#LetsChangeThat : Influencers, Non-Profits & Businesses Speak Up for Web Accessibility

accessiBe News

We asked over 700 business owners and company leaders to define web accessibility, and just 25% were able to. accessiBe's #Letschangethat Campaign set out on a mission to share with the world what web accessibility means to the disability communities. Find out more now.

accessiBe Team

If you’re reading this article, you probably already know something about web accessibility. That puts you in a unique position to share with the many people who haven’t yet learned about it. While over 15% of the global population lives with a disability, only 3% of websites are accessible. This year, in honor of Global Accessibility Awareness Day, accessiBe, in collaboration with Getwizer platform decided to research the topic of web accessibility awareness in the business world. 

We asked over 700 business owners and company leaders to define web accessibility. Only 25% of them were able to.

With results like this, influencer and Co-founder of the Wheel With Me Foundation Jesi Stracham teamed up with accessiBe to ask people everywhere: what makes using the internet difficult, and how can companies improve the user experience from a more inclusive perspective?

Caption this

“When I’m using a website, especially being hard of hearing, and videos aren’t captioned, it makes it difficult for me to know what someone’s saying.” @miniproducer, Music Producer & Content Creator

That’s right… you’ve probably gotten used to seeing captions on videos, but there are still thousands posted daily without captions! Making sure that all video and audio content has captions is simple to implement and has a huge impact on users that are hard of hearing.

Just not clicking

“I’m Ali, for people with mobility impairments. With paralyzed hands, it’s really important websites have less number of clicks. It’s really challenging with paralyzed hands when you’re constantly clicking with the mouse.” - Ali Ingersoll, Disability DEI Corporate Consultant

Minimizing the number of clicks for all users is a good UX decision, but ensuring that actions can be completed with as few movements as possible is important for people with mobility disabilities.

Information overload

“I have ADHD, I find websites difficult to use when I’m overloaded with information and there’s no way for me to center my focus.” @marissapatry, Content Creator 

Did you know that more than 8 million people in the US have ADHD? That’s about 5% of the population. And that’s only including the people who are diagnosed and on record. Many more people live with ADHD and don’t know it. For users that have ADHD, too much information and a messy layout can be overwhelming and ultimately inaccessible. 

Screen reader ready

“I’m blind, I use a screen reader online. One of the main problems I encounter online is when websites aren’t coded properly, so if a link isn’t labeled properly, my screen reader cannot access that and can’t tell me what it is.” - Seren Jaye, Content Creator

“Not enough websites contain a good alt text - a description of images that allow me to properly understand the content of the website.” - Sheldon Lewis, Nonprofit Partnerships Manager at accessiBe

“I visit a lot of websites in my work. When I visit many of them, I hear things like “link, link, link” through my screen reader, which verbalizes whatever comes across the screen for you. I also hear things like “graphic” or “image.” The problem is, website developers have not done what they should do to make websites inclusive and accessible for me and other persons with disabilities. That’s a problem that doesn’t need to exist today.” - Mike Hingson, Chief Vision Officer at accessiBe

Screen-reading technology is groundbreaking in that it enables people who are blind to be able to navigate websites, make purchases, and follow people and trends on social media. It’s important to know, however, that a screen reader is only helpful for a particulate website if the code provides proper labels for text and images, otherwise the content remains inaccessible.

Bad communication skills

“I’m Jazzy. I’m deaf. I find the websites/internet hard to access sometimes because there’s no BSL, or VRS video calls, only limited captions on videos.” - Jazzy Whipps, Content Creator

BSL (British Sign Language) is used by people who are deaf. Without this sign interpretation on screen, it can be difficult to consume video content even with transcripts or captions. VRS (Video Relay Service) involves an assistant, who signs with their hands. If you want a fully inclusive experience - these components are very important.

“Hey, I’m Josh, and for people with spinal cord injuries like me, it’s about not being stuck on your websites’ forms. In the search and comment areas or being stuck at checkout when typing in your personal or credit card information - because voice dictation software is being blocked.” - Josh Basile, Community Relations Manager at accessiBe

For people who have limited mobility of body parts, they are often depending on voice dictation software to be able to fill out forms. Meaning, you can’t get the information needed for them to convert, purchase, or engage with your service unless your website is accessible. 

Tone it down

“Hey, I’m Haley and I’m very proudly autistic. For me, something that’s really difficult about the internet is too many contrasting colors and things that usually bounce around and pop up a lot, as it can be very overwhelming from a sensory perspective.” @haley.moss, Attorney, Advocate, Speaker

Multiple contrasting colors and lots of different information packed onto one page is an immediate turn-off for users with autism. A streamlined and clean UX is imperative to make the information consumable in a way that is efficient, comfortable, and inviting for all users.

“For people with epilepsy, with photosensitivity, flashing images and videos on websites are dangerous and triggering.” - Tae McKenzie, Actress, Model, and Activist

Movement and flashes are an absolute deal-breaker for a person with epilepsy to be able to access a website. It’s important to make sure that any image movement can be easily turned off, or else users with epilepsy will need to leave your site fast.

Essential not optional

“People with Ataxia, or others like me, find a fully accessible website, is essential. Going to a website without accessibility is their disability.”  - Krystal Schulze, Graphic Designer

“People like me have varying levels of challenges that they deal with day to day, and having an inaccessible website is an added disability which we don’t need.” - Mark Desa, Video Editor

Ataxia affects muscle control and coordination, and for people living with ataxia, if a website is not accessible, it’s not an option. Assistive technologies for people with disabilities are only useful if the website is built to work with them. Inclusive marketing recognizes that society often creates disabilities - like by continuing to have websites that are not accessible - rather than including all different types of people. 

If your website is accessible, let the world know!

Thanks to all of the incredible people who participated in

#LetsChangeThat, we at accessiBe are excited to see the outpouring of support with likes, comments, and shares from individuals and businesses alike. If you have an accessible website, you’re already participating in making the internet a more inclusive space, and you can join #
LetsChangeThat too! 

 If you’re wondering if your website is accessible, you can check here with accessScan and find out in just a few minutes and be part of the change.