Web Content Accessibility Guidelines – WCAG

Making your content have web accessibility it’s a smart strategy, even if the law doesn’t require your business to do so. Since then, accessible content has allowed anyone to consume the posts. It also tells everyone that your brand recognizes the value of inclusive content.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines: What is Accessible Content?

Web content accessibility encompasses four principles:

Perceivable: Users can perceive all information presented, even if one of their senses is not functioning. In other words, if the person does not read it, there is audiovisual material. Similarly, if the audiovisual material cannot be seen and only heard, the audio should be explained so that it is not essential to see the video.

Usable: Users can use the interface and navigation components. In other words, they can easily interact intuitively. It also doesn’t need broadband to have full access.

Understandable: users can understand the information. In other words, use language that is easy to understand. In this sense, understanding takes precedence over any other objective.

Robust: Users can access content through assistive technologies. That is to say that the page structure is easily adaptable with navigation assistants. In this way, it allows a better experience with the content.

Web accessibility also deals with “situational handicaps,” temporary factors that affect how a person accesses or perceives a website. For example, a poor Wi-Fi connection can prevent access on a mobile device, or bright natural light makes it difficult for a user to access outdoors. 

Thus, the most accessible content is always usable, perceptible, and understandable. This is regardless of how, when, and where a person accesses the content.

What Content Should be Accessible on a Website?

The world authority, Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) defines web content as the information on a web page or web application. This includes text, images, and sounds, as well as code or markup that defines the structure, presentation, etc.

In other words, every piece of content published digitally must be accessible, including:

  1. Text content
  2. Downloadable PDF files.
  3. Electronic books
  4. Product Notes
  5. Video – live and recorded
  6. Audio – live and recorded
  7. Images and graphics

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines

How to Fix Content that is not Accessible on the Web?

1. Use descriptive text

The lack of descriptive text for essential components of a website is a common barrier to accessibility. In this example, phrases such as “find out more” and “find out more” aren’t self-explanatory enough. Instead, label links or buttons with what the person might expect to find, such as “Read full article” or “Go to the full article.”

Including descriptive page titles, headings, anchor text, meta descriptions, and the alt text for images is also helpful for search engine optimization. Indeed, these forms of structured data allow search engine crawlers to navigate your site’s content easily. Likewise, they provide information on assistive technologies that help people access web content with physical or visual disabilities.

2. Use enough color contrast

Low-contrast content, such as light gray text on a white background, can make it difficult for some people to see and understand the content. It’s not just difficult for people with permanent visual impairments. It is also difficult for people to see in bright or natural light and poorly calibrated screens. This hampers the accessibility of the website.

WCAG contrast criteria specify minimum contrasts between text and background colors. For font sizes 18 points or larger (14 points if bold), the contrast should be 3 to 1. For smaller font sizes, the contrast should be 4.5 to 1.

3. Create Alternative Formats for Audio and Visual Content

Making videos, webinars, and audio content accessible means including alternative formats, like transcripts. This textual content can also be useful for SEO because crawlers can search it. Minimizing background noise, including descriptive timestamps, and adding a skip function for your audience can also help.

4. Demonstrates Good user Experience for Web Accessibility

Remember, digital accessibility isn’t just about screen readers and color contrast. Web accessibility often comes down to optimizing the user experience (UX), which is also a priority for search platforms.

Think about the overall browsing and consuming experience of the content you create and publish. Is the content organized into clear and descriptive categories? Is your website searchable? Does the page load quickly and in the right format? Do attractive images and instructional graphics separate long blocks of text? All of these attributes can affect your site’s accessibility.

Demonstrates a good web accessibility user experience

5. Choose Your Words Well

Subtle language choices can make a big difference in web accessibility. Provide enough detail in the section the user is in. If necessary, adopt accessible sentences. For example, if we want them to review the image to complete the content, we can put it at the end of the “as detailed in the image” paragraph. If you want them to review a video or upload relevant information, this would also happen.

Moreover, language can also be a good opportunity for inclusion to address everything from gender identity to culture. The aim is to avoid content that may use stereotypes, communicate prejudice or discriminate against people. In addition, the content must be written inclusively.

Good Accessible Content is Relevant for Search Engines

The reward of having an accessible website is having a higher search engine presence. This means that Google will give a higher rating to content that meets these conditions. With permanence and a good user experience, the bounce on the page and the site will be less.