Mortimer Smythe Designs Oakland Web Design & Web Development Blog

Web Content Accessibility

The online world is as diverse as the physical world and your website should consider the wide range of online users that exist. Your content should be accessible to those dealing with disabilities, which can include blindness, deafness, limited movement, or cognitive limitations. Insuring website accessibility for the widest range of people is as simple as considering the following questions as you build your website: is this perceivable, operable, understandable and robust? These four concepts create the foundation on which accessibility rests.

 Content that is perceivable is content that is discoverable. No part of your content should be "invisible" to your users senses. This means your website content and navigation should take low vision, hearing loss, learning disabilities or any combination thereof into account. If you include audio narration to guide a user through your website, an alternative navigation should also be made available for differently abled users.

Additionally, this alternative method of navigation should be offered in an understandable, usable way. Creating and enabling different, equally navigable ways to visit your website is what it means to create an operable website. Your users, whatever their ability, should be able to perform the required actions in order to access the content on your website interface.

This leads to the other side of website operation: understandability. No operation or piece of information should be outside the level of any given user's understanding. Is your content and the method of retrieval required to access it understandable? If you've created alternative methods of interacting with your website, flag these alternatives in ways that are clear and easy to find.

Technology is constantly changing and so are users. As users' needs advance and change with technology, your content needs to remain in an accessible format. Keeping your software up-to-date is especially important when building and maintaining accessibility supported websites. A website that is up-to-date is dynamic and robust. A robust website is one that is interoperable and is equally and easily available for those with or without disabilities.

A website is only considered accessibility supported when mainstream and assistive technologies work with the website. Keeping your website up-to-date is essential in the processing of keeping your website accessible.

What accessibility supported features exist on your website? Is your website usable by a wide range of people? Mortimer Smythe Designs can help you get connected and stay connected. Contact us today to get started.

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