Let’s go on a journey…imagine you’re one of the members of your nonprofit organization. You want to visit the office and meet the team over a cup of coffee. You have to take the bus from near your home to the other side of the city since your car is at the mechanic. But no worries, it should be a fairly quick and easy trip.
However, you realize the bus stop has been moved a couple of blocks down the road due to construction. You have a few physical barriers to deal with, such as no more sidewalk, cement blockades to hurdle, and ugh, a puddle to wade through left over from the rainstorm yesterday. These obstacles could have been avoided by planning and design. Still feel like continuing to walk to that bus stop?
Here’s what you’ve just experienced - the daily reality faced by your website visitors with disabilities when your website hasn’t been designed with their needs in mind. Ouch.
The power of the Web is in its universality.
Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect.
– Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web
What is Accessibility in Website Design?
The internet was created to work for all users, whatever hardware or software they use, whatever language they speak, wherever they are located, and whatever abilities they have. And when websites are designed to meet those characteristics, they are accessible to people with a diverse range of abilities, whether hearing, seeing, physical movement, and/or mental ability.
And, website accessibility also benefits visitors without disabilities, such as people using various digital devices (mobile phones, tablets, smart watches, etc.), people with changing abilities due to aging, people with temporary disabilities like lost glasses, and even people with slow internet connections.
Accessible designs improve your website visitors’ experience and satisfaction, and that’s what you want when you’re trying to let your community know about your nonprofit’s mission, provide an easy way for donors to give, and recruit volunteers and members. And, by the way, website accessibility compliance is the law.
What Are the Benefits of an Accessible Website?
As a nonprofit organization, your mission revolves around engaging people as volunteers, donors, and members. And an accessible website provides a people-centered approach that will benefit you by:
- Expanding your audience - when you remove barriers, all your website visitors can experience everything your nonprofit offers.
- Avoiding lost donations - poor website accessibility, navigation, and functionality can cost you visitors, which in turn can cost you revenue.
- Keeping up with ADA compliance - staying ahead of rapidly changing rules and regulations helps you mitigate risk of complaints and litigation.
Best Practices of Website Accessibility
In the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) guidelines, they offer accessible web design features. Here are just a few:
- Image ALT Text - this code allows vision-impaired people using screen readers to understand what the images on your website represent.
- Closed Captioning and Transcripts - providing these with audio or video content on your website will help hearing-impaired people.
- Color Contrast and Text Size - prioritize readable fonts with high color contrast will make your website more accessible for the elderly and visitors with vision loss or color blindness.
If you’re really interested in this topic, you can read more about the strategies, standards, and supporting resources website designers and developers use to make websites more accessible to people with disabilities. Check out the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative.
How Does OneEach Design With Accessibility In Mind?
We firmly believe that the internet should be available and accessible to anyone. We are committed to building a website for your nonprofit organization that is accessible to the widest possible audience, regardless of circumstances and ability. And, we practice what we preach.
As you navigate through our website, you’ll notice a blue circle with a stick figure in the middle in the bottom left-hand corner of each web page. It looks like this:
When you click on it, you’re provided with a listing of Accessibility Adjustments you can choose to make the accessibility profile right for you. Some of those options include:
- Seizure Safe Profile - eliminates flashes and reduces color
- Cognitive Disability Profile - assists with reading and focusing
- Content Adjustments - font size, line height, and letter spacing
- Color Adjustments - text colors, dark/light contrast, and color saturation
- Orientation Adjustments - mute sounds, hide images, and stop animations
- And much more!
Last, but not least, we believe so much in accessibility that we provide our Accessibility Statement on our website for all visitors to read. We invite you to read through the page to understand our accessibility philosophy. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us by email. We’re happy to hear from our website visitors and we’re here to help you.