The Texthelp Team

Have you POURed enough into website compliance?

Every organisation strives to provide excellence in customer service and we know that your customers and service users are at the heart of everything you do, but does your website live up to your standards?

In this blog, we outline some of the actions you can take to help you comply with WCAG - the international standard for web accessibility.

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Creating a true first impression

First impressions count, and your website gives prospective clients all the information they need to know before deciding if they would like to work with you. It’s important that your content is accessible, so that your welcoming messages are delivered to every single one of your online visitors. Just as you would make adjustments to physical accessibility, the same should be done within your digital presence, to ensure that your content is equally accessible to everyone.

Removing barriers and creating inclusive experiences 

1 in 7 people are disabled and this number is expected to double by 2050. With a growing population of individuals with physical, learning, and cognitive difficulties, it's never been more important to adopt an inclusive mindset. That means making sure your digital content can be accessed and understood by all.

As you map out your online customer journeys, create your content, and design your digital assets, it's important to think about the diverse visitors engaging with your website. Some people may use assistive technologies, such as computer readers and screen magnifiers, and they should be able to freely navigate your digital content, without barriers. Similarly those with colour sensitivities, low vision, and reading or processing difficulties should be able to access and understand your online messages.

Complying to legislation and international standards

As governments worldwide strive towards a more inclusive world, more and more countries are putting web accessibility into legislation, such as the EU Directive's regulations for web content accessibility.

Equality initiative's protect individuals from barriers they would otherwise face in everyday life, whilst legal regulations for web content accessibility ensures that inclusion within the digital world is not forgotten. It's something that should be on everybody's mind.

So what can you do to become more accessible?

Web accessibility standards exist to help organisations become more inclusive. Existing guidelines such as WCAG 2.1 use the POUR guidelines, which outline what it means for a website to be perceivable, operable, understandable and robust - in other words, accessible. Accessible websites allow digital screen readers to read content, so that all site visitors can access the information in a way that suits their needs.

Using the POUR guidelines, we have identified some actions you could take to kickstart your efforts and help you on your way to serve your diverse web visitors. In addition, our digital inclusion software, Browsealoud, can be simply added to your website to offer an on-site screen reader for the convenience of users. 

Image of Texthelper holding binoculars with the letter P

Every element of every website should be discoverable. This means that content should be transformable between formats i.e. images to text, text to audio etc. so that those with visual impairments, hearing limitations and cognitive disorders can perceive it too. 

Your Action

Our Solution

Use metadata to provide text alternatives to images

Browsealoud reads alt-tags behind images, to provide oral description to the visually impaired

Minimise visual overload

Simplify feature removes distracting content, so users can focus on what’s important

Ensure downloadable content is accessible too

MP3 generator converts text to audio files for offline listening

Image of Texthelper holding a spanner with the letter O

Web users with limited movement or tremors may use adaptive devices instead of a keyboard and mouse to access web content.

Your Action

Our Solution

Optimise web code to ensure that all functionality is available from a keyboard

Browsealoud is fully keyboard accessible

Help users navigate and find content

Dual colour highlighting shows users where they are on the page

Screen mask helps users to create a focal point

Do not use content that causes seizures

A screen mask can be applied to ‘dim’ the screen

Simplify mode removes distracting content

Image of Texthelper having a light bulb moment alongside the letter U

Content that someone can access is not necessarily accessible. The language used can impact whether or not a user can understand the information. 

Your Action

Our Solution

Give users enough time to read and use content

Audio speed and voice can be changed to suit user needs

Ensure text is readable 

Magnifier feature enlarges text size specified by the user

Use language that can be understood by all site visitors

Translate option with 99 languages

Be transparent, so visitors understand what actions to take on the site

Browsealoud communicates content to the user as long as alt-tags are in place

Hyperlink feature announces links to the user when content is read aloud

Help users to avoid and correct mistakes

Audio feature reads text aloud, including information typed into forms, so visitors can identify spelling mistakes

Image of Texthelper holding a checklist alongside the letter R

Each individual accesses the web using technology which suits their needs and preferences. This includes different devices and browsers. 

Your Action

Our Solution

Optimise your website for use with assistive technologies

The actions on this checklist will help your website to be accessed by screen readers such as Browsealoud

Maximise compatibility with current and future user tools

Browsealoud works across all common browsers and platforms, and is regularly updated

Browsealoud services are hosted on Amazon, to ensure its features are agile, robust and resilient

A Texthelper holding the Browsealoud toolbar

We're offering organisations the chance to try Browsealoud on their own website for free, for 90 days. Simply sign up and register to receive your personalised Browsealoud code. 


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