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Accessibility: Is your website causing you to loose potential clients?

Accessibility: Is your website causing you to loose potential clients?

With millions of people going online everyday the potential for your business is almost unimaginable! However, the great challenge is creating an environment that is positive, effective, and accessible to all of your potential clients.

No two people see everything exactly the same way. In addition to our own paradigms that shape how we interpret things presented to us, there are also very real obstacles that affect many people surfing the web. By removing barriers to accessibility and addressing these obstacles you open the door to new business and greater success.

"The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect." - Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director (Web Accessibility Initiative)

The most common obstacles facing many individuals are auditory and visual. This includes people with various levels of hearing, language barriers, color blindness, visual perception, level of sight, and complete loss of sight. Any of these challenges can render your site potentially useless to a visitor and potential client who may simply be unable to distinguish the color variation of your text on your background.

In the United States a new Bill has been proposed to legislate the web and enforce handicap accessibility standards for all government related websites. While there is currently no policy in place for the private sector, the issue has provided insight and opportunity for every business to be more accessible.

Some basic steps you can take to open your site to potential clients:

1) Make sure all of your relevant and core content is in text-based format. For example: if you have power statements as graphics embedded in your content they will not be readable by a speech synthesizer (a tool used by people to turn written content into an auditory format).

2) Make sure your images have alt tags that say what they are. If someone is using a Braille display to view the web, untagged images show up as a large blank space that could easily be interpreted as the end of the content.

3) Try changing your setting to quickly view your site in black and white. This is an option that people with color blindness in any degree often use so they can avoid missing valuable content. Check to see if your color palette allows text and hyperlinks to still be clear and readable.

New technology is bringing more and more people online everyday. Is your site ready and open to everyone?

Have a successful day! Leslie Durand, Marketing Coach and Emarketing Specialist

Leslie brings over 10 years experience in new media marketing to every project and a unique coaching approach to every client relationship. http://www.ldurandconsulting.com

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