Did you know that 1 in 4 adult U.S. residents have a disability? People who identify as disabled are one of the largest minority groups in the country, so it’s crucial that content creators and business owners consider inclusive ways to deliver their services or products. Not only is equitable access a human right, in some instances it is also required by law. At this month’s On the Menu, we heard from experts Rachel Healy from Open Eye Creative and Alisa Herr from Unity Web Agency about easy actions to make your digital outreach more accessible.
1. Create captions for your videos
- This helps viewers who are deaf, ESL learners and school-age children.
- An SRT file is needed to create your video transcriptions and should be uploaded with your videos to the desired site.
2. Add an accessible video player which will allow your viewers to:
- Start or pause the video with the keyboard and/or mouse.
- Adjust volume and other sound settings with the keyboard and/or mouse.
- Turn on captions with the keyboard and/or mouse.
Updating your website
3. Write alt-text properly for photos
- Write a concise, yet descriptive, summary of the image that is under 125 characters.
- Avoid using terms such as “a picture of… ”
Less helpful: A picture of students working on a project.
More helpful: ECU undergraduate students working on a robotics project for their technology course.
4. Use descriptive link text when you want your viewer to visit another site
- Describe the destination of the link or the action of the click and avoid terms like “click here” or “learn more.”
Less helpful: Send us an email and let us know what you think here.
More helpful: Send us an email and let us know what you think.
5. Ensure that color contrast between text, icons and the background is high
- If the contrast is too low, it will be hard for viewers to see and read. A contrast ratio guideline for small text is 4.5 to 1 and for large text, it’s 3.5 to 1.
- Websites such as colorsafe.co can help you choose a complementary color pallet that is within the contrast requirements.
Even making small changes can improve search engine optimization performance and provide a better experience for existing and potential customers. You might even notice an increase in business after enhancing your online offerings with these tips! Watch the YouTube video of On the Menu: Making Digital Content More Accessible to go deeper into these steps.
Thank you to Alta Wren for sponsoring this month’s On the Menu, we couldn’t do it without your support!