8 web accessibility initiatives that can be done differently
With web accessibility being a big focal topic at the moment, we recently published a web accessibility quiz that allows individuals to test what they know about web accessibility. We then asked our friends in the Terkel community to take the quiz, and reflect on their biggest learning. And share their thoughts on what they feel their industry could do differently.
In this blog, eight Marketing professionals reflect on web accessibility initiatives that could be done differently. Have a read and let us know what your biggest challenges are in the comments section below!
Release More Education on Making Sites Accessible
My biggest learning from the web accessibility quiz is just how much need there is for it! Oftentimes, when we are designing technology, we don’t keep everyone in mind. It is important that everyone, regardless of their ability, is able to access the information they need, when they need it. The one thing that the industry could do differently is to release more education or courses on how to go about making sites more accessible. That way, we can reduce the learning curve and make more sites accessible to everyone!
- Jeanne Kolpek, Cadence Education -
If you feel like Jeanne and are searching for some support, check out Texthelp’s web accessibility resources. You’ll find everything from recorded webinars to guides and more.
Be More Cognizant of the Issue
My biggest learning from taking the quiz was that I need to be more cognizant of web-accessibility for neurodiverse individuals. There are some great questions to think about when providing web-access. There were so many examples of how I can provide a better service.
- Sonja Talley, Principal HR Consultant -
Discover these examples for yourself and take the quiz. Not only will your knowledge be tested, you'll also be given the opportunity to access free resources, to take your expertise to the next level.
Update Web Development Courses
There is a lack of knowledge in our industry. Many don’t realize that these issues even exist, let alone understand that there are simple things they can do to address them. These things should be the required curriculum of every web development and web design course of study to ensure that the next generation of websites is built in a way that makes them accessible to all.
- Mark Varnas, Red9 -
Web Page Headings
As a digital marketing company, we’ve always looked at web page headings as an opportunity to help improve technical SEO. Web page headings help website crawlers understand the main sections on a web page, and helps search engines better categorize and index content. But, a consistent web page heading structure also can help readers who have difficulty processing information understand and follow the flow of a piece of content. If you publish blogs on your website, or if you create landing pages as part of a marketing strategy, consider a standardized web page heading structure to help content be consumed more easily.
- Brett Farmiloe, Markitors -
Call the Specialists
We recently did an accessibility evaluation and failed miserably. Our site is hard for screen readers to read, doesn't communicate well to those who are colorblind, has no alt text for images, and so many other accessibility issues that we're now looking into addressing.
My plan for the new year is to hire a web developer who specializes in accessibility to go over our site with a fine-tooth comb and address these issues. I want to make sure as many people as possible can use our site because our customers come from all walks of life with all different circumstances.
- Dan Bailey, WikiLawn -
Ditch Auto-Generated Captions
My company is in photography, videography and travel business. In my opinion, what our industry could do better is to understand how to make our visual content pieces more accessible for people with disabilities. This may include learning how to write better alt text for all our imagery, writing our own captions for our videos instead of relying on auto-generated captions, and ensuring our websites work with the most common screen readers. I think this is important because viewing art, whether that is looking at a photograph or watching a short film, is one of the pleasures in life and everyone should be able to enjoy it when they want to.
- Melissa Tang, Wit and Folly -
Stop With the Quick Fixes
In our industry, the concept of accessible websites can be very new, even though the Americans with Disabilities Act is not. Not only are developers blindsided by the unexpected requirement of making their sites accessible, but they are also downright frightened by demand letters and lawsuits.
What this industry needs to do differently regarding web accessibility is to gain the right perspective. Stop with the quick fixes and understand what makes a website accessible the right way. Look at accessible issues from someone else's point of view. For example, try using a screen reader yourself or disable your CSS to see how your site looks. Applying the right fixes may not be as hard as some developers think, and once you learn the correct way to do it, the fear can go away.
- Tom Egizio, Anttix -
Revise Contact Forms
I am in the travel, tourism, and hospitality sector and there are so many accessibility issues on business websites that are costing sales and sending customers to other businesses. The most common issues are in relation to contact forms using graphical captchas to prevent spam. Additionally, many web designers create inaccessible calendar form fields which make filling out a contact form or doing booking searches impossible.
Form fields should be able to be filled out by keyboard users and people using screen readers — disabled people make up more than 20% of the population. This is a large customer market segment that could be lost by not making these things accessible. I travel with my sighted wife usually but I like to be able to do a lot of the research and price comparison work myself and inaccessible websites cause great annoyance and anger, and lead to me choosing a different business.
- Dale Reardon, Travel For All -
Discover more about web accessibility and gain valuable resources to help you become more inclusive. Alternatively, why not test your knowledge? Take our web accessibility quiz.
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