Written by: Harrison Tu
Use of this material granted by Michele Landis, Co-Founder of Accessible360
How To Practice Digital Accessibility During COVID-19
In today’s environment of fear and uncertainty due to COVID-19, the web has provided a more important platform than ever for companies to communicate information to their customers, suppliers, and members of the public. However, this information is sometimes communicated in ways that are unhelpful to people with disabilities, such as printed images or spoken videos without captions.
Below are some tips for ensuring that this essential content is delivered to the widest audience possible. After all, you want to ensure that all your customers understand what is going on with you and your business during this pandemic.
• Text is best: The best way to communicate this information is through text. Post a video (with captions and audio descriptions) if you think it would help, but ensure that the information is also prominently displayed in text. Text is accessible to almost everyone, and can be most easily interpreted with assistive technology.
• Many modalities: If you’re going to provide a graph, also provide a table. If you’re going to provide a map to a location, also make sure the address is in text. Ensure that you don’t just provide complex information in one form.
• Speak plainly: Do not add a lot of jargon to your text. Use short, clear phrases that everyone can understand.
• Multiple contact points: Ensure that your organization has multiple ways to reach you. People with different disabilities may prefer different communication methods. For example, a phone number may be good for a blind person, as they will be able to get instant help without browsing the website, but email may be best for a deaf person who cannot use the phone, or for someone whose speech may be difficult to understand.
• Make sure your site is accessible!: Now is the best time to make sure of this. You will boost traffic, and help users with disabilities do business with you virtually rather than in-person.
Please reach out to A360 and we will be happy to help you during this uncertain time!