As a nonprofit organization, being inclusive is something you work hard to achieve every day…
And this should include your website.
What is Web Accessibility for Nonprofits?
Web accessibility for nonprofits means there are no barriers to accessing information, especially for those with disabilities. Disabilities and impairments can be visual, auditory, cognitive, or physical.
According to the World Wide Web Consortium, an international standards organization, your content should be:
- Perceivable: Content is accessible through at least one of the five senses, like sight or sound.
- Operable: You’re not asking the user to perform an action they aren’t capable of, like holding a mouse.
- Understandable: Information should be easy to find and understand through intuitive navigation and simple content.
- Robust: You offer a variety of technology options to access content including different devices and web browsers.
Accessible Content Helps Your Organization Grow
More than 25 percent of Americans live with a disability. That’s sixty-one million people who may have trouble accessing your website. A disability doesn’t mean they can’t be your ideal donor, volunteer, employee, or board member, however…
So do you really want to leave these folks out?
How Do I Make My Website Accessible?
To make your website accessible, here are a few of the most important changes you can make:
Offer Several Ways to Consume Content
Someone with a visual impairment can’t read your website, but they can use a screen reader, listen to a video, or access audio files. A visitor with a cognitive disability may struggle with a page full of text, but a video lets them pause and review. Offering a variety of ways to consume content helps include those with disabilities.
Adjust Your Colors and Fonts
For those with visual impairments, higher-contrasting colors are easier to read. Underline and use contrasting colors on links and buttons so users understand they’re clickable.
Keep fonts simple and easy to read. And allow your font size to be increased as needed.
Create Clear Navigation
Avoid vague or confusing text like “click here” in navigation or buttons. These phrases will be confusing for someone using a screen reader, for example. Use clearer navigation, like “Learn More About Our Programs.”
Include Spacing and Control Options
Those with cognitive disabilities or mobility issues can have difficulty reading or selecting content that’s overcrowded on your page. Break up text with headings and bulleted lists and make sure clickable targets like buttons and links are large enough to easily identify, access, and tap on a touch screen.
Make sure users can “tab” through form fields if they can’t use a mouse. Work with your developer to add code so users can easily move through the fields by using alternative commands.
Add pause and volume control on audio files. This helps those who need time to process information or need to adjust the sound level to what works best for them. Remove interruptions in videos and text to make learning and comprehension easier.
How Do I Know My Website is Accessible?
There are simple steps you can take to ensure your site is accessible to all users. The best way to see if your website is accessible is by going through an audit. Online tools are available to test web accessibility for nonprofits. They’ll check for color contrast, missing descriptions, correct navigation, and more.
Prioritize Web Accessibility for Your Nonprofit
Committing to an accessible website will improve the experience for all users. This could result in increased donations, volunteers, and the number of people served. You’ll also be doing your part to make web accessibility the norm and not the exception across the internet.
And, ultimately, making your information available to everyone will lead to a stronger, more inclusive organization!