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What Is Digital Accessibility?

Digital accessibility creates digital settings and products accessible to persons with a range of disabilities, so they are not prevented from using the service, goods, or function.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), implemented by the US Congress in 1990, requires that public and private venues be accessible to those with sensory, cognitive, and physical impairments or limitations. The ADA’s principles are extended to include the use of assistive or adaptive technology in digital accessibility.

For instance, audiobooks that convert text to speech can enable persons who are blind or partially sighted to read what is being said in videos that have closed captioning for the deaf and hard of hearing.

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), a different endeavor, were introduced in 1999 as a result of the World Wide Web’s effect. WCAG is a set of guidelines for improving the accessibility of web content for those with disabilities and also serves as a manual for businesses on how to adhere to the standards.

The initiatives do not, however, guarantee that businesses will always follow them. It is thought that almost all homepages breach at least one WCAG standard. Low contrast text, missing text for picture alternatives, textless buttons, and empty links were among the violations.

Why Is Accessibility to Digital Content Crucial?

Digital accessibility should be a guiding principle for technology and website design for a variety of reasons, from moral to legal, including the following:

Violations of the ADA may result in costly fines and other consequences. If a website is not user-friendly for people with disabilities, the company may be subject to a fine and other financial penalties, be asked to pay legal costs and perhaps be forced to rebuild the website to comply.

More than 1 billion people, or 15% of the world’s population, are believed to be living with a handicap. Consequences of inaccessible technologies or websites might range from the loss of potential clients to the denial of necessary access to services.

Non-disabled users of a website can also benefit from digital accessibility. Most users can more easily traverse a website thanks to accessibility features.

Developing an inclusive culture can improve a business’s relationships with both consumers and employees. There is still more work to be done, even if businesses have started focusing on diversity, equality, and inclusion (DEI) programs and policies.

What Are the Four Digital Accessibility Tenets?

The four following WCAG guidelines for web accessibility are the cornerstones of accessible web content and go by the abbreviation POUR.

Perceivable: Nothing should be hidden or invisible to the user when it comes to the information in the user interface and content. If a user has an impairment, they should be able to access content via another sense. People who are blind or partially sighted, for instance, might need to use touch or audio instead of the majority of people who access the internet visually.

Operable: Even if they aren’t used by the majority of users, users should be able to navigate a website using the controls they are accustomed to using. Controls, buttons, and other interface components that can be physically operated through various types of interaction, such as voice instructions, should be included.

Understandable: All users should be able to grasp websites, and they shouldn’t be unduly complicated. A website should be laid out according to common usage patterns and should have some resemblance to how other websites typically operate. The material should be presented in a way that allows the end user to comprehend its meaning and intent.

Robust: Content must be equally strong across a wide range of technologies and platforms, including PCs, mobile devices, and various browsers.

The website will not be accessible to persons with impairments if any one of these four rules is broken.

Examples of Accessibility in Digital Form

The following are a few typical instances of digital accessibility for a well-designed website:

Picture alt text: The text on a screen can be read by screen readers and other assistive technology, but images cannot be read. Everything that is pictorial must have a full-text alternative, such as reading a description of the image or the text that is placed there. This can be crucial for flowcharts, schematics, graphs, maps, menu buttons, infographics, and slides that serve as explanations.

Accessibility to a keyboard: Instead of using a mouse, a disabled person may navigate using a keyboard. A website should be fully keyboard accessible, with tabs used to navigate logically and predictably between sections, menus, form fields, and links, as well as to other content regions.

Headings that appear in order: Not only are page headings important for appearance, but they are also essential for navigation and content organization. The content should be organized and presented in a way that makes it easy to read and understand, and headings should be coded using actual heading components.

Links that are formatted correctly: Both impaired and non-disabled users may find hyperlinks challenging because of factors like light linking color. One of the most crucial components for all users can be a proper connection. Users of reading aids frequently look for recognizable hyperlinks. However, they don’t always appear. The following three elements must be present in a properly constructed hyperlink:

  • Readability, which doesn’t just list the URL but also employs everyday language.
  • Clarity indicates the link’s content.
  • Uniqueness, which sets the link apart from other material in the body copy by giving it a description.

Reliable navigation: A website’s pages should all have the same or a comparable style, layout, and navigational controls to ensure a consistent user experience (UX). This makes it easier for users to navigate a website with the knowledge that their experience will be consistent and error-free. It’s crucial to use icons and control elements consistently and place repeat navigation links in the same spot on every page, including skip links.

How Can Businesses Encourage Digital Accessibility?

With such a large number of websites not adhering to digital accessibility guidelines, what can business owners do? The following best practices can help organizations support and enhance digital accessibility:

Finish your homework: Learn about the ADA’s implications for web accessibility.

Make a plan: Organizations should promote participation from staff members who will gain from accessibility policies in developing a plan for accessibility compliance.

Perform an internal audit: Companies should start with their own internal networks before creating externally facing services. This should cover platforms that staff members regularly use for meetings, sales and support, and other tasks related to their jobs. It will be beneficial to learn how to create appropriate digital accessibility.

Pay attention to changes: Knowing the newest protocols and resources is key.


While this may seem overwhelming, we are here to help you! At Quality Logic, we have experts that can help you navigate your systems and make sure they’re digitally accessible. Visit our website to learn more about our services at qualitylogic.com.

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