We’re in the business of communicating and, to reach the largest audience possible, our content needs to be as accessible as possible. This is not just a legal requirement – it’s also good business sense.
Roughly 20% of the UK population has some form of disability – this includes visual, auditory, physical, cognitive, language, learning, and neurological disabilities. However, accessibility issues are not limited to Individuals with disabilities, but can also be affected by location (loud environment or lack of wifi etc.), equipment (using a keyboard rather than a mouse or using an older browser etc.) and health (tiredness or illness etc.).
Communicating with accessibility in mind is crucial to ensure that everyone has equal access to information and opportunities. For instance, adding captions and transcripts to videos can be beneficial for people who are in a noisy environment, as well as those who have difficulty hearing. It is essential to consider accessibility from the outset to create an inclusive environment – making it easier for people to use mobile devices and other technologies.
This can lead to improved audience reach, better understanding, and increased engagement. Plus, accessible websites and documents show that a company is inclusive and committed to serving all customers, leading to an improved brand reputation. In short, by making things accessible, everyone benefits.
So what are the accessibility requirements?
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are a set of internationally recognised recommendations for improving online accessibility for everyone. The basic requirements include:
- Providing alternative text for images and other non-text content. This allows people who use screen readers to access the information.
- Using headings and other structural elements to organise the content. This makes it easier for people to scan and navigate the document and ensures screen readers read the text in the correct order.
- Avoiding the use of footnotes and endnotes as these disrupt the flow of text and cannot be read by many screen-readers.
- Using a readable font and font size and avoiding all caps, italics, and underlining (for text that is not a link). This improves legibility.
- Ensuring sufficient contrast between the text and background colour. This makes the text easier to read for everyone but is especially important for people with impaired vision or colour blindness.
- Avoiding using colour as the only means to differentiate content. A secondary method of distinction (such as bold text or a different line weight etc) ensures people with colour blindness can still identify differentiated information.
- Avoiding generic “click here” text for links. Using descriptive hyperlinks makes a document flow better and provides users with information about the destination of the link.
- Providing captions and transcripts for videos and audio content. This allows people with hearing impairment to access the information.
Communications without compromise
We understand that accessibility is crucial and that everyone deserves to have equal access to information and communication technologies. That’s why we design our solutions with accessibility best practices in mind from the start, ensuring that your communications reach the widest audience possible.
Making content as accessible as possible is a win-win way to boost your reach, reputation, and results.
If you need design and communications that are engaging, inclusive and user-friendly for everyone, get in touch with us – we’d love to hear from you!