Striving to remove barriers that prevent us from building Vibrant, Diverse, Inclusive, Accessible Communities!

 

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Top 9 Tips for Accessible Communications

Close-up of a computer keyboard with a highlighted green 'Accessibility' key, imagined as the gateway to creating inclusive digital experiences

Creating accessible content is crucial for ensuring inclusivity and removing barriers that prevent People with Disabilities from engaging with online information. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), provide a framework to make web content more accessible. These guidelines emphasize creating digital experiences that everyone, including Blind and Low Vision People, can access and enjoy. Think of accessibility like online content versions of wheelchair ramps or braille in printed materials.

Statistics highlight the significance of accessibility. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that 1.3 billion people worldwide experience significant disabilities. In the U.S., 61 million adults live with disabilities, and they collectively have $490 billion in disposable income. Many rely on assistive technology to consume digital content. Furthermore, 40% of people with disabilities would not support brands with inaccessible communication, while 60% would recommend brands with accessible communication.

Creating accessible content offers substantial business benefits. It increases audience reach, customer engagement, and lead conversions. It also enhances SEO, customer loyalty, and brand reputation. Accessibility is especially crucial for time-sensitive and crisis communications and any messaging affecting health and well-being. By producing disability-inclusive accessible content, we send a strong message that "we value People with Disabilities as vital community members."

To start improving accessibility, address common barriers like low contrast text, images without alt text, ambiguous links, and videos without captions or audio descriptions. Use inclusive, people-first language, avoid special characters, be cautious with emojis, and use descriptive links. Ensure all images have alt text, caption all videos, provide audio descriptions, and use accessible hashtags. Pay attention to color contrast and font size, and follow good writing practices. Regularly test your content for accessibility.

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By Tressa Robbins

Striving to remove barriers that prevent us from building a Diverse, Vibrant, Inclusive, Accessible Community!

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