Website accessibility and the use of plain language are crucial to ensure that everyone, regardless of ability or disability, can access and understand the information on a website. This includes people with visual, auditory, cognitive, or physical impairments, as well as those who speak English as a second language or have low literacy levels.
To improve universal access, every website should:
- Use meaningful text for links: Instead of “click here,” use text that describes the destination of the link, such as “Download the PDF” or “Visit our Contact page.” This makes it easier for people using screen readers to understand where a link leads.
- Provide alt text for images: Alt text is a description of an image that screen readers read aloud. Providing alt text ensures that people who are blind or have low vision can understand the image’s content.
- Use proper document structure: Headings and subheadings help organize content and make it easier to navigate. They also help people with cognitive disabilities understand the structure of the page.
- Write using plain language: Use clear and concise language that is easy to understand. Avoid using technical jargon, abbreviations, or complex sentences that can be confusing for people with cognitive or literacy disabilities, as well as people unfamiliar with your business.
- Ensure keyboard accessibility: Some people with physical disabilities cannot use a mouse and rely on keyboard navigation to access a website. Make sure that users can access all interactive elements with a keyboard alone.
- Use color contrast appropriately: This helps users who have color perception issues or have low vision to differentiate between different elements on the website.
By implementing these essential practices, websites can immediately improve accessibility and ensure all users can access and understand the information they need.
Disclaimer: The original version of this text was generated by ChatGPT and then edited by Stephen Walker.