For many people, reading websites is an overlooked part of daily life. You click on a browser, open your desired site and read away, but more and more charities are now designing their websites to be accessible to as many people as possible. Whether you’re visually impaired, deaf or have trouble using a mouse, charities are finding ways to get everybody involved.

In part three of our Great Charity tips series (check out parts one and two) we look at how accessibility can make your website reach a much wider audience.

Websites should be made easy for everyone, provide equality of access and opportunity irrespective of an individual’s abilities. This means facilitating access for those whose abilities are limited – whether it be because of a visual impairment or a physical inability making it hard to use a mouse or type.

Making a website more accessible can benefit a charity in a number of ways including:

  • Increasing search engine results
  • Widening audience reach
  • Reducing maintenance costs

Here are a few sites that stand out as being great for accessibility:

Henshaws

Rainbow-Trust Scope-Website Henshaws (1)

A website which demonstrates all the above points well is Henshaws – a charity which helps to care for, and teach, those affected by both visual impairments and learning difficulties. It’s aim? To help these people lead full and independent lives.

Henshaws have created an extremely accessible site which can be viewed with or without Javascript enabled, it’s also screen reader friendly and has been built with cascading style sheets. The site also uses a simple but effective way of increasing accessibility with a slider that changes many of the viewing options of the site. You can change the size of the text, colour display and switch the site to text only, all with just a few clicks.

There are a lot of little touches included as well that can be easily implemented on any website but are often overlooked, like providing the option to download PDF files and include descriptive titles on every hyperlink and image.

Rainbow Trust

Rainbow-Trust

Another charity working to make their site as accessible as possible is the Rainbow Trust. They offer five different versions of their website where users can choose which text and background colours would be best for them. They also maximise their usage of headers and links to enable use of audio equipment as well as training all site contributors to use plain language and alternative text descriptions for all images.

Scope

Scope-Website

Scope have gone a step further with their accessibility and allow site users to navigate the site using access keys. There currently aren’t any specific assigned keys from W3C but Scope is one of a few emerging sites to use these keys. The site is also designed to work with the BrowseAloud software which can be downloaded to read all text content on the site.

Dadafest

Dadafest, a charity who promote disability and deaf arts, ensure their website can be understood by as many people as possible with the introduction of transcripts of subtitles for all their videos. They also have a BSLI video introduction to the site as well as using the aforementioned access keys. They’ve even worked to develop a more accessible online font with learning disability charity Mencap.

All of these sites have been created to meet the standard of the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), If you want to learn more about their advice for making a web site more accessible visit the WAI website.

Accessibility is just one aspect of making your charity website great, we’ve already taken a look at responsive design and content and we’ll be looking at another three aspects in weeks to come.

Get in touch to tell us your favourite charity websites and if you want to improve your site’s accessibility then drop us a line at hello@reasondigital.com

Reason Digital News