Is Your Online Content Accessible?

March 7, 2017 BY SOFIA ENAMORADO
Updated: January 4, 2018

If your website isn’t accessible, you’re excluding approximately 15% of the global population.

As the internet continues to be a tremendous asset in connecting the world and sharing valuable information, we cannot continue to isolate a large portion of the population.

In order to have a fully compliant, accessible website, it’s best to follow the global guidelines set by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Under the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG 2.0), an accessible website should meet the following four principles: perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust. Each principle is broken down into 12 guidelines that are each set to meet a success criteria: Level A, Level AA, and Level AAA. The W3C has recognized that not all websites are able to meet Level AAA requirements (such as providing sign language interpretation), and therefore should aim to meet Level AA at a minimum.

In the US alone, numerous lawsuits have emerged against prominent industry leaders because they failed to make their content accessible. Lawsuits against Harvard and Netflix have alerted other organizations in their industries into making websites and online content that is more accessible.

Don’t wait for a lawsuit or a complaint to make a change.

There are many guidelines and resources available for users to create accessible content. The main goal should be to make content readable and useable for everyone, while preserving the overall user experience. Simple changes you can begin implementing are: switching to html formatting for better screen readability, providing alternative text descriptions for images, creating logical page structures, adding captions to videos, using colors that don’t contrast, and appropriately labeling content.

Use the following quiz to assess how accessible your website is. At the end, you will be provided with essential resources to learn how you can implement more accessibility features.

Read the free report: 2017 State of Captioning.

The closed caption CC icon shown in the middle of a TV.