How to Make Your Site User-friendly for the Disabled
Access to digital technology is evolving into a new challenge in the enforcement of civil rights for persons with disabilities. With more organizations advocating for people with disabilities, the people are now becoming aware of human rights equality, including access to online programs which often centers on the further need for effective communication.
Recent studies of the Annual Disability Status Reports said that around 10 per cent of the total world’s population, (650 million people) lives with a disability. This is reason enough to think what does this implies for your website.
For Visually Impaired Users
Visually impaired users can either have limited visual fields or a complete loss of sight, and they are about 285 million people worldwide who can’t interact with the common web interface like non-challenged individuals do. Let us not limit this with blind users; we also encounter challenges with users who have difficulties reading certain font size, style and color.
As web developers who always focus on satisfying user experience, we can avoid dictating fonts and colors settings. We can design websites that can be viewed the way users want the font and colors be through their own web browser and operating system. Google Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer let the users change the default fonts size and style. Microsoft Windows can even change the colors of fonts displayed on web pages and it can be applicable to all viewed webpages.
On the same note, even Facebook has the same ideals. The first blind software engineer, Peter Cottle, develop a Facebook tool that lets the visual impaired users to use the application like others do. The program describes the essential elements of a photo and tells it to the user through audio.
For Hearing Impaired Users
This will be a challenge to sites with video content and audio guides since many video developers create videos with narrations and such, a lot of important information that could be benefitting would not reach the user. You can include text scripts along the videos to communicate with the user. Not all does sites this, use this as an opportunity to reach out to larger audience.
For Physically Impaired Users
Some physically impaired users will not usually be able to use the keyboard and mouse. This will pose a challenge when it comes to user engagement with call-to-actions, buttons, surveys, and other user inputs.
As a developer, consider your layout as user friendly to those who have limited use of hands. It wills most like be hard to navigate if certain clickable items are too near to each other. Put more space between interactive elements, and make each item wide enough to be easily clickable.
Making your website disability-friendly does not just help users get the most out of the site, it also reaches to more audience and you can get good reviews to be added for your reputation.