7 Common Barriers to Web Accessibility and How to Overcome Them

Common Barriers to Web Accessibility

In recent times, Web Accessibility has gained a lot of significance in the digital world. However, less than 2% of the top million websites in the world are fully accessible. The remaining websites have substantial obstacles that prohibit impaired users from enjoying the full website experience. 

Here are a few of these common barriers and their respective solutions.

1. Visual Content Lacking Alternative Text

Despite the fact that many content marketers and web developers use alt text as an SEO tactic by cramming alt text with irrelevant keywords for Google to index, it has little relevance to the content. The initial purpose of alt text was to make photographs accessible to persons with disabilities. Screen readers employ alt text to describe an image to blind users.

Nowadays, most content management systems and social media platforms have a built-in system to add alt text to images. Therefore, you can easily access the alt text option.

Nonetheless, locating and identifying pictures can be a laborious task, which is why you should investigate remediation automation tools to identify and add missing alt text

Automated accessibility testing tools should be used with caution as they will only detect the presence of alt text and not test for its relevance. You need a human to validate the alt text.

2. Color Schemes With Little Contrast

Some websites utilize text colors with low contrast for aesthetic reasons. This, however, restricts readability, particularly for people with visual impairments or those using old-school monitors or small screen devices. Changing the color of your text to one that contrasts strongly with the background will make it easier to read. If you utilize a gray backdrop, for instance, you must use dark text, such as black or dark gray.

3. Videos Without Captions

Although audio and video bring ideas to life, they are inaccessible to individuals with hearing or vision problems, or people with cognitive disabilities like dyslexia for example. The addition of captions to your videos makes them accessible to deaf users, whilst the addition of transcripts to a website including a video makes your material accessible to blind people using screen readers. Transcripts benefit everyone. Even a regular user might want to skim them after missing a podcast.

4. Elements That Cannot Be Controlled Using The Keyboard

Several individuals struggle with the use of a mouse or trackpad. To make your website accessible to these users, you must ensure that it can be navigated using a keyboard. The approach is to make website elements keyboard-focusable (that is, the user can use the arrow keys to choose elements) and then to make these elements interactive (for example, opening a link).

5. Text With The Incorrect Font

Although screen readers can assist visually impaired users in comprehending your material, they are not always precise. Using the appropriate font can aid screen readers, which in turn improves the accessibility of a website.

Choose a simple font that is already installed on most computers when selecting a font for your website, so that it will be displayed appropriately regardless of the device. Examples are Arial, Lucida Sans, and Helvetica. You may also employ a font made specifically for persons with dyslexia or other visual cognitive impairments.

6. Heading Hierarchy

Headings of a web page are a crucial part of any website since they allow visitors to quickly scan the page and get the information they need. It is recommended to use proper heading structure, if you want your content to rank well in search engines, 

The standard heading hierarchy recommends that you use the H1 tag to provide readers with a general idea of what the page is about. Next, the tags H2>H6 are used to further outline the specific topics on the page.

7. Descriptive Link Text

People with impairments may lose context when sent to a different website through a link. When a user clicks on a link, the destination page must be disclosed. Using descriptive link language will help you enhance your content and guarantee that your viewers understand precisely where a link will go.

If your website contains any of the aforementioned barriers, your website must go through an in detail accessibility audit. This process requires a significant amount of time and effort, and the cost of content cleanup may be an accessibility barrier in and of itself, particularly for small firms. AEL Data can assist you with your digital accessibility requirements, including audits, consultancy, training, and the creation of an organization-specific accessibility policy.

Let’s talk

Aditya Bikkani

Aditya Bikkani

Aditya is the COO of AELData, a growing technology company in the Digital Publishing and Education sectors. He is also an entrepreneur and founder of an accessibility tool called LERA. A W3C COGA (Cognitive and Learning Disabilities Accessibility) Community Member Aditya contributes to researching methodologies to improve web accessibility and usability for people with cognitive and learning disabilities.

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