Have you ever wondered if your website is accessible to everyone? It’s something that a lot of business owners and marketing managers don’t think about. But it’s important! In this blog post, we’re going to teach you what web accessibility is. Also why it matters, and how you can make your website more accessible. We’ll also show you some resources that can help you get started. So read on for all the details!
Did you know that over 4.4 million Australians live with some sort of disability?
According to a report written last year (which you can find here), it is amongst these Australians that over 2 million have hearing issues. 600 000 have impaired vision. And 10-15% of the population are either neurodiverse or suffer with learning difficulties.
Access to the web is still an issue in our modern day society. Accessibility to the internet is about creating content, data, tools. And design that can be utilised by everyone regardless of their ability or disability.
It is vital to our society’s equilibrium for us ALL to be provided equal opportunity and equal access to the internet. In the same way that it is vital for buildings to be accessible to all.
Even those who are ageing can be classified as having a disability when it comes to using the web as they might have arthritis and find it hard to use a mouse attached to their device. Another example is that perhaps due to a lack of cognitive abilities, they are not able to use a website that’s operating menu is not simple to use.
To assist with the accessibility to the web, for example, the Council of Europe has implemented objectives to improve access to the Internet. So, everyone has the ability to benefit from the opportunities that it offers. Their goals are to:
Make the Internet accessible to people with disabilities to assist in the improvement of their quality of life.
Promoting the Internet and e-accessibility as a public service concept.
Motivating the use of communication/information technologies to fortify the participation of the public in the governance of the Internet and demonstrate practices.
Now, what would you think if we implemented these objectives to our country’s accessibility to the web? This could make a huge difference to the way people access information and communicate on the web each day.
According to a report provided by the UN, one of the issues linked to the causes of inaccessibility to the Internet is email accessibility. You can read the full report here.
To millions of people around the world, having an email or some sort of messaging/online communication is actually considered a luxury. Many of us can go onto the web and set up an email account within minutes. But people with disabilities have a harder time with this.
Email accessibility is not just about complying with specific regulations. It is about assisting people with disabilities and ALL people to read and/or interact with their emails. We live in with subscriber lists, e-commerce shops, banking and thousands of other services that require email to access era. It is paramount that email is available and accessible to all.
We talked to one disability support worker who works in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. She told us being a disability support worker has opened her eyes to how some people can’t access the Internet simply. She told us about one of her client’s who has Down Syndrome and that he has a phone. He is only able to access the Internet icon on his phone. When it comes to searching for something, he doesn’t know to type into the search bar.
It is to be applauded that we have microphones in our phones that can use our voice to search for words. The support worker’s client doesn’t have the ability to use that option either. So how do we fix this?
It is our hope that by making the Internet more accessible to people with disabilities, their quality of life will improve. We believe that promoting the Internet and e-accessibility as public service concepts will motivate the use of communication/information technologies. This will fortify the participation of the public in the governance of the Internet. And finally, we hope that these practices will demonstrate how everyone can benefit when technology is designed with all people in mind. Are you interested in having us audit your website for accessibility? Let us know!