They must also fully understand the accessibility parameters and the use of assistive technologies. Most people who own small businesses do not have all that knowledge, nor do they possess a dedicated web development team. For every modification of their website, they have to hire a designer and pay them charges that can add up in the long run. That is why most small business owners take a back step when it comes to making their website accessible.
Unfortunately for them, a website that is not ADA compliant can face an expensive lawsuit. But if they want to know how their websites can perform for people with disabilities, there are several easy and inexpensive ways.
One of the easiest and assured ways is to use a web accessibility platform like accessiBe or AudioEye. But if you prefer a DIY method that does not involve a lot of technical knowledge, these are some methods that you can use to check out the accessibility of your website.
Don’t Use A Mouse
One of the fastest ways to test your site’s accessibility on the web is to unplug your mouse and try accessing your website. It would mean that you will have to depend on your keyboard to control your website. The usual way to do that is to use the tab key to go forward in the order of interaction.
Pressing the shift and tab key together should take your back on that order. And to enter a page or a link, you will use the enter key. You need to ensure that you can access all the parts, such as menus and links, by using your keyboard only. Your website should also show you which element is in focus at the moment, and the order of focus should be predictable.
It is essential because most people with disabilities use assistive technologies to access websites. These devices, such as screen readers, function as a keyboard to access and interact with a website. So make sure that a keyboard is sufficient to interact with all the web pages to make it accessible.
Use High Contrast And Grayscale
According to surveys, more than 13 million Americans have visual disabilities. Most of them are not blind but suffer from other problems such as color blindness or low vision. They use high contrast modes on operating systems to use websites. So you can use these modes to check your website and make sure each element, such as texts, graphs, images, and icons are all clearly visible against the background.
You can also turn your website into a grayscale mode or reduce the saturation of your screen to zero, and try reading your website. Don’t forget interactive elements, such as notifications, alerts, and form fields. Web designers often use colors only to notify a user, but they might not be useful for people who are color blind. So make sure you can read, understand, and interact with each element of your website without colors.
Turn Off The Images
Go to the settings of your web browser and turn off images. Can you still understand and use every part of your website? Can you make sense of each part of the website without the pictures and access every page of the website? Or have some essential control icons disappeared? Images might be good for visuals and user experience (UX). They are also useful for people with cognitive disorders, such as dyslexia. But the information conveyed by them must also be accessible to the visually impaired. Therefore you should always have text-based alternatives for images that provide the necessary information or pose an essential role in the use of the website.
Check The Media Content
Do your videos start on their own without being prompted? Are there captions and transcripts that can get turned on and off? Are the videos supported with audio descriptions? Auto-playing videos can startle people with Hyperekplexia. Captions, transcripts, and audio descriptions are essential for people who are visually impaired or hard of hearing.
Turn Off CSS
CSS often gets used to reduce the size of documents as well as visual interfaces. Go to the web browser settings and select the option to view the pages without any styles. Check to see if any essential content, control, or icons disappeared along with the styles and background images? Are you facing any difficulties interacting with the web pages? Have the colors, text, and other essential elements of the website intact? Most people with vision-related disorders will use overlays that disable the CSS options of a website. So make sure that you can use the pages without it.
Website accessibility is no longer a privilege. It is a right reserved for people with every type of ability. So irrespective of the size of your business, make sure that it gets optimized for accessibility. It may not only save you from an expensive lawsuit but prove beneficial for your business in several other ways.
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