Web Accessibility Standards: Tips for law firm websites
Quick Overview of Web Accessibility Standards
The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect. – Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director and inventor of the World Wide Web web accessibility
Is your law firm’s website up to par?
In March 2015, the Diversity and Inclusion Charter of The Law Society announced a new set of accessibility requirements in the UK. This independent body has highlighted the need to provide inclusive and responsive services to meet the needs of diverse clients. In other words, web accessibility standards.
What is web accessibility?
Web accessibility refers to the inclusive practice of removing barriers that prevent interaction with, or access to websites, by people with disabilities. When sites are correctly designed, developed and edited, all users have equal access to information and functionality. – Wikipedia
What are the web accessibility standards in the UK?
A publication released by the UK legislator on their website www.gov.uk elaborated broadly on the accessibility issues with the needs of people with sight loss and disability in mind. Stipulations are inclusive of content to be presented in different ways to make it easier for all to access and understand.
Examples published by the W3C on their website elaborating in detail on the Accessibility Principles include the following:
- Text alternatives for non-text content such as audio and video on your website.
- Captions and other alternatives for multimedia, for example Sign language interpretation of audio content.
- Keyboard functionality for members of the public who do not use a mouse and rely on a keyboard to interact with the web.
- Scalable fonts to enable text readability with easy to use navigation are another standard for the visually impaired.
- Website creators must ensure that content is compatible with different browsers and assistive technologies such as online narrators.
4 quick ways you can take to make your law firm’s website more accessible
Add text descriptions for images, videos, etc.
Text descriptions help visually impaired individuals to understand the meaning of your multimedia elements. The same is true for audio, use a presentation that users can read while the audio is playing for the hearing impaired.
Add or maintain a sitemap.
Sitemaps have become a standard on the web and they function as navigational structures for users to easily find the information they are looking for on your website. Additionally, sitemaps help improve search engine optimization. An added bonus.
Create a consistent layout
Layout and graphic design consistency also simplifies the user experience. This can include the consistent use of color in a theme, as well as the appropriate placement of graphics as to not overdo them either. Make call to action buttons easy to find and click.
Validate the requirements and use the tools
Validate your webpages against the WCAG 2.0 requirements and use the information, tutorials and tools provided to improve your website offering and keep them up to date.
We recommend the Accessibility Checker by CKSource
For a full list of accessibility tools visit the W3C website www.w3.org/WAI/ER/tools/
Zapro digital can develop a website for your law firm that is robust, accessible and beautifully designed. Call us today for a quote. It has never been more important to consider the accessibility of your website to your audience. Can you afford to lose clients because of that?