Here at Bravo Digital Marketing, we want to make sure the information on our website and the websites we build is available to as many people as possible, regardless of technology or ability. We design and develop websites to ensure content is available to the widest audience, including readers using assistive technology or accessibility features.
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Over 4.4 million people in Australia have some form of disability*. That's 1 in 5 people. If you are not factoring in 1 in 5 people that could engage with your business, is this good business practice? Is it time you thought about how accessible you are being to your community?
Our Director Shannon is passionate about creating an accessible web for all. With a legally blind sister, Shannon has seen first-hand how frustrating it can be when things are not accessible to people with blindness or low vision. It can be the simplest of things - like enabling pinch zoom on pages or ensuring the ALT text on images is correct - that makes a world of a difference to someone using assistive technology.
Website Accessibility Toolbars
On the right-hand side of this website you may notice that there is an accessibility toolbar. This toolbar has been built to help you with resizing of fonts, switching to high contrast or negative contrast, switching to grayscale and underlining links. We can help you set up a custom toolbar like this on your website.
Website Accessibility Auditing
Website Accessibility User Testing
Accessibility Testing helps us make your website available to as many people as possible, regardless of technology or ability.
The websites that we design and develop are rigorously tested by both our Director Shannon who is certified with Vision Australia and Shannon’s sister Heidi – who is legally blind. We use ow vision contractors to help us with user experience and website testing, this helps us make sure your website is as accessible as it can be. If you have opted for custom accessibility toolbars and statements, then these are also user tested. Read more about Heidi in this ABC article here: Technology keeps me normal: being young, blind and connected.
Accessibility doesn't just stop with your website. It's good for business.
It’s important to consider how your business as a whole is being accessible, especially if you operate directly with customers such as in retail or hospitality. When it comes to including customers with visual impairments you could consider having access to large print copies of your menus and other business communications. Or providing accessible documents in audio format that customers can request. If you work with Bravo Digital Marketing on website accessibility, we will also provide you with some pointers and steps so you can start to make your physical business more accessible.
Accessible practices are good for everyone. Including more people in your business can give you access to a larger pool of potential customers. There are many benefits that come with accessibility that goes beyond your website, such as the goodwill such an act creates, and the fantastic relationships you can build in your community.
FAQS on Website Accessibility
What is a Website Accessibility Statement?
A website accessibility statement is a public-facing statement or document focusing on how you as an individual or business are taking responsibility and working towards accessibility. Website accessibility statements show your users that you care about accessibility and about them. They provide your audience with information about the accessibility of your content and demonstrate a commitment to accessibility, and to social responsibility.
Find our Bravo Digital Marketing Website Accessibility Statement here. We can help you create your statement and publish it on your website. It’s important that these statements are factually correct and include information on how your website is aiming to be as accessible as possible. You need to talk the talk here and not just walk the walk.
What is WCAG 2.0 Compliance?
WCAG stands for “web content accessibility guidelines”. These are the internationally-recognised guidelines that are created by W3C. They are created to ensure that website users with disabilities such as those who are visually impaired, can access the content of the web in the same way as those who don’t have these challenges. W3C sets the main international standards for the World Wide Web and its accessibility. From our training with Vision Australia, we strive to meet level AA of standards.
What are the four key principles of WCAG?
Perceivable: The content on your website should be perceivable to users by using one or two of their senses.
Operable: Users of your website should feel at ease with website elements and should be able to interact and make inputs using a mouse, keyboard or voice command.
Understandable: The content of your website should be able to be understood by all.
Robust: The content of your website should be created to work across multiple browsers, different device operating systems and evolving platforms in the present and the future.
Can WCAG help with user experience of your website?
Yes, WCAG can help with the user experience of your website. If you are blind or have low vision, you may not be able to see images, but you may have no difficulty listening to audio. If you are deaf, you might see the images but require captions for video files. A learning disability may affect your ability to stay focused on a cluttered, flashing or moving page. WCAG 2.0 helps our developers make web content accessible to all people.
What is user experience testing?
User experience testing is the process of testing different aspects of user experience to determine the best way for a website and its elements to interact with its audience. We use testers based in Ballarat and Melbourne with physical and cognitive disabilities to evaluate and test our websites and work.
Does having an accessible website sacrifice great design?
No. Accessible website design can make your website look cleaner, which makes it easier for everybody to navigate, especially users with disabilities.
How do I make my website more compatible with assistive technology?
Here at Bravo Digital Marketing, our developers must re-examine your website’s code and make the necessary updates to achieve compatibility and optimise for assistive technology.
Does an accessible website design apply to more than just the look?
Absolutely. Accessible website design involves more than just considering the visual elements of your website. Our designers consider the functional needs of users with a range of disabilities. One example is the use of ARIA landmarks. ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications) landmarks are link attributes embedded in your website code that allow screen reader users to more easily navigate different kinds of content on your website.
Does web accessibility help with SEO?
Yes it can. Making your website more accessible isn’t just a way to serve a larger customer base. It can also help boost your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) efforts and help improve your website’s organic search rankings. Things like title tags, page structure, image alt text, video transcripts, navigation, sitemaps and linking are all important for both accessibility and SEO.
Google has confirmed that websites that give users a better experience can be more visible in search results pages than websites with a poor user experience. This is just one of the factors that go into the ranking algorithms of search engines. To find out more about SEO click here.
*Note: Not all disabilities keep people from reading screens and using the internet. For example, these figures include individuals who rely on walkers and wheelchairs. But other conditions, like visual impairment, difficulty grasping objects, autism and deafness, just to name a few, can severely limit an individual’s ability to use a computer or smartphone without accommodations.