In today’s age, over 2.2 billion people around the world are visually impaired. This is a huge audience that businesses can’t afford to miss out on. So, they should consider making their websites accessible for blind and visually impaired users. Businesses must optimize their websites so that visually impaired people can freely access and use sites and receive products or information they’re looking for. In this blog, our Drupal website design and development company will focus on making websites accessible for blind and visually impaired users.
What Do We Mean by Web Accessibility and Web Design for Blind Users?
Web accessibility for blind users means allowing visually impaired users to access, use, and understand your website freely. Creating an accessible site for the visually impaired and blind users is like constructing a house with a ramp.
In today’s era, more focus is given to the visual component of the website. This is not relevant for visually impaired users as in most cases they are unable to see it. Therefore, you need to carefully think about the ease of use and navigation so that they can use the website without any problem. Remember, only a high-quality website design can meet the needs of users with visual impairments.
How Do Visually Impaired Users See the Site?
For users with good eyesight, it is easy to navigate your website because they can use visual components on an intuitive level, for example, using headers of various levels, pictures, highlighted spots, menus, footers, etc.
On the other hand, it is very difficult for people with visual impairments or blind to navigate and use the website because they are cannot see it. Therefore, everything that a user with good eyesight sees is read by a screen reader to a blind or visually impaired user. A screen reader is a program that reads code and speaks the website content aloud. The program goes from left to right and top to bottom, from the first-level page titles or headings to the smaller ones.
How to Identify If the Website is Accessible to Blind Users?
You can find out if your website is accessible for blind users yourself, however, you can receive only a third of the data.
Here’s how you can test your website’s accessibility.
- Check if your images have proper alternate text
- Ensure that your headings are well-structured
- Test if your users can navigate your website using the TAB key
- Check if coded skip links are working properly
You can also leverage website accessibility tools including:
- WAVE Accessibility Toolbar
If you need to do a complete and accurate audit of your website for blind and visually impaired users, you can hire our expert Drupal developers today!
What are the Basic Principles of Website Accessibility?
Incorrect page markup can compel blind users to listen to all the information on the webpage in a row until they reach the desired section. Therefore, you must ensure that all structural elements have proper signatures, comprehensible types, and correct display.
The international WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) standard provides for the below-mentioned principles, which each digital product must abide by:
- The content should be perceived by everyone
- The content should be easily managed by everyone
- The content should be conceptualized by everyone
Our Drupal website design team makes sure that your website complies with all these rules to make it accessible to blind and visually impaired people. Hire our expert Drupal developers for high-quality website design and development.
How to Create Accessible Websites for the Blind and Visually Impaired?
1.Make Sure Every Page Has a Descriptive Page Title
When users with visual impairments visit your site, they should be able to locate and understand where they are. So, the very first element that the screen reader detects and reads must be the title of the page.
When it comes to code and accessibility, it is very crucial for the screen reader that this element is the first to be heard by blind users. This will help them understand which page they are on and what they can expect from the page.
2.All headings at the Same Level Must be of Equal Size and Style
For the blind, the basis of site navigation depends on the structure of the headings and their styles. Therefore, you must ensure that the headings have the correct structure and levels.
If you prescribe the headings as headings of various levels, then for the people with visual impairments the whole structure of information will look incorrect.
3.All Same Types of Elements Should Have the Same Appearance
If there are links on your site, then those must be prescribed properly so that the screen reader reads this as a link and not as a regular text. Meanwhile, the plain text should also not look like a hyperlink.
While this is a very common mistake, it can affect the structure of a digital product and turn a visually impaired user’s UX into a great problem.
To avoid these mistakes and optimize your site for the blind, you can hire our Drupal support and maintenance services from experts.
4.Make Your Headings and Titles Clear and Informative
People with poor eyesight have no other mediums of perception other than screen readers. Therefore, you should keep all the headings clear and informative.
For example, instead of writing simply Step 1, you should write Step 1: “Enter your name.”
This also implies linking text. Instead of writing just “see the link,” you should write “buy a product.”
Add the Table as a Table, Not as a Picture
If you need to add a table to your website, then it should be designed as a table so that it can be read by the screen reader properly. Make sure that timelines and columns have clear names. It is a good idea to indicate the total amount of time as it will help visually impaired users to assess the total amount of information.
Your Website Structure Should Be Clear and Carefully Thought Out
This is crucial because a blind and visually impaired user cannot receive information except what the screen reader reads. The lack of a logical structure and clearly defined areas in the code can create inaccessible digital products.
So, it’s important to correctly build information architecture and create a correct layout to make your website accessible for visually impaired users.
Use Correct and Adequate Contrast and Textures
Check the color contrast that you’ve used on your website. Similar colors are difficult to perceive for the blind and visually impaired users and create an additional problem for them as well as you. For example, WCAG advises using a contrast ratio of 4:5:1.
Make Your Website Accessible Through Keyboard Shortcuts
To help blind and visually impaired users to access and navigate your website easily, you should allow them to use keyboard shortcuts. The use of keyboard shortcuts makes site navigation much easier for the blind as they do not use a mouse. They can use keyboard commands to navigate your site.
How to Create a Website for the Blind and Visually Impaired?
Sometimes it may seem convenient to create two versions of your website for specially-abled people and everyone else. But trust us, this is not a feasible option. It’s best to make your website accessible to visually impaired users to gain a whole new audience.
If you need help with Drupal website design and development, you can hire our expert Drupal developers. We provide reliable Drupal support and maintenance services to help you build a robust digital product for all types of audiences. Contact us for the required support right away!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q.1. Can I migrate my WordPress website to the Drupal platform?
Ans. Yes, you can do it easily. You can use modules like WordPress Migrate for seamless migration. You can hire our experts for professional migration services.
Q.2. Which version should I choose – Drupal 7 or Drupal 8 to build a new website?
Ans. Though our expert Drupal developers strongly recommend you to choose Drupal 8 for creating something new, you need to consider many factors such as deployment schedule requirements, your expertise to meet requirements with core, your development team’s skills, and your business needs and capabilities.
Have More Questions? Feel Free to Contact Our Drupal Experts.