Making websites accessible for the disabled

Written by Emma Page on

The four Paralympic values: Determination, inspiration, courage and equality. These principles do not just live in the Paralympics, but also stretch out to disabled people’s daily lives, including in their access to the internet.

The four Paralympic values: Determination, inspiration, courage and equality. These principles do not just live in the Paralympics, but also stretch out to disabled people’s daily lives, including in their access to the internet.

Disabled users have never let their abilities stop them from doing the things they love. Young and old users, laptop or mobile users, and even deaf and blind users; more people than ever are now using mobiles to access the internet.

But for disabled people, accessing websites on mobile devices can be a challenge. Using screen readers to help understand the coding allows the content to be read out loud to the user, but if the coding on the page is not done right, it will constantly try to refresh and cannot be read.

This problem is something that is out of users control, but something that needs to be at the forefront of the mind of the web developers, something that is at the front of our minds here at HeX Productions.

So, what exactly is it on a website that makes it do this?

Poorly tagged headlines, hyperlinks that do not work, or websites that have too many adverts will make the screen reader unresponsive, as it cannot understand the coding to read aloud.

Colours used for a website background and it’s text can clash. Poor quality images that have not been inserted into the text properly will simply be read as ‘jpeg,’ whereas if a caption is added, the screen reader will be able to accurately describe the image out loud.

Nowadays, it is so much more common for people to access websites through a mobile phone or tablet, so is it vital for your website to be accessible across all platforms, for everyone.

Designing a site with disabled users in mind is also beneficial to able bodied people, as it keeps the design simple, and nice to look at. People don’t like looking at a site with a mishmash colour scheme, bad photos and small text, just as screen reading technology will not be able to understand them either.

Ignorance is the main reason the majority of websites are not accessible. The recent introduction of mobile internet access and new 4G speeds mean that more people want to access the internet on-the-go, rather than from a laptop. Screen readers take the on-screen text and send it to a speech synthesizer or Braille display, but they can not read non-text content.

Here at HeX Productions, we make websites mobile friendly and responsive at no extra cost. For more information on how we can help you, get in touch!

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