There are many people in the world who have some form of vision impairment, thanks to huge strides in technology these people don’t have to miss out on the digital world.

However, what can you do to help those with a visual impairment access your website and experience your online presence with ease?

One step is accessible content.

What is Accessible Content?

Accessible content is content that is designed to be comprehensible by all.

There are several ways you can do this, they include:

Alt Text Descriptions

Optimising images with useful, relevant and descriptive alt text descriptions will help screen readers understand what the image shows and why its there.

Ensure that these alt text descriptions are concise, no more than a few words. There is no need to feature phrases such as ‘Image showing…’ or ‘Graphic of…’.

Friendly Names

Ensure that any URLs, image titles and files are given screen reader (and search engine friendly) name.

For example, a file name ‘green-garden-chair-information.pdf’ is far more helpful than ‘AB789_2019.pdf’.

Transcripts and Captions

Ensure that you have transcripts of any videos on your website ready for screen readers to read. And ensure that videos have captions on the videos – this helps make the video accessible for those who are hard of hearing.

Consider the Bigger Picture

Its very easy to say that those with visual impairments only make up a small portion of my audience, why should I spend time and resources on making the content on my website accessible.

However, this attitude will restrict your ability to make the most out of every visitor that comes to your website. Accessible content will help those with visual impairments, but it will also help non-visually impaired visitors to your website. Providing you with a win-win situation.

After all, helpful file names will allow everyone regardless of their visual ability to find what they are looking for on your website with ease.

Having captions on your videos, or transcripts of any videos shown on your website, allows those people who are watching your videos without sound to experience exactly what you want them to experience.

Accessible content helps everyone so take some time to look through your website with a new perspective. A few simple changes to the website and any on going additions is all that is needed.

Published: 28th Jul 2019

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