Accessibility Matters: Ensuring an Inclusive Design on Your Site


Accessibility Matters: Ensuring an Inclusive Design on Your Site

More than seven million people in the United States have visual disabilities – and many of them rely on assistive technologies to experience websites. To make your career site truly inclusive and usable by everyone, it’s essential to recognize the importance of equal access and fully embrace the diversity of web users.

  • Another notable statistic: As reported by the World Health Organization (WHO), 1.3 billion people worldwide live with a disability. The numbers tell the story.

In addition to fostering inclusivity and social responsibility, website accessibility aligns with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other legal standards.

So, what steps do you need to take to make it happen?

Alt Text: Written Descriptions of Digital Images

Alternative or alt, text is a written description of a digital image. Screen-reading tools can use it to describe images to visually-impaired users. It’s also helpful in instances where users have a slow internet connection or low cell data, as they can turn images off and use alt text to continue to engage with your content.

  • You can include an alt text description next to an image or within the actual description.
  • Fewer than one percent of online images contain alt text or descriptions. Adding them to your site is an excellent way to stand out and be inclusive of all audiences, while at the same time improving image search engine optimization (SEO).

Here are a few tips for writing effective alt text:

  • Keep it short and sweet. Create an accurate image description in a few sentences.
  • Provide context to further assist users in understanding your images.
  • If images contain words, include them in your alt text. Screen readers are unable to read text within an image.

More on Screen Readers: Driven by User Commands

Using screen readers – software programs that allow users to read text on a computer screen with a speech synthesizer or braille display – commands can also perform additional functions including giving instructions to spell words, find text strings, or announce the location of a cursor or other focused item. More advanced capabilities include locating text displayed in a certain color, reading pre-designated screen areas on demand, reading highlighted text, and identifying active menu choices.

  • It’s often more productive for visually challenged individuals to use a screen reader than lean close to a screen to access text. The American Foundation for the Blind offers examples and more information.

Keyboard Navigation is KEY

Many people, especially those with motor disabilities, rely on a keyboard versus a mouse to navigate websites. So, be sure your site is user-friendly when it comes to accessing all pages and content. For instance:

  • Make sure your tab orders are logical, so users move through elements in an order that makes sense.
  • Use clear visual indicators such as borders or colors to show which element is currently in focus.

To build or review your career site for optimal accessibility, contact the content and website development team at Haley Marketing today.

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