Taking steps to make your business more accessible is the right thing to do. Approximately 20% of Americans have some form of disability. Disability right are civil rights and we all can strive to make the world more inclusive and accessible. An ancillary benefit is being able to communicate to a wider audience. It follows logic to say that by communicating to those with accessibility needs, your business or organization can experience growth. There is also a great deal of research and data to support this theory.
Improving your website’s accessibility is an important part. There are many things that you can do to make your website more accessible and we can help. The accessibility tool is designed to help to make your site compatible with wide range of assistive technologies. It strives to assist people with visual impairments, hearing impairments, mobility needs and even cognitive issues. For example, the Accessibility Tool can make your site compatible with Screen readers which is a tool used by people with visual impairments to have the site read to them. The tool also has important information such as an Accessibility Statement that also encourages your clients or members to share feedback with you about how you can be more accessible and accommodating. It can list your onsite accessibility features such as:
- Wheelchair ramp
- Wheelchair accessible corridors and rooms
- Wheelchair accessible entrance
- Accessible bathroom
- Handicap Accessible parking
- Braille printed materials
- Braille signs
- American Sign Language (ASL) capabilities
- Handicap Accessible lifts
- Elevators on premises
- AND MORE
Making your business or organization accessible, both online and physically, is an ongoing process. Do not think that once you’ve taken a step to be more accessible that you have finished. Your goal should be to continue to be more inclusive & accessible as you learn more, as needs evolve and as technology changes.
In addition to adding the Accessibility Tool to your website, below are a few other things that we strongly recommend that you can do to your existing website. These actions will significantly make your site more accessible and reduce the likelihood of a lawsuit:
- Add Alternative Tags or “Alt Tags” to all images on your site so that they can easily be read by a screen reader
- Add closed captioning to any of your videos
- Update your online PDFs so that they can be read by screen readers
- Avoid or minimize unnecessary blinking & image movement
- Add your phone number to the top of the page so that it can be found easily. Also make sure it is clickable.
- When considering 3rd party apps, such as an e-commerce plugin or appointment scheduler, ask your provider about their level of accessibility and choose ones that are more supportive of your accessibility efforts
- Quite often, interactive maps and direction plugins are not easily accessible. We recommend spelling out directions to your location