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Web Accessibility For All  

A man who is blind always purchased his plane tickets from the same airline, but then the airline changed its website design.

Unable to use a screen reader with the newly redesigned website, the man never purchased a ticket from the airline again.

Accessibility is critical for people with disabilities who use a variety of means, including screen readers and voice commands, to eliminate the barriers preventing them from navigating the internet. Creating a website that’s usable for people with disabilities combines different content, web browsers, technology and tools to remove those barriers.

However, organizations and government entities should think more broadly about what accessibility means: It allows anyone using any device to access the information, products and services on their website. When you focus on making your website accessible, it makes your solutions even better for everyone.

What Is Web Content Accessibility?

A website needs to have four components to be accessible:

  • Every website user must be able to perceive the content,
  • Every user must be able to operate the website,
  • Every user must be able understand the information and website interface, and
  • Every user must be able to access web content as technologies evolve.

If a website is missing one or more of these components, people with disabilities won’t be able to access it.

The World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 lays out a wide swath of recommendations entities can implement to create a website that’s user friendly for people with blindness and low vision, deafness and hearing loss, limited movement, speech disabilities and photosensitivity.

Private companies should follow the guidelines, but for some government entities, an inaccessible website isn’t an option – it’s the law. Web accessibility for government entities includes everything from closed captioning on live streamed public meetings to alt tags on an image.

The Ramifications of Non-Accessibility

From filing government documents to buying a new pair of shoes, our days and lives revolve around the internet.

If people with disabilities can’t use websites because of the barriers they pose, it leaves an entire segment of the population unable to fully participate in society.

For businesses, an inaccessible website means a lost customer and potentially lost revenue.

It can also be particularly costly for the business or government. In the United States, the number of lawsuits alleging websites violate the Americans with Disabilities Act has increased exponentially. The American Bar Association reported that there were more than 8,000 digital accessibility lawsuits filed between 2017 and 2020. U.S. businesses and governments can also face a fine up to $75,000 for non-ADA compliant websites.

Cludo’s Role in Accessibility

While accessibility encompasses the entire website, we play a part in that accessibility.

We ensure our clients have a search page that’s accessible for anyone with any disability or limitation on any device. We test our search tool and results page, including the autocomplete search option, for accessibility. For clients whose website isn’t accessible, we provide recommendations to improve the accessibility of their website’s search tool.

At Cludo, we understand our clients’ accessibility needs and partner with them on achieving this goal.

Discuss your accessibility questions and more with our search experts today.