Welcome to the world of web accessibility, an essential means of making your digital presence (and your business) more inclusive, more welcoming and more successful.
Imagine a website and digital documents that create a positive browsing experience for all users, whatever their physical or cognitive abilities, age or geographical location. Accessibility ensures that people with visual or hearing impairments, the elderly, people with reduced mobility or even those using special assistive technologies can access your content and services effortlessly and with a sense of enjoyment.
What exactly is web accessibility? The guidelines cover aspects such as clarity of content, ease of navigation, adaptability to different devices and much more. It’s more than just an ethical or legal obligation. It’s an incredible opportunity for all businesses, because by offering an inclusive online experience, you set yourself apart from the competition and gain the trust of your customers, employees and suppliers. You reach a wider audience, increasing your reach and opportunities.
People with various limitations may encounter barriers when accessing websites or consulting documents on screen. For example, people who are blind or partially sighted may use screen readers to access content, while people who are deaf or hard of hearing may rely on subtitles or transcriptions for videos. Others may have motor difficulties that make it difficult to use a mouse, and need to use only the keyboard to navigate a site.
Here are the five main principles of digital accessibility, as defined by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) drawn up by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C):
1 - Perceptibility
Ensure that information and user interfaces are presented in a way that is perceptible to all users. This means that content must be available in different forms (text, audio, video, etc.) to meet the needs of people with sensory impairments, such as the blind or partially sighted, as well as the deaf or hard of hearing.
2 - Usability
Make the functionality of the website and your documents accessible to all users, including those using assistive technologies such as screen readers or keyboards. Make sure that navigation is logical and fluid, that interactive elements are easily accessible and that users can complete their tasks without encountering obstacles.
3 - Comprehension
Make sure that the information and operation of the website or the scrolling of the document on the screen are clear and understandable to all users. Avoid using complex jargon and provide simple, explicit instructions.
4 - Robustness
Ensure that content can be interpreted correctly by different browsers, assistive technologies and devices. By following well-established digital standards and technologies, you ensure that your site is accessible and functional for a variety of technological configurations.
5 - Reliability
Digital accessibility is an ongoing process. Make sure you maintain constant vigilance over the accessibility of your website, carrying out regular audits and taking account of user feedback to continually improve the experience for all visitors.
Together, let’s build a better, more open and inclusive digital world, while creating the optimum user experience.