How To Make Your Website Disability Friendly

Making your website disability friendly is a great thing you can do for many of your visitors. The first step is to understand your audience. Take time to learn exactly how a person with mental or physical disabilities goes online. Use these tips to optimise your site.

  1. Use transcripts and subtitles

  2. Subtitles and transcripts are incredibly useful for the hearing impaired as they can read what they can't hear in a video or audio file. If you website includes videos, podcasts and other formats that require hearing, ensure that you offer options for subtitles. You can also create a transcript for every video at the end of the web page.

  3. Describe the links

  4. Making your links and call-to actions more descriptive can make your site disability-friendly. It is ideal to underline, highlight or contrast the link in your text to distinguish them from regular text. This will help colour blind users to find the link easily without wasting time hovering the cursor over different parts of the sentence.

  5. Use periods in abbreviations

  6. A screen reader cannot distinguish between an abbreviation or a word. It is helpful to add period marks after every alphabet in an abbreviation. For example, if you are referencing the CIA, ensure that you publish it as C.I.A. This allows the screen reader to distinguish between individual alphabets and words. Without the period marks, the reader will pronounce it as 'kia' or 'sia', which will not make sense to the listener.

  7. Use alt text / alt tags

  8. Alt tags are textual pop-ups that accompany images on a webpage. When the cursor is placed over the image, this alt text shows up. For those who are visually impaired and use screen readers that read text aloud, this feature is helpful. The only way a visually impaired person can understand the image is when an alt tag is read out loud. Use these tags as an opportunity to describe images succinctly and accurately. If the image features a person, write their name. If the image includes objects, describe the object in detail.

  9. Simplify the copy

  10. Some of your website's viewership could include elderly people and those with learning disabilities. In such cases, it helps to minimise the bulk of content and to keep the language simple and effective. While it will not affect the overall quality of your webpage, using simpler copy will help attract more viewers and make it easier for those with LD. It may not be practical to apply this rule to all pages of all websites, but it can work on certain sections.

  11. Make use of colour control

  12. For readers who are sensitive to colour or colour blind, browsing websites with too many hues can be stressful. As much as possible, try to choose smart colours for your website and avoid loud colour combinations that can hamper vision. Instead, use the classic black/white combination to keep the text easily readable.

  13. Make clicking easier

  14. Some user have mobility problems and clicking on small buttons on a page can be very difficult. By simply increasing the clickable range on your page, you can make this task easier for a lot of your users.