What is accessibility?
Web accessibility is the practice of ensuring that everyone - including people with disabilities - can utilize the full functionality of a website. There is a variety of aspects that contribute to a website’s accessibility, such as: textual descriptions for images, font styles, color contrast, subtitles in videos and much more.
The primary goal of web accessibility is to remove all barriers online, specifically related to the four major categories of disabilities: visual, hearing, motor, and cognitive. This is achieved through alternative methods of navigation and interactivity within the website, relying on multiple senses. Accessibility also involves assistive technology, such as screen readers or speech input software, that help disabled users in accessing web pages.
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Creating an accessible website
One of the simplest ways to ensure that you create an accessible website, is by using Wix, whose templates are designer made with web accessibility in mind. More specifically, you should pay attention to the following items in order to make sure your website is fully accessible to individuals with disabilities:
Alternative text on images: Adding accurate alt text for images is crucial for individuals with visual impairments. This descriptive text is a brief explanation of what is shown in the image, and is used by screen readers, crawlers like Google’s bots, and any browser when an image fails to load properly.
Keyboard navigation: Individuals with some physical impairments may not be able to use a mouse to navigate your site. Be sure that all functionality on your site is equally accessible from the keyboard.
Textual hierarchy: Headings are used for navigation by screen readers. All headings should be bolded or placed in larger font with the proper tag. Every page needs a title in an H1 tag, and there cannot be a duplicate title tag.
High color contrast: The color of your content and the site’s background must have a high contrast ratio. There are several tools online that can test your color ratio and offer suggestions.
Type: The typography used on your website should be easily legible, so your font size should be at least 14pt, and the number of characters per line should not exceed 80. Limit the number of fonts used on your website to around two or three.
Video captions: Always include closed captions in your videos for individuals with hearing impairments, and transcripts or textual descriptions for audio files.
Links: All clickable text should be descriptive, as well as highlighted in a different color and underlined. Refrain from underlining any text other than links.
Web accessibility guidelines
The most well known standard for web accessibility guidelines is the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), developed by the Web Accessibility Initiative and the World Wide Web Consortium.