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Is your website blind to accessibility issues? Start with these easy tips


In today’s increasingly digital world, accessibility poses a significant challenge for many Australians living with disabilities.

Despite technological advancements and the growing importance of digital platforms, a considerable portion of online information and services remain inaccessible. This not only limits the participation of people with disabilities in the digital landscape but also represents a missed opportunity for businesses to tap into a substantial consumer base.

Vision Australia’s research from 2022 revealed that the majority of blind and low vision respondents find websites extremely (21.8%) or somewhat (37.6%) difficult to use. Furthermore, 22.0% of respondents find websites neither easy nor difficult, whilst only 13.9% find websites somewhat easy and just 4.7% find them extremely easy to use.

These findings underscore the urgent need for improved accessibility measures particularly for those who are blind and low vision. Ensuring that websites, apps, and other digital systems are accessible is not only a matter of social responsibility but also a strategic business decision. By embracing inclusivity, businesses can broaden their audience reach and foster a more equitable society while maximising their market engagement.

What can SMEs do to be more digitally inclusive?

Small and medium-sized businesses may not have large budgets, but there are several cost-effective measures they can take to ensure their digital platforms are inclusive and accessible to all users. 

Learning and applying basic accessibility principles, such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), is a crucial first step. Implementing practices like using high contrast text, adding descriptive alt text to images, and ensuring keyboard navigation can significantly improve accessibility without extensive costs.

Seemingly minor changes, such as colour contrast and alt-text, can have a huge impact as WebAIM’s 2024 research identified these two issues as the most common barriers across the internet. Incorrect colour contrast can make it nearly impossible for users to navigate a web page or app, or digest the information provided. Without alt-text, people who are blind or have low vision and others who use screen-reading technologies miss out on crucial information conveyed by images. Ensuring all images have descriptive alt text allows screen readers to convey their content to visually impaired users. 

Additionally, writing content in clear and simple language makes it more accessible to a broader audience, including people with cognitive disabilities and non-native speakers. Offering keyboard navigation and providing captions for videos and transcripts for audio content can greatly enhance the usability of your site. 

It is also important to seek feedback from users with disabilities and invest in basic accessibility training for your team can also provide valuable insights and practical improvements.

To help businesses get started with navigating these improvements, there are accessible and affordable courses available such as Vision Australia’s Digital Access courses, starting with Writing Alt-text Masterclass and Making Colour Accessible. These initiatives aim to help professionals avoid common accessibility mistakes and improve the digital experience for all users. Vision Australia has also released a free Introduction to Digital Accessibility course to give people a foundational understanding of disability and digital accessibility.

By taking these steps, small and medium sized businesses can make meaningful strides toward digital inclusivity, enhancing the user experience for people with disabilities and broadening their market reach.

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