How do you use the internet? What are the steps that you take to find information that you need on a website? How do you know where to find the information you are looking for? How do you navigate through a web page?
These are questions that many people may not think about and are instinct. Many technologies, both physical and digital, disregard the needs of a large portion of our population, those who have a disability. According to the CDC, about 1 in 4 people in the United States has a disability and about 15% of people worldwide. There are a large variety of types of disabilities from physical (mobility), cognitive (brain functionality), auditory (hearing), visual, etc. While people who have similar disabilities may share similar experiences, it is important to remember that people are individuals with their own unique perspectives and experiences. It is important to put individuals first especially when considering their needs. Check out the CDC’s website on disability and learn more about how it impacts all of us.
Accessibility and inclusion is important and essential. In fact, designing with accessibility at the forefront benefits everyone. You may not realize, but many accessible technologies have been incorporated into everyday lives because of its benefits to all. For example, automated doors at stores, the pull down handle (instead of knobs), and voice recognition technology.
When thinking about digital content, there are many ways to make sure that the information you present is accessible to all users. Making a website more accessible isn’t hard, just requires an open mind! There are many simple ways that you can incorporate accessibility!
These are only some simple ways to incorporate accessibility to your website. We highly recommend checking out the A11y Project for a full checklist and additional resources to learn more about web accessibility.