Your Guide to Web Accessibility in 2023

“Web accessibility is not only for people with disabilities but for all of us who are thankful that there are no barriers in using our abilities.” – Remberto Esposa JR.

 

The importance of web accessibility has been on the rise in recent years, as the internet has become an increasingly important part of our lives. There are a number of reasons for this, but the most important one is that the internet is now essential for many aspects of modern life, including education, employment, and social participation. This means that people with disabilities who cannot access the internet are at a significant disadvantage. Web accessibility is, therefore, important for two reasons: 1) To ensure that people with disabilities can access the internet and 2) To ensure that the internet can be accessed by everyone, regardless of their disability. Let’s start with the basics…

 

What is Web Accessibility

Web accessibility refers to the ability of people with disabilities to access the internet. Each type of disability presents its own challenges, but there are also many ways to overcome these challenges. With the right support and accommodations, people with disabilities can lead full and successful lives. Here are a few of the most common disability types:

Visual Impairments

Visual impairments can make it difficult to see and process information. This can make everyday tasks like reading and writing more difficult. Approximately 285 million people around the world have some form of visual impairment, including 39 million who are blind and 246 million with low vision. Allow users to adjust font size manually. Provide sufficient contrast using colors and textures. Provide alt text or descriptions for non-text content.

Hearing Impairments

For deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals, your site needs to be easy to navigate. Provide multiple contact options. Make sure to add captions or subtitles to all video content. Review any automated captions for accuracy.

Cognitive Impairments

Cognitive disability ranges from dyslexia to autism. People with cognitive impairments are limited in the way and manner they receive information from the web. Use well-structured web content that helps facilitate orientation. Include multiple ways of navigating the website i.e. hierarchical list or search bar.

Your Guide to web accessibility in 2023 1

 

Why is Web Accessibility Important?

There are multiple international and national laws and standards that require websites to be accessible to people with disabilities:

There are also a number of voluntary guidelines and standards, such as:

These laws provide guidelines for how web accessibility is measured. Let’s break down those guidelines even further…

 

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines

When making your website more inclusive, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are a great place to begin. These protocols are designed specifically to make online content more usable for people with disabilities, and are informed by four principles:

  1. Perceivable – Beginning with the most basic guideline, this is the user’s ability to process the information on your website. Ask yourself, is there any content on the website that a deaf, low vision or colorblind user would not be able to perceive?
  2. Operable – People with disabilities need to be able to operate websites and applications using a variety of different tools. Some users with disabilities are unable to operate a mouse. Can every function of your website be performed with AND without a keyboard?
  3. Understandable – Just because a user can perceive and operate a website, does not mean they can understand it. Make sure your content is easy to understand. The connection between action and result should be obvious.
  4. Robust – Make sure your website is accessible on all platforms. That includes mobile devices, tablets, and desktops.

 

How to Ensure Accessibility On Your Website

There are a number of steps that you can take to ensure that your website is accessible to people with disabilities.

 

Testing for Accessibility

Here are 5 tools you can use to test the accessibility of your website:

  1. The W3C Web Accessibility Initiative’s Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool (WAVE)
  2. The W3C’s Web Accessibility Checker
  3. The Firefox Accessibility Extension
  4. The Google Chrome Accessibility Developer Tools
  5. The Safari Accessibility Inspector

For more tips on website testing, check out our recent blog on the topic.

The importance of web accessibility cannot be understated. It is essential for people with disabilities to access the internet, and for everyone to be able to access the internet regardless of their disability. Need help crafting an accessible website? The experts at J. Arthur & Co. have you covered!

The Ultimate Website Testing Checklist

Making a list and checking it twice isn’t something that only benefits Santa Clause. It’s also one of the best ways to make sure your website is in tip-top shape before it launches. There are a multitude of things to consider when creating a website for your business or your client. This blog will cover the ultimate website testing checklist. Use this when you’re close to launch or looking to revamp your website.

 

The Ultimate Website Testing Checklist

Functionality Testing

The goal of functionality testing is to observe the overall functional capabilities of the web application. All features are tested to make sure they are compatible and perform the specific functions mentioned in the documentation. In order to test the functionality you should:

Usability Testing  

Usability testing evaluates how user-friendly the elements in the web app are. It tests the flow of the web app and how the user can navigate through it seamlessly. Is the website easy to navigate? Can the user complete Usability testing relies on standard practices that ensure the ease of use and effectiveness of a web app. It roots out all the errors, like typos, punctuation, and weak flow. For more information on usability check out our blog – Usability: How to Win with Simplicity. To test usability you should:

Interface Testing  

Interface Testing checks how the website communicates at different interfaces. The three interfaces that are usually tested are the: application, web server, and database server. Testing any of the three interfaces will give you answers to the following questions: 

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Database Testing 

Database testing is important to check how the web application stores data and performs various functions that include performing queries during testing if an error comes up and keeping the response time of queries in check. To conduct a database test you should:

Performance Testing  

Have you ever visited a website and had to wait longer than normal for it load? It’s immediately noticeable to users and can drive high bounce rates. Avoid this pitfall by implementing a performance test. Performance tests measure your website’s speed, stability and scalability under multiple different scenarios. Performance tests will answer the following questions:

Compatibility Testing  

Desktop or mobile? Android or iOS? Chrome or Safari (RIP internet explorer)? Users access the web in more ways than ever. Compatibility testing ensures that your website delivers a consistent performance across all platforms. The same website renders differently in different browsers and their versions, which is why it is essential to perform cross browser compatibility tests. Cross Browser Testing allows you to test if your web application functions seamlessly and consistently across multiple browsers on different desktop and mobile devices. Every web element like buttons, images, text fields, lists, and more changes with the change in OS, which is why it is important to test cross-platform compatibility by testing on real devices as opposed to emulators or simulators.

Security Testing  

Security testing involves testing, analyzing, and reporting every security aspect of your app. Security administrators test the security level of the app through both manual and automated security testing methods. Security testing performs different functions such as:

Creating a website is easier than ever with platforms like WordPress and Wix. Separate yourself from the competition by conducting rigorous testing to ensure the best possible user experience. At J Arthur & Co. we specialize in delivering high quality web services on time and on target. We understand the ins and outs of website development and we’re here to help!