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Did you know that 98% of the world’s top one million websites don’t offer full digital accessibility to people with disabilities?1 Think about that figure for a moment. In a world where digital tech plays such a vital role in our lives, we have fallen woefully short of accommodating all of our fellow humans. Of course, this lack of accessibility directly impacts millions of visually impaired people. 

Three main issues should concern you if your website isn’t digitally accessible to people with visual impairments: 

  1. You’re excluding a massive user base of people who deserve access to your site.
  2. You’re risking legal liability for non-ADA compliance and non-WCAG 2 compliance
  3. You’re possibly hindering your overall sales potential. 

This sales impact referred to in the third issue above is particularly true of sites with eCommerce storefronts, which rely on the online sales funnel to drive revenue and profit. That’s because the sales funnel visually represents the customer’s journey from initial awareness to purchase. 

How Massive is the Potential Audience of Vision Disabled People? 

Numerous types of visual impairment impact people globally. The vision disabled include blind people, color blind people, and those who can see colors but struggle with unsharp vision, tunnel vision, or central field loss. 

The stats below show how substantial this potential web audience is:

  • 295 million have a moderate-to-severe vision impairment worldwide (2)  
  • 43 million are blind globally (2)
  • 36 million are color blind worldwide (3)
  • 55% of the worldwide visually impaired are women (3) 
  • 89% of the visually impaired are in low and middle-income countries (3)

Does your website accommodate this massive user base? 

The People Behind the Numbers

Let’s take a moment to reflect on the human element of this story. Beyond the possible legal jeopardy and sales impact, there’s also a moral obligation to be good corporate citizens. More pointedly, everyone deserves access to websites. 

To that end, it shouldn’t be more difficult for visually impaired people or those with any disability to use websites. That includes the nearly 90% of people from low and middle-income countries shown in the bullets above, yet another statistic that should make you pause and think. Because if your website doesn’t have assistive technology for the visually impaired, you’re not only excluding people with disabilities but also people of lesser economic means. That should be incentive enough to reach full compliance for businesses of any size or origin. 

The web is a predominantly visual medium, so digitally inaccessible websites are difficult or impossible for visually impaired people to use. Fortunately, numerous assistive technology tools make websites more inclusive for the visually impaired. The FAQ answers below can put you on the right path for developing a digitally accessible website for the visually impaired. 

Answers to Common FAQs About Accessibility for the Visually Disabled:  

Can a visually impaired person use a computer independently?

A visually impaired person can use a computer on their own using a screen reader.

Are there screen readers for mobile and desktop devices?

Yes. There are screen readers that work on both mobile and desktop devices for people with an eye impairment.

What are the best colors for accessible web design?

Many visually impaired people struggle when color contrast isn’t sufficiently distinct. However, there should be enough contrast for users to see all the different elements. Use an online contrast checker to check if your contrast ratios are WCAG 2.0 compliant.

Does achieving “accessible design” require going beyond just the look and feel of a website? 

Yes. For example, text-to-speech is read-aloud technology that’s helpful for many people with visual impairments.

What is image alt text, and why does it matter for visual impairment accessibility? 

An image alt text enables screen-readers to convert text into speech, which helps a visually impaired person see your website and understand what’s on a page.

How can you make web text more readable for those with moderate visual impairments?

Use customizable fonts (e.g., enlarged fonts) that eliminate the need to zoom in and out on a page. It also helps to use highlighted links. In other words, if something is important enough to link, it’s crucial to let visually impaired users know where that link is in the text. 

How can you ensure screen dimming doesn’t make readability more difficult for people with visual impairments? 

Many users are light-sensitive, so screen dimming is a standard feature on most devices. Here’s a good test to ensure it doesn’t hinder readability for the vision impaired: dim the screen on your website and look at the content. If text is hard to read or images are hard to see, make any possible adjustments to correct these issues.   

What’s the best way to address issues related to linked text?

Ensure your linked text makes sense, even when it’s out of context. This approach is your best solution because screen readers typically have link-to-link navigation that skips surrounding text. 

Want More Answers and Solutions? Discover Why UserWay Should be Your First Choice for Web Accessibility

UserWay is the world leader in providing Digital Accessibility to everyone, including those with a visual impairment disability. We believe digital access isn’t just a choice but a human right for people with all disabilities. It’s also the law – learn how our services help keep you ADA and WCAG 2 compliant. 

UserWay’s comprehensive offerings include: 

Please contact UserWay customer service to learn more.  

 

Sources

1. Crownpaeak: The Ultimate List of Web Accessibility and ADA Statistics

2. International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness’s Vision Atlas Report

3. National Library of Medicine