Technical Service Bulletin Week 34 - Improving accessibility helps everyone

19 Aug 2019

Helen Grimbly

Helen Grimbly, Support Lead

This week, Support Lead, Helen Grimbly will be looking at how, often, improving accessibility helps everyone.

Web accessibility is the inclusive practice of ensuring there are no barriers that prevent interaction with, or access to, websites on the World Wide Web by people with disabilities. When sites are correctly designed, developed and edited, generally all users have equal access to information and functionality.1

The motivation to improve accessibility should not just be to help people with disabilies and meet law requirements - it tends to help users of all ages, young and old, with or without disabilities, and should be considered as such. It will help you as a website owner, your site will be more useable and likely improve revenue.

Many improvements help more people than you might think, for example: 
- Colour blindness - red / green most common - 1/12 men (8% of all men) have this, so not using colour as the only indication of information. 
- Labels on checkboxes - helps everyone, doesn't just help users with screen readers, it increases the area for users to click on. 
- Avoiding small text or low contrast colour - as many people's vision can deteriorate when they age. 
- Navigation in bookmarks (PDFs) - easier to navigate for everyone.

1 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_accessibility