Internet and people with disabilities: The equality of the web in front of the human being
Nicolas Schmitz, 2018/06/05
What are the problems experienced by people with disabilities on the web? What are the latest innovations that contribute to improving access to websites? Subforce takes stock!
In a world where we are all looking for equality among society, the digital business is not the exception by strengthening the accessibility of people with disabilities to websites.
In this context, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) version 2.0 specifically refers to the topic of improving the accessibility of websites since December 11, 2008. Making your website accessible to everybody it's a social commitment, but it also provides your website with significant benefits .
First of all, current consumer trends encourage companies to strongly consider environmental, social and ethical issues in their daily activities, what is more commonly known as CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility). As a result, working to improve accessibility for people with disabilities greatly enhances the image of your brand and highlights the core values of your company.
On the other hand, people with disabilities are most of the time, people with reduced mobility and potentially important users of remote services such as e-commerce.Therefore,the additional costs of redesigning or improving your website can not be an excuse, especially in order to strengthen the principles of equality in our society.
What solutions? For which type of disabilities?
The concerned population suffer different problems such as nearsightedness or presbyopia (10% of the population). Additionally there is also a high percentage of population struggling with difficulties differentiating colors.
"Do you know that 4.5% of your audience potentially suffer from daltonism?"
And if the audience of your website is mainly masculine this figure increase to 8%.The main problem is the differentiation of color, but fortunately online tools such as Color Oracle (allows to see your website with the eyes of a color-blind person) or Check My Colors (evaluate your site and send you recommendations) this tools are available to make your website accessible to users with disability.
Hearing impairment is a disability that affects more than 11% of the population, although hearing impairment is often neglected. Influencers are increasing the use of subtitles on Facebook and Youtube videos because most of them acknowledge the fact that people with hearing impairment are an important part of their audience.
The subtitles in all your content with audio, is therefore a social responsibility. Another solution is the use of Ava, the application that allows transcription of audio content directly on your smartphone.
The motor impairment
A motor impairment is often referred to as mobility difficulties.
Is it possible to navigate your website without needing the use of the mouse? Are the elements on your website accessible through the "tab" key? Can links of images or related pages be activated with the "Enter" key?
You must consider the cases where the use of the keyboard might be an alternative to the mouse and in consequence facilitates navigation on your website.
Cognitive impairment can be summed up in 3 categories: problems of concentration, memory and comprehension. Here, the challenge lies in the structure and organization of your website.
For example, for people suffering from dyslexia, it would be very useful to be able to change the font or colors of the text content to be able to differentiate groups of words by sizes or color codes. Here, the most important thing is to have a clean design and a simple web architecture, that will also benefit your entire audience. A website that is easy to use, often results in a website with a significant conversion rate.
Innovative enterprises that make people with disabilities their priority
Facil'iti is a French company that won the 1st Prize for social innovation in 2016 and 2017 as well as recognition and support from Google to grow in New York market.
The concept is simple: the content of a website is adapted to the needs of each user for example, clickable areas are modified for a person with Parkinson's disease, fonts can be magnified for a visually impaired person, colors changed for a color-blind (importance of the contrast between 2 colors), sounds are replaced by colors to facilitate the dyslexics, the design is also adapted for the seniors, etc ...
The company is developing by charging Internet sites for the adaptation of their websites and offers his service for free to disabled people, who just need to register once on a platform that was developed by the company.
This company has created the first touch pad that can be used by visually impaired or blind. This tablet is in braille and is the first in the world!
The principle of this technological innovation is the bi-acuity, which allows visually impaired people to take courses taught by sighted people. The slogan of this company is "the world at your fingertips".
Subforce and the alt attribute
At Subforce, we believe in the website accessible to all and for this purpose, when coding we integrate the "alt attribute" which means "alternative text".
This short text associated with each image of the website has a role of description and allows visually impaired people who use screen-reading by speech synthesis, to truly understand the textual and visual content of the web page. In addition, this method allows a better SEO of the website by providing accurate information for each image to search engines.
In this article, we were able to see the different issues surrounding the access of people with disabilities to the website, and in each case, the optimization of your website for this population brings significant benefits for everyone.
Therefore, to help the other is also to help oneself.