A Few Tips on How to Make your Website Accessible for Blind Visitors

Jaws for Windows
JAWS for Windows Logo from Freedom Scientific website

The first thing you’d want if you are an owner of a website is to get as many visitors as possible in any given day right? Now that even a blind person can browse the internet, you should also recognize his needs when he is on your web page like the correct layout of your pages, proper naming of all the elements;alt attribute for all images he may encounter, proper naming of your pages and other things.

Heading tag

When you put headings anywhere on your website, you are giving a great service to all of your blind visitors especially screen reader users right away. A screen reader is a software used by visually impaired people to read any information displayed on the screen like your blog title! By pressing the arrow keys, your blind visitors can eventually locate the contents they are looking for but it is going to take some time. However, by using (h1 to h6) tag, it would become easier for them to go directly to a section they prefer say the latest article you’ve posted. With the help of a keystroke, they can land on the title without reading the unnecessary information.

Proper naming of all pages your website has

Links will bring your blind visitors to another part of your site that’s why you should consider to name the individual page according to their purpose. If the page is about your contact information, you may want the title to be “Contact me” or “Here’s my contact info” without again, those unnecessary information like your homepage name, the description etc.

Label your form fields correctly for accessibility purposes

There’s this one time when I was browsing the net and found a blog. I decided to contact the author of that blog to inquire something. However when I was already in the contact form ready to write my message, I discovered a problem. I couldn’t locate the correct fields because there were no proper labels. So I contacted the blog admin about it and fortunately they responded immediately saying that they would correct the problem as soon as possible.

This is not just for the edit fields, but for other objects on the site as well. If you can use a more accessible object, we, (blind visitors of your website) would certainly appreciate it.

The alt attribute

Putting images on your site is definitely a wonderful way of attracting visitors. But improper naming of images can also affect the number of your blind visitors. Why bother? Because your blind visitors can also contribute to your website’s development. Even most of the time they can’t click your ads, however, they can read some information about your products including reviews and price comparison which they can share the link to their friends and ask them to also visit your site. all of these will be possible if they know the product name especially when it’s in the alt text.

How does proper naming of an image affect your blind visitors?

540208P2080002

For example this graphic.

Now imagine a blind who is using a screen reader encounters the image. What he will hear are those meaningless letters and numbers in your alt text.

A green coconut at tree

I’m sure the blind would appreciate it better if he or she encounters an image with a description like in this last image.

Conclusion

Many blind visitors visit the website of the product they bought or plann to buy. And expect that they can find the information they are looking for. But in the end, they become frustrated and disappointed not because they realized that the product isn’t great but simply because the information about it is inaccessible. So if you really want to get some good reputation as a seller or a website owner, start by giving a little consideration to the feelings of any sector including those Persons with disabilities. Anyway they don’t ask you to offer them your products or services for free but just simply to be accessible!

Image source: Free Digital Photos

2 comments on “A Few Tips on How to Make your Website Accessible for Blind Visitors
  1. Evangeline says:

    Nice article. I also suggest to write one about the benefits of having a blind visitors. Because sometimes site owners think that the blind community is just small so they don’t bother to consider these important things. Keep it up.

    • Joey G. says:

      Thanks for the nice words Evangeline. You’re right. Even blind can buy their product. That’s why it is important to make sure that the website is accessible for screen readers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.