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Digital Accessibility: In Their Shoes

An interactive experience to help educate and raise awareness of the impact of physical, auditory, and visual impairments on accessing digital content.

 

Best viewed on desktop.

Visual Impairments Physical Impairments Cognitive Impairments Auditory Impairments
Accessibility image

Digital Accessibility in 2021

We can do more online today than ever before. From ordering food and making reservations, to catching up with friends and attending university; the internet has changed how we shop, communicate, learn, and make decisions – it’s changed how we develop and interact as human beings.

But for all its incredible magic, it comes with one big problem: digital accessibility.

  • Over one billion people have a disability that affects their ability to read the web
  • 70% of digital content is not accessible to them
  • 71% of customers with accessibility needs will leave a website they find difficult to use

The first step in tackling digital accessibility is understanding the various types of impairment and how these affect millions of people around the world.

With greater knowledge comes greater responsibility, and that’s how we’re going to start building better digital experiences for all.

Visual

There are many types of visual impairment that can make it difficult for people to access information online, such as color blindness, low vision, and cataracts.

From fonts that are too small to information that uses color alone to convey its message (think bar charts or blue hyperlinks); many websites are simply not built for those with visual impairments. And this is because most websites aren’t designed for those with a visual disability in mind.



Colorblind Protanopia
Normal Vision

Take a look!

Click the options below to discover how these visual impairments affect digital accessibility.

Good vision Macular degeneration Cataract Retinitis
Cateracts icon
Cataracts – 5 million people
Low vision icon
Low vision – 2.2 billion people
Colourblind icon
Color blindness – 300 million people

Auditory

People with hearing loss or tinnitus struggle to access content that uses sound alone to convey its message, such as videos that use voiceovers.

But actually, it’s not just deaf people who watch content without sound. When Instagram first launched videos, more than five million were shared within 24 hours – and 85% of people watched them without sound. It seems there’s a pretty large number of us who prefer to watch videos in silence. So it’s important to ensure your content is accessible without sound.



Take a look!

Click the options below to discover how auditory impairments affect digital accessibility.

A good hearing Whistling tinnitus Crackling tinnitus Perceptive deafness
Hearing loss icon
Disabling hearing loss – 466 million people
Tinitus icon
Tinnitus – over 16 million people
Subtitles icon
Videos with captions generate a 12% increase in viewership on average

Physical

Whether someone was born paralyzed or became paralyzed following an accident or medical condition, it’s likely to affect their ability to do everyday activities in some way. Things like going to the shops, trying on clothes in a changing room, or visiting the library become difficult, sometimes even impossible tasks.

This means for those with physical impairments, the internet is often a lifeline; somewhere they can order things for home delivery, stay in touch with friends, or find the information they need about their condition.

Take a look!

Click the options below and hover over the text to the right to discover how physical impairments affect digital accessibility.

Able-bodied Motor neurone disease
Paralysis icon
Paralysis: The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates there are 250,000 to 500,000 new cases of spinal cord injury globally every year.
Motor skills icon
Lack of motor control: People who are unable to direct and regulate their movement.

Cognitive

Cognitive and learning disabilities impact how people process information. They may affect someone’s ability to comprehend a large block of text or make it hard for someone to concentrate on a webpage for too long.

This means that while those with cognitive disabilities use the internet with a mouse and keyboard – there are still ways of making your website content more accessible to them when they’re there.

Take a look!

Great Content Badly Structured Content
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Our top tips for not killing your website

 

1. Ensure your desktop and mobile content is the same

The easiest way to ensure your website doesn’t take a nose dive off an SEO cliff is to keep your mobile and desktop content the same, especially the content signals that directly impact crawling, indexing and ranking (such as on-page content, internal links, titles and descriptions). Gone are the days of creating mobile and desktop versions of the same content.

 

2. Double down on responsive web design

If you’ve been flirting with responsive web design for a while, then now’s the time to launch full speed ahead. Why? Because a responsive website serves one consistent ‘version’ of the page code and is the single most straightforward way to ensure parity between your desktop and mobile content, and a great online browsing experience for both.

By prioritising the creation of a simple and intuitive mobile user journey (one that’s the same on desktop thanks to responsive web design), your SEO efforts won’t be in vain and your website will continue to rank on Google.

 

3. The mobile-friendliness test

If your site is not mobile-friendly, you’re going to really struggle to rank. Luckily, there’s a super simple way to check how mobile-ready your site is – Google’s mobile-friendliness test. Remember, ensuring your website passes this test is an absolute minimum for your 2021 digital strategy. If your site fails, you’d better believe you’ll pay for it in search engine rankings. But not only that, your business will pay for it in unhappy customers, meaning your bottom line will pay for it in lost revenue. Yes, you really need to pass this test.



 

OUR TOP TIPS FOR NOT KILLING YOUR WEBSITE
Ensure your desktop and mobile content is the same: The easiest way to ensure your website doesn’t take a nose dive off an SEO cliff is to keep your mobile and desktop content the same, especially the content signals that directly impact crawling, indexing and ranking (such as on-page content, internal links, titles and descriptions). Gone are the days of creating mobile and desktop versions of the same content. Double down on responsive web design: If you’ve been flirting with responsive web design for a while, then now’s the time to launch full speed ahead. Why? Because a responsive website serves one consistent ‘version’ of the page code and is the single most straightforward way to ensure parity between your desktop and mobile content, and a great online browsing experience for both.By prioritising the creation of a simple and intuitive mobile user journey (one that’s the same on desktop thanks to responsive web design), your SEO efforts won’t be in vain and your website will continue to rank on Google.The mobile-friendliness tes: If your site is not mobile-friendly, you’re going to really struggle to rank. Luckily, there’s a super simple way to check how mobile-ready your site is – Google’s mobile-friendliness test. Remember, ensuring your website passes this test is an absolute minimum for your 2021 digital strategy. If your site fails, you’d better believe you’ll pay for it in search engine rankings. But not only that, your business will pay for it in unhappy customers, meaning your bottom line will pay for it in lost revenue. Yes, you really need to pass this test.
Dyslexia icon
Dyslexia: (700 million people) A common learning difficulty that causes problems with reading, writing, and spelling.
Austism icon
Autism: (one in 270 people) A lifelong developmental disability that impacts a person's social skills, communication, relationships, and self-regulation.
ADHD icon
ADHD: (2.8% of the global population) People who are easily distracted and often struggle with short-term memory and completing instructions.

Download the handbook

Our digital accessibility handbook will:

  • Teach you more about impairments that affect people’s ability to use the web

  • Provide actionable insights about creating better user experiences for all

  • Give you a handy checklist to ensure your website is accessible

    Accessibility-Interactive-LP-Handbook-1