Aren’t all websites accessible for disabled people?  

on April 21, 2022 at 1:28am |Updated on April 23, 2022 at 1:31am Wheelchair sign against green nature background

It is easy to know if a building is likely to be accessible for someone in a wheelchair.

For example:

  • At the entrance, there is a gentle ramp as well as a set of steps
  • The doors to get in open automatically as you approach
  • Inside, you see a flight of stairs to the next floor but you also see a lift

This inclusive approach is so commonplace with new buildings that you can almost take it for granted. It is clear to anyone that alternative arrangements are clearly in place.

However, when it comes to websites, I am afraid, it is not quite so straightforward.

If we do not have any disabilities that impact our ability to browse a website, it would be really easy to assume that anyone would be able to use the same website just as easily.

Try using a screen-reader, as Mede does. Mede is part of my Disabled Website Accessibility Team and is blind. Her screen reader “reads” the content of a web page out loud to her, so she is able to navigate to other pages.

Something as simple as selecting an item from a dropdown list is either impossible to do or takes forever as each option needs to be read out by the screen-reader.

There may be a photo of a hummingbird but Mede would not know that as her screen reader tells her it is “img2401.jpg” instead. 

There may be a link saying “Click Here to join our mailing list”. Click where? Mede cannot see the screen so telling her to “Click here” is perhaps a little tactless.

However, if there were fewer choices on the dropdown menu, an Alt tag stating “a hummingbird” and the phrase “Follow this link” used instead of “Click Here”, the website becomes immediately becomes easier for Mede to use.

You may not know about Alt tags or notice a menu with a lot of choices but you would certainly see the use of the words “Click Here”. Start with that. Make sure you do not use that phrase on your own website and replace it with “Follow this link” instead.

If you are interested in a free initial review of the accessibility of your website, why not book yourself in for a consultation? Please follow this link:

Clive Loseby

Access by Design. Accessible Websites, Beautifully Designed.

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