It's important for tech professionals to consider accessibility when they are building and monitoring websites and mobile apps.
Often when it comes to designing and monitoring the success of web pages, people are focused on what the able-bodied see, do and how they react. However, looking at the accessibility of tech is an important part of ensuring it is inclusive and that it can reach its full potential.
It's estimated that around ten million people in the UK have some form of disability, which is around a sixth of the entire population. This means that disregarding this significant portion of the global population could mean your projects aren't as successful as they could be if you designed them with accessibility in mind.
But what should you be thinking about when it comes to making web pages and apps accessible?
People with disabilities use the internet...a lot
It's estimated that around three-quarters of people with disabilities have used the internet, though many are put off from regular use because of the difficulty involved in navigating online spaces. If you are able to design a website with this mind, you could be filling a market that is largely neglected, meaning you could experience high levels of engagement.
A lot of people with physical disabilities rely heavily on online services and, as such, engage highly with content they find easier to use.
Testing accessibility doesn't have to be expensive
You may think that looking at accessibility is an expensive pursuit that only large businesses can embark on. However, testing how accessible your web page is can be as easy as blindfolding yourself and seeing how easy your site is to navigate for someone that is blind or has a visual impairment. It can also be something as simple as ensuring any audio content also has transcripts/captions available.
It can be as easy as a text-only web page
A lot of problems with accessibility relate to images or videos on your page so having a simple version of your site for users with a disability can make it much easier for them to use. You don't have to make your main site any less engaging as you can have a separate site that users are directed to once they've indicated that they may experience problems viewing the main web page.
Education is key
The biggest part of making your site accessible is sparing the time to research the subject and see the ways that your pages may be alienating some internet users. A lot of disability charities have guidance for how to make the browsing experience easier for people with different abilities.
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