That’s 15% of the global population! Can you afford to exclude such a significant portion of potential users?

Moreover, web accessibility isn’t just about inclusivity; it also makes business sense. An accessible website reaches more people, improves SEO performance, and reduces legal risks.

Remember when Domino’s Pizza was sued for having an inaccessible website? The case highlighted the importance of web accessibility in avoiding costly lawsuits.

Breaking Down the Basics of Web Accessibility

So what exactly is web accessibility? Simply put, it means making your website usable for everyone – including those with visual, auditory, cognitive or physical impairments.

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) provide a roadmap for achieving this goal. They outline four key principles: perceivable, operable, understandable and robust (POUR).

Perceivable means that users must be able to perceive the information being presented. This could mean providing alt text for images or captions for videos.

Operable refers to ensuring that all functionalities can be performed by all users. For instance, every action should be doable via keyboard for those who can’t use a mouse.

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Understandable implies that both the information and operation of the user interface must be understandable. Avoid complex language and ensure consistent navigation.

Robust suggests that content must be robust enough to work reliably across different technologies like assistive devices or older browsers.

The Real-World Impact of Inaccessible Websites

Inaccessible websites don’t just frustrate users; they also exclude them from participating fully in society. Today’s world is increasingly digital – we shop online, learn online and connect with others online.

When websites are inaccessible, individuals with disabilities are denied these opportunities. They face barriers in education, employment and social participation – areas fundamental to quality of life.

For businesses too, inaccessible websites have real-world impacts. They limit market reach and damage brand reputation. A survey by Click-Away Pound found that 71% of disabled customers will leave a site that they find difficult to use.

Furthermore, there are legal implications as well. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) mandates businesses to make their websites accessible or face penalties.

Achieving web accessibility may seem daunting at first glance but remember – it’s not just about ticking boxes on a checklist; it’s about creating an inclusive digital environment where everyone has equal access and opportunity.

Is web accessibility worth investing in? Absolutely! It benefits users and businesses alike while fostering inclusivity in our increasingly digital world.

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