Essential accessibility is a term used to describe the basic requirements that must be met to ensure that a website or digital product is accessible to all users, including those with disabilities. It involves designing and developing digital products with the needs of people with disabilities in mind, ensuring that they can access and use them without any barriers.
As we move into 2023, essential accessibility is becoming increasingly important for businesses and organizations of all sizes. The shift towards digital technologies has accelerated in recent years, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only made this more apparent. With more people relying on digital technology for work, education, and everyday tasks, it’s essential that everyone can access and use these technologies, regardless of their abilities.
Essential accessibility is also important from a legal perspective. In many countries, including the United States and Canada, digital accessibility is required by law. Failure to comply with accessibility regulations can result in legal action and financial penalties. As such, businesses and organizations must ensure that their digital products meet essential accessibility requirements to avoid legal issues and to provide equal access to all users.
There are many different aspects of essential accessibility that designers and developers must consider when creating digital products. These include:
- Keyboard Accessibility: People with physical disabilities may not be able to use a mouse or other pointing devices, so it’s important that digital products can be navigated using only a keyboard.
- Visual Accessibility: Users with visual impairments may require larger text, high contrast colors, or screen readers to access digital content.
- Audio Accessibility: Users with hearing impairments may require captions or transcripts for audio content.
- Cognitive Accessibility: Users with cognitive impairments may require simplified language or alternative formats to understand digital content.
To ensure that digital products meet essential accessibility requirements, designers and developers must use accessible design principles and follow best practices for accessibility. This includes using semantic HTML, providing alternative text for images, ensuring that forms can be completed using only a keyboard, and providing closed captions or transcripts for audio and video content.
In addition to following best practices for accessibility, designers and developers can also use accessibility tools and services to help identify and fix accessibility issues. These tools can include screen readers, color contrast checkers, and automated accessibility testing tools.
Essential accessibility is no longer an optional extra for digital products; it’s a fundamental requirement that businesses and organizations must meet. By designing and developing digital products with essential accessibility in mind, businesses can ensure that they are providing equal access to all users, meeting legal requirements, and creating inclusive experiences that benefit everyone. As we move into 2023 and beyond, essential accessibility will continue to be a critical aspect of creating digital products that meet the needs of all users. Reach out to the Valtira team of experts to learn more.