Is your website as accessible as it could (or should) be? Perhaps you don’t think it’s that important? Accessibility is one of the considerations that’s always at the front of my mind (as it should be for any decent web copywriter).
A List Apart article Reframing accessibility for the web says that we need to stop talking about accessibility in terms of ‘people with disabilities’, and start talking about simply ‘people’. While I try to focus on making only web copy as accessible as possible (I’m not a developer or designer), I completely agree.
Fulfilling the minimal standards for web content accessibility makes your text more readily available, understandable and usable for everyone, search engines included. It’s not just a case of welcoming all visitors who come to your website; it can help you to actually reach more people too.
So what are the few areas that I look at when reviewing copy or writing it?
- Format and presentation (heading hierarchy, sentence and paragraph length, use of lists, links, navigation of long articles)
- Language used (suitable level for the target audience(s), jargon-free text, plain English)
- Alternative formats (appropriate tags for images and text for other content types)
From this simple summary of considerations, it’s easy to see how accessible copy is also more readable, easy to use and search friendly. Here are a few more handy articles on the topic:
- “Many of us are only temporarily able-bodied”: An alphabet of accessibility issues
- How to make web content more accessible: Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)
- A guide to understanding and implementing Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0
- Read about the benefits of an accessible website
What’s your approach to making sure your website and its content are accessible and readable for everyone?