Understanding Website Accessibility

What does it mean for a website to be accessible? Because people and their abilities are so diverse, many different practices fall under the umbrella of accessibility. The leading standard for accessibility practices is the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines

WCAG guidelines are numerous, and they may not all be relevant to your website. These are some of the most common accessibility measures that go into building a website:

  • Alternative text for images to allow visually impaired people to understand their content (WCAG 1.1.1)
  • Labels for interacting with website elements through assistive technologies like voice-controlled devices and screen readers (WCAG 3.3.2 and 1.3.1)
  • Special markup that allows users to browse the site via screen-reader technologies (WCAG 1.3.1)
  • Page markup which is arranged in the order in which content should be read by screen readers (WCAG 1.3.2)
  • Video captions and transcripts (WCAG 1.2.1)
  • An appropriate contrast ratio between text and background colors so that people with impaired vision can easily read website content (WCAG 1.4.3)
  • Pages that are navigable purely by keyboard (WCAG 2.1.1)
  • Links that allow redundant page information (such as page headers) to be skipped by screen readers (WCAG 2.4.1)
  • Page elements that behave predictably so they can easily be used via assistive technologies (WCAG 3.2.1 and 3.2.2)
  • Input elements with labels that allow elements to be used via assistive technologies (WCAG 3.3.2)
  • Page markup which conforms to web standard (WCAG 4.1.1)

We strive to include all of the above features on Code & Color websites, where applicable. For audio and video content not provided by Code & Color, we depend on our clients to provide appropriate transcripts along with that media to meet accessibility guidelines.

Guidelines and legal requirements vary across industries. It is ultimately up to the individual business owner to guarantee that their website meets all necessary accessibility guidelines.

Learn more about website accessibility with the following resources:

World Wide Web Consortium: How People With Disabilities Use the Web
Usability.gov:  Guide to Accessibility Basics
World Wide Web Consortium: Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
Google Developers Web Fundamentals: Accessibility