If you’re just beginning your journey towards digital accessibility you might feel overwhelmed by the amount of information available on the subject. But don’t worry about it, this article will help to understand the most frequent accessibility issues that you’ll encounter when you start checking your website and applications for accessibility problems.
However, prior to diving into the most prevalent accessibility issues on the internet, it is important to know about the web Content Accessibility Guidelines (commonly known as WCAG). These accessibility standards are created by the W3C and are in the process of updating to the version of WCAG 2.1. Making sure your digital assets are compliant with WCAG 2.1 can assist in providing accessible user experiences for people with disabilities, including people who use screen readers users keyboard users, and those who suffer from cognitive disabilities.
With our experience in helping businesses achieve accessibility across different digital platforms, we have identified the top ten issues you must be aware of when conducting an accessibility audit.
Image alt text errors
The absence of alternative text on images could create a confusing and unsatisfactory experience for screen readers. The inclusion of descriptive text using text in the alt attribute of images is an area in which we encounter a variety of issues. Examples:
- The text isn’t sufficient to provide a precise description.
- The text is overly voluminous and distracts attention from the main goal of the image.
- No alt is given or even provided, which typically leads to the image the src being read out to the user.
- Text is included for an image that is solely decorative.
- Image maps contain regions that aren’t marked by alt attributes.
No visual indicator of the focus of the moment
Screen magnification users and users of speech recognition depend on being aware of where the current focus of their input is on the page. A lot of times an author of a page isn’t taking this into account and then deliberately or unintentionally obscures this visual indicator in most cases, by hiding the outline completely.
Incorrect use of heading elements
A lot of times pages that have a lot of content may not have heading elements that aid screen readers comprehend the connection between the page’s information, as well as give them away to navigate through the pages. If headings (H1 to H6) are utilized in a way, they’re usually employed for visual formatting only.
Failure to use proper labels
When forms controls aren’t correctly labeled the assistive technology won’t be able to link the control with the label. This could make it difficult for people using assistive technology to comprehend the function that the controls serve. Certain assistive technology will attempt to auto-correct this issue and, although they are often successful, there are numerous instances where the form control is incorrectly labeled using this method which can cause more issues or confusion for the users.
Non-descriptive text to describe hyperlinks
A lot of times the text on the link does not be clear enough to permit the comprehension of the hyperlink’s function in isolation. For instance, hyperlinks could be on the page with the words ”click here” and ”click here”. As assistive technology permits users to search or sort quickly and easily navigate to pages’ links and the text that is used to create the link is essential to assistive technology users in order to complete their work quickly.
In most cases, tables are utilized to layout the page, but the creator of the page does not think about how the content will be arranged that can result in confusion for users of screen readers. Another reason is that data tables do not have the appropriate markup for the screen reader user to access the data needed to fully comprehend the data contained in each data cell. A common data table is presented in a manner that demands the creation of a complicated data table, but the markup required isn’t present, which can cause accessibility problems.
Embedding documents that aren’t accessible
PDFs as well as other documents that are classified as digital (such as PowerPoint or Word documents) must be accessible to people who are disabled. Some of these programs include an accessibility checker integrated into their programs to assist.
Different resources having the Same Descriptive Text
If you’re focused on creating great user experiences, it’s important to ensure that your descriptive text is pertinent and unique.
A few of these issues with accessibility can be identified with the help of automatic accessibility tools, such as ARC. Begin by checking your website to find out if it is accessible. When conducting an accessibility audit of your website or other digital assets, make sure to keep the customer experience on the top of your mind. Because it’s virtually impossible to examine the digital asset from a viewpoint of a user, it’s advisable to take additional steps and participate in tests of usability.
If you have concerns or require the assistance of an auditor, schedule a meeting to speak with D2i Technology expert.