What Is Web Accessibility and Why Free Widgets Don’t Cut It

by | Mar 18, 2024

It’s called the “World Wide Web” because it is supposed to be available and accessible to everyone. That means that as a business owner with an online presence, web accessibility is your moral, legal, and professional duty.

But what is web accessibility, exactly, and how do you achieve it on a consistent basis?

Web Accessibility – An Online Civil Right

For people with certain disabilities or socioeconomic challenges, inaccessible websites can be just as much of a barrier to their quality of life as physical obstacles.

Web accessibility means designing, offering, and maintaining your website and content in such a way as to remove as many of those barriers and obstacles as possible.

What Does Web Accessibility Look like?

Some examples of a site designed to promote accessibility for all include:

  • Providing descriptive Alt Text for images, so that blind and low-vision people can use the screen readers to access the content.
  • Posting videos and audio clips with captions and transcripts for deaf and hard-of-hearing visitors.
  • Having high contrast on your site and choosing fonts and sizes that are easier to see.
  • Allowing keyboard navigation for people with movement or fine motor control issues.
  • Keeping content short and relevant for people with ADHD or memory problems.

These are just a few examples. The main idea behind web accessibility is to make it as simple as possible for people with differing abilities or situational challenges to easily navigate your website, access the information provided there, and accomplish their goals for visiting your site.

Making Your Website Accessible to All

Mandatory and recommended standards for web accessibility are published by The Americans with Disabilities Act, the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, and the World Wide Web Consortium.

Complying with the standards can be a challenging undertaking that is often confusing and stressful for business owners. Failing to do so, however, can mean possible violations, fines, lawsuits, and a ruined reputation as an exclusionary company.

This is why your website should be created by, maintained by, and periodically reevaluated by a website design company that specializes in up-to-date web accessibility protocols.

What about Free Accessibility Plug-Ins?

As a business owner, you are of course always aware of the bottom line, so it may be tempting to use free plug-ins that promise to promote and provide accessibility on your website.

But there are a few problems with those free options.

While they do sometimes offer a few tweaks to enhance visibility – contrast, fonts, size, etc. – they fall far short of the other requirements mandated by law.

These plug-ins don’t offer keyboard navigation, screen reader compatibility and optimization, or photo tagging, to mention just a few of their shortcomings.

But perhaps the worst thing about these free plug-ins is that they give website owners a false sense of security. Just when you think that you are compliant, you find out that you were misinformed.

Not only does this alienate differently-able visitors/potential customers, it also could mean fines and lawsuits.

How bad could it get?

According to the ADA, the fine for a first offense is up to $75,000. The penalty for addition violations can be as high as $150,000.

And as far as lawsuits, there were over 4200 ADA website lawsuits filed in 2023. It can definitely happen to you if a visitor with a disability feels their rights are being violated by an exclusionary website.

Making Sure You Are Compliant With Web Accessibility Laws

Staying compliant and promoting equal access not only protects you legally, but it also boosts your brand and enhances your reputation as a socially-responsible and inclusive company.

The only way to guarantee that your website and content are properly available to all is with the help of a professional web designer that specializes in web accessibility.

The ClikIT Advantage

As one of the top IT Management companies, ClikIT is your one-stop first and best resource providing web hosting for your company’s website. We provide the digital services you need at a price you can afford.

From accessible website design to hosting to security and much more, we take care of your online needs so you can take care of your business and your customers.

For more information about what ClikIT can do for you, CONTACT US TODAY.

Written By ClikIT, LLC

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