Websites and apps need to be compatible with Assistive Technology (AT). Below are the top five barriers that people with disabilities face when websites and apps are not compatible with AT they need to access the online world.
Alternative text is necessary for access as it describes photos/infographics in detail so a screen reader can read about a photo to a person who is blind or legally blind. When alternative text is missing, people who are blind or legally blind do not have equal access to these visual essentials. To ensure access, there needs to be a textual equivalent to what is visually conveyed.
Labels on Form Fields
Form fields are not automatically able to be read by screen readers, hence the need for labels. Labels allow access for people who are blind or legally blind to know what content needs to be entered into each field allowing them to independently fill out the online form.
The contrast of the text color in comparison to the page color, known as color contrast, can either allow or hinder a person who has low vision to see all content on that webpage with ease. There are specific color contrast ratios to stick by to ensure equal access to people with low vision.
Many people who are blind or have limited manual dexterity, use keyboard navigation to access the web and/or app content. Every element clickable by mouse should also be accessible via keyboard.
Visual Indication of Focus
Visual indication of focus allows sighted keyboard-only users to know where they are on a page which is helpful for navigating through web pages via keyboard. For example, a visual indication of focus is helpful when completing tasks like filling out a form or picking from a drop-down menu. Sighted keyboard-only users may include people with limited manual dexterity, low vision and/or an intellectual disability.
58 million people in the US have a disability, meaning 20% of the people using your website has a disability and may use one or more types of AT to access your website. A website that is not compatible with AT is not accessible to all. This is not only discriminatory but not good business. Ensure that the disability community can your website by making it compatible with AT and in turn be providing equal service to this $490 billion market.