Accessibility Matters: Building Accessible Websites for Visually Impaired Users
Visual impairments are common in today’s world. According to the World Health Organization, 2.2 billion people globally have eye conditions. Unfortunately, many sites still have barriers for people with disabilities: not all users can see the content and interact with the platform. As a result, your business loses credibility, traffic, and conversions. Therefore, making your website accessible or not should be out of the question. Web accessibility is a priority for any website in 2022.
Are you sure that your online enterprise meets these standards? Today, the Drupfan web development agency explains how to make your Drupal website accessible for visually impaired users.
What is web accessibility?
Your clients have different demands based on their special needs. Website accessibility means that all the content and elements are available for users with disabilities, including people with visual and hearing impairments, motor disabilities, and more. Note that web accessibility should be considered during website development and design rather than be an add–on feature on the live platform. If you don’t build your website with accessibility in mind, it will be more expensive and time-consuming to update it later.
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)'s Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) creates standards and requirements to help website owners satisfy the needs of users with impairments.
How do people with eye conditions navigate the website?
People with no or limited vision use assistive technologies, such as screen readers, to perceive the content from any device. A screen reader is an application that converts text, images, links, and buttons into speech or braille. Take this into account when you build your website: all the content should be usable and easy to navigate for people who use screen readers to access your platform. If you skip accessibility during the development process, a user with visual impairments might miss important information or be unable to interact with a site.
How to implement web accessibility for visually impaired users?
First, you must choose a content management system (CMS) that supports accessibility. For example, Drupal provides advanced accessibility features out-of-the-box, and the enormous Drupal community continues contributing to code to meet the new requirements.
Get acquainted with the checklist on the website’s accessibility from the Drupfan web development company:
- Make it friendly for screen readers.
As you already know, a screen reader-accessible interface is crucial for people with eye conditions. So, make sure that screen readers can easily navigate your website.
- Add ALT text for images.
Alternative text (ALT text) is a short description of the image content. By adding ALT text to the pictures, you help people with eye conditions not to miss any piece of information from your website.
- Use color smart.
It might be challenging to distinguish the site’s elements if you choose inappropriate colors for fonts, buttons, etc. Ensure that you use an accessible web color palette for the elements on your platform.
- Provide captions for audio and video content.
Subtitles or transcripts are crucial for some people to understand what is happening in video/audio. Make sure to add a pause button to content that reproduces automatically: this way it will not disturb people who don’t want to listen to it.\
- Create a clean heading structure.
Headings help to organize the content of the web page. Assistive technologies, such as screen readers, use them to navigate the website. However, skipping a clean heading structure makes it confusing for users with visual impairments to read the content.
- Create accessible online forms.
If online form fields are not appropriately labeled, a screen reader won’t be able to distinguish what should be written in them. The Drupfan team also highly recommends removing CAPTCHA when filling out the forms, as they are completely inaccessible.
- Add link descriptions.
Add unique link text that conveys the purpose of the link, so the users can decide whether they want to open it. Don’t forget to add the skip option for all links.
- Implement keyboard navigation
All website navigation has to be available through the keyboard interface. This way, visually-impaired users can move between buttons, links, and forms quickly.
- Use readable fonts.
A unique and creative font might be attractive but less readable. Your goal is to keep usability in mind when choosing fonts.
- Allow text size configurations
Make it possible for people with poor eyesight to manually increase the size of the text on the web page.
How can your Drupal site benefit from accessible design?
Your responsibility as a business owner is to provide equal access to your products and services for all people. An accessible platform lets people with impairments become a part of your community. Everyone benefits from an accessible web design: users with disabilities can interact with the content they want while you get more customers.
Now let’s see why web accessibility is important and how your business can benefit from an accessible web design.
- Enhanced loyalty to your brand
When you build an accessible site, you show the world that you care about your customers. As a result, your website attracts more visitors. Conversely, lack of accessibility kills loyalty and ruins your business.
- Increase in conversions
The more users can access your website, the more traffic you get.
- Better SEO rankings
Search engines evaluate a website’s accessibility before deciding on its ranking in search results. For example, Google loves ALT text, proper headings structure, video captions, and other features.
- Legal compliance
Web accessibility is a legal requirement in many countries.
Is your Drupal website accessible?
Test your Drupal site for accessibility today! The special tools can help you with this task:
You can always contact the Drupfan team for an advanced website accessibility audit performed in compliance with WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines). We will not only determine the weak points but also offer the most suitable solutions to increase your web accessibility.
Build your Drupal website with accessibility in mind
Now is the high time to make your Drupal site accessible! Hire the Drupfan web developers to build an accessible platform from scratch or improve your existing website.