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Checklist: Accessibility for Websites

Practical tips and guidelines to help you make your websites accessible.

Accessibility Checklist

Increasing need for accessibility

According to the World Health Organization, about one billion people worldwide live with a disability. In the European Union alone, there are 80 million people with disabilities. These include physical, cognitive, and developmental disabilities, as well as sensory impairments like visual and hearing disabilities. In 2015, approximately 217 million people worldwide had moderate to severe visual impairments, and this number is expected to more than double by 2050. The need for improved accessibility and better access for everyone is already incredibly high and will continue to grow in the future.

Germany is implementing the European Accessibility Act (Directive (EU) 2019/882) through the Accessibility Strengthening Act (BFSG). This represents a significant advancement in ensuring accessibility for all. The BFSG will come into effect on June 28, 2025, but it is already worthwhile to invest in improved access, as accessibility benefits everyone, not just people with disabilities or functional limitations.

Our society is aging, which makes the need for accessibility even greater. Companies that offer accessible services not only open up larger markets and gain competitive advantages, but they are also well-prepared for the future. They will compete with other companies required to provide accessible services and will bring innovative, accessible services to the market.

In the following sections, we aim to help you make your website accessible to everyone with our guidelines and practical tips. Don't worry, you can master this. There are now good and straightforward tools available to help you create an accessible website.

Guidelines for Implementing Web Accessibility

Accessibility can be extremely complex, especially when the goal is to ensure complete inclusion at all times. Before you begin implementation, we would like to provide you with five guidelines.
  1. Ideally, web accessibility should be implemented before the respective website is developed.
  2. Accessibility is not a sprint but a marathon. Foster an awareness of accessibility within your team or company to create a common foundation.
  3. Set your goals and assign responsibilities for promoting accessibility within your organization.
  4. Consult affected individuals to understand how they currently use your service or what improvements they would like to see.
  5. Learn which types of impairments can benefit from specific solutions.
When you are ready to start implementation, it often helps to take the first step and then continuously stay on track. We will not leave you alone with this and will support you with the following checklist.

Checklist for Your Accessible Website

A good starting point is provided by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). These rules specify how websites can be made accessible so that they can be used by everyone, including people with disabilities. They offer guidance on designing texts, images, videos, and more to ensure they are understandable and usable by all.

To be classified as barrier free, a website must fulfill the following four principles.

Icon Accessibility Eye

Perceivability

All content on a website must be perceivable by everyone, regardless of their abilities or limitations.

Therefore, ensure the following elements are included:

  • Alt Text and Captions
    All images have a descriptive alternate text and subtitles are provided for videos and transcripts for audio.
  • Contrast
    Ensure a minimum contrast ratio of 4.5:1 for text.
  • Headings
    Use a logical heading structure for screen readers.
  • Forms
    Clear labels and instructions are available.
  • Animations
    Users can disable animations.
Icon Accessibility Bulb

Understandability

The content of a website or application is easily understandable for all users, regardless of their abilities or limitations.

Therefore, ensure to integrate the following elements:

  • Language
    Use plain language and avoid technical jargon. 
  • Error Suggestions
    Offer suggestions for correcting input errors. 
  • Consistent Navigation
    Use consistent navigation across all pages.
Icon Accessibility Tap

Operability

The website is easily operable for all users, regardless of their abilities or limitations.

Therefore, ensure to integrate the following elements:

  • Keyboard Navigation
    All functions are accessible via keyboard. 
  • Focus Indicator
    There is a visible focus indicator (visual display showing which element is currently selected) for interactive elements. 
  • Time Limits
    There are options to adjust or disable time limits.
Icon Accessibility Muscle

Robustness

The content must be robust enough to be interpreted by a variety of browsers, including assistive technologies.

Therefore, ensure to integrate the following elements:

  • Responsive Design
    The website adjusts to different devices.
  • ARIA Landmarks
    Use ARIA landmarks and roles for improved navigation
    ARIA landmarks are HTML elements defined by the Accessible Rich Internet Applications Standard. They help label the structure of web pages for screen readers and other assistive technologies.

When you have incorporated all four principles into your website design, congratulations! You are a true accessibility expert. Finally, we would like to remind you to provide an accessibility statement and contact information for feedback on your website.

Services we provide in web accessibility

makandra is committed to accessibility and offers training and workshops on the topic. Our experts are available to assist you in implementing accessible practices. We strongly believe that creating an inclusive environment is not only ethically right but can also lead to long-term competitive advantages. Contact us today to learn more about our accessibility services and how we can help you build a more inclusive future.