Why you need an accessible website

Technology Blog

Do you want people with disabilities to use your website? Let me put that another way: do you want people to spend their money with your business, regardless of their specific physical or mental abilities? Of course you do.

In other words, there is no good reason for a commercial website to be inaccessible to disabled users. So what does that mean in practice?

For a start, it means that if you have fancy animations or javascript on your pages, the site will still work with them turned off. It means that customers who are unable to handle a mouse, or read text on images, or distinguish between one colour and another, can still use it. These are merely a few of the things you need to get right to achieve accessibility. (It’s not necessarily hard, but it needs to be thought about right from the off.)

Sadly, there are still many web designers creating sites which are hard or impossible to access for one or more disabled groups. Such sites are often deceptively visually attractive but a fancy appearance won’t impress a blind or partially-sighted person who can’t find the things they want to buy.

If you are commissioning a website, insist that it meets accessibility guidelines. At the very least, it should pass the minimal tests carried out by tools like WebXACT and the Web Consortium HTML validator.

Of course, all the sites created by likemind conform to accessibility guidelines. One way to be sure of having an accessible site is to order one from us.

More about accessibility:

  1. The Web Consortium’s overview of accessibility
  2. AbilityNet, an organization set up by charities for the disabled
  3. An excellent article from the blog A List Apart

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