6 Web Accessibility Features that Benefit More People
There are 14 million disabled people in the UK, many who rely on website accessibility. But designing for disability results in designs that benefit everybody. To celebrate Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2020, we look at a few features that help just about every user. Essential for some, useful for all It’s a common myth that web accessibility only benefits disabled people or people with sensory, cognitive or motor impairments. In reality, making your website accessible means it’s easier for everyone to use. Different situations and environments affect how a person uses a website. Some people may be temporarily disabled, either through a broken arm or by cataracts, for example. Others may be in an environment that affects the way they interact with your website. For example, someone using a phone screen outdoors in bright sunlight. Other may be using your website on the bus, or while they’re holding a baby or multi-tasking. Web accessibility principles that benefit all users Web accessibility helps people in a variety of situations. Here are a few examples of accessibility features and some of the users who benefit. 1. Colour combinations with good contrast Websites should have a good colour contrast between text and background colour. That includes links, icons, buttons and any other information on the page. An example of poor colour contrast is light grey text on a white background. Essential for People with low vision or a visual impairment Certain people with colour deficiencies who may struggle to distinguish between certain colours. Useful for Elderly people and anyone over the age of 50, as the colour contrast sensitivity in our eyes naturally declines with age. People with temporary disabilities, like cataracts People in different lighting conditions, for example, experiencing glare on a mobile phone screen in bright sunlight. Everyone, including those with non-specific visual conditions. That’s why the most popular, legible colour combination is dark text on a white background. Note, people with dyslexia or migraine sensitivity may prefer lower colour contrasts. That’s why it’s important to let users change the contrast between background and text. 2. Writing in Plain English The average reading age in the UK is 9 years old. Writing in clear, plain English is the best way to ensure your content reaches the largest number of people possible. Fewer people will be able to understand dense text filled with complex language, acronyms and jargon. Metaphors and figures of speech can also be confusing for those who cannot understand the inferred meaning. Using plain English makes your writing easier for everybody to understand. Essential for People with learning difficulties who may be unable to understand complex vocabulary and language People with a cognitive impairment who may struggle to focus on dense passages of text. People with autism who may take phrases and expressions literally. Deaf people who prefer British Sign Language (BSL), over English, as their first language. People with dyslexia People with chronic fatigue Users with lower literacy levels Useful for Everyone, as most people prefer reading clear, simple language, even subject experts and scholars. People who use English as a second language People who are reading in a rush 3. Closed captions on videos Closed captions describe all dialogue and sounds and in video audio. » Read More
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