As a business owner, you understand the importance of reaching potential clients and customers. As a result, you likely have a website for your company that can provide information for those interested in your business, provide opportunities for making purchases online and for various other purposes. You may have spent a considerable amount of time ensuring that your website looks good and is relatively easy to navigate.
However, were you thinking about the standard website user or did you include users with disabilities when you considered the ease of navigation? Often, many companies do not consider how certain aspects of their websites may not be accessible to individuals with disabilities or certain health conditions. While this may not seem like a big deal, it could open your company up to lawsuits.
What issues could affect website use?
It is common to overlook how a seemingly minor detail of a website could render it nearly impossible to use for a person with a disability. Some issues you may want to check your website for include the following:
- Background music: You may have thought it a nice touch to add background music to your site that plays automatically. However, if you did not include a way for users to stop the music, it could interfere with screen readers used by some visually impaired or blind users.
- Lack of video captions: Videos on websites can be a great way to add an interesting element. However, if your videos do not have captions, a deaf person or someone hard of hearing may not have full access to the videos.
- No alt-text: For images on websites, blind or visually impaired users often rely on alt-text that a screen reader uses to describe the images. If your site does not use alt-text for images, a visually impaired user likely will not know what is on the page.
- Flickering details: You may have thought that a flickering banner or another image would more easily draw attention to a certain aspect of the site, but if it flickers or flashes more than three times per second, it could cause a seizure in someone with epilepsy.
You certainly do not want to do anything to purposely exclude disabled users or to make their use of your website more difficult. However, some users may feel that this oversight is unacceptable, and a lawsuit could come against your company. If so, you may want to remember that you can defend against such allegations in California court.