10 tips for better online accessibility as a small business

Your website should be comprehensive for all people and cater to a diverse range of hardware, skill sets, situations, and hearing, movement, sight, and cognitive abilities.  Here are ten ways that you can make sure your website and online spaces are accessible for everyone. To learn more about accessibility online and the different types of accessibility barriers please read "Online Accessibility for Small Businesses." 
 
  1. Make sure that all page titles are clear and descriptive to orientate people that are using a screen reader to navigate your site. 

  2. Add Alt Text on all of your images to add a description for people who don’t see. They want to know what your beautiful images are all about too.

  3. Check for good colour contrast in your paragraph text and important information. You might be able to read it but if the page and text contrast is too low then it’s not going to be visible for everyone. 

  4. Make sure that text size is large enough to be readable, and that the text is zoomable and still formatted well (sometimes images on the page make text go wonky.)

  5. Test out your Keyboard navigation for the people that can’t use a mouse. Try moving around your website without using your mouse, using only your keyboard. Click in the address bar, then put your mouse aside and do not use it. Press the 'Tab' key to move through the elements on the page. You can press 'Shift-Tab' to go backwards.

  6. Get rid of cluttered sentences that don’t add value to your website for the people that have trouble concentrating. Have clear call-to-action and easy to find information for those that do not have experience or skills using the internet. Your important details should not be buried or assumed that people will look in the menu for them. 

  7.  Check different devices like mobile or tablet sizes. Have your friends and family review your website from their devices, or check out a website like this one, but real-life feedback is always better.

  8. View your website without images to experience what it could be like for someone that has a low internet connection or limited bandwidth. Make sure your important details are not embedded in the images. 

  9. Transcribe all information that is delivered by audio or video so there are a variety of ways to intake the information depending on their preferred learning style or ability. This also provides access to this information for people without sight or hearing. 

  10. Slow down, be wary using of quick-moving images and flashing text. It could potentially trigger a seizure and realistically our minds usually need more time to absorb new information than the creator assumes. Give at least 2 seconds before moving into a new image in a slideshow.

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