Making content accessible should be a key pillar of content strategy and content creation. Nearly one in five people in the UK and around a billion people worldwide – 15% of the human population – live with disability.
It is crucial that every aspect of the online world is available to everyone. People with disabilities should be able to use the internet with the same speed and ease as people without a disability. The goal should always be to ensure that no one is excluded.
For digital content, whether it’s websites or accessible PDFs, the most common disability that is taken into account is vision-related, either total or partial blindness. However, there are other areas that should also be considered, including hearing loss that will make audio or video unusable, motor disabilities that make a mouse unsuitable, or cognitive disabilities that make it difficult to focus on large amounts of information, for example.
Planning for accessibility should take into consideration every possible barrier that we are aware of, even the simple and inevitable deterioration of our abilities in later life. That is why official guidelines, guidance and advice are available from a range of bodies, including non-profit WebAIM (Web Accessibility in Mind) and W3C (the World Wide Web Consortium).
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0, for example, recommend steps for making content more accessible. And WebAIM has provided a checklist for planning and assessing your content for accessibility.
Designing with these principles in mind will create inclusive content and it also happens to make your content more user-friendly in general. By increasing your awareness of how people access content, testing your content for different situations and following best practices, you can ensure that you design content that is for everyone.
We’ve created an interactive guide which pulls these learnings together. Click here to learn how you can start creating accessible content for your audience today.