Making Your Work More Accessible for Those With Disabilities

April 2, 2016by Stephanie McKenzie

Accessibility, plain and simple, is about taking a few extra steps to make sure that everyone can access content. Those with varying degrees of blindness may have a hard time reading small type or rely entirely on audio from screen readers to understand a brand and what they do. For those with audial disabilities, your content may only be seen but not heard.

Next time you turn on the TV, close your eyes. What do you hear? Do you understand what is going on? What visual cues are you missing out on?

Here’s a short checklist to making your content more accessible:

  • Make sure that your online and mobile messages are equally expressed visually and audibly by adding alt text and a meta description that audio programs will pick up.
    • It’s important to have voice-over in commercials. Why? Hit play, close your eyes and guess what’s happening: silent commercial 
  • Ensure there is proper contrast between the color of text and the color of the background in both print and web.
  • Confirm the text is readable and understandable at every touchpoint. This may be as simple as linking definitions to unusual words or using simple language that can be heard easily if an audio program were to be read aloud.
  • Keep the designs clean and the content to the point.
  • Test! While working on a project try to experience the content from other perspectives. Try listening to a TV spot without watching it. Try watching the TV spot muted. Your message should shine through no matter what.

While you’re creating, look out for new technology and apps that help those with disabilities our friend @kevinrj is always a good source. Understand the changes and advances in screen readers and make sure your site and content works on them.

The goal is to get your brand’s message in front of the right people. In doing so, we need to make sure that we aren’t leaving any of the target out. Keeping a few considerations top of mind when it comes to accessibility will make your messages reach the right people in the right way.

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