Accessibility matters: The importance of designing websites for everyone

Have you ever tried browsing your website with your eyes closed? What does your website look like through the “eyes” of a screen reader?

Website accessibility is super-important. It allows those with disabilities to browse the internet. And why not? They have as much of a right to use it as any able-bodied person does.

It is important that the web be accessible to everyone in order to provide equal access and equal opportunity to people with disabilities. An accessible web can help people with disabilities participate more actively in society.

For those of you in the UK, the accessible web is actually part of the Equality Act 2010 and then there’s BS8878 which gives guidance and recommendations to those who create for the Web to make it accessible as possible, so this is actually “a thing”.

So, what can you do about it? Luckily there are some pretty basic things you can do to improve your website in this area.

Image alt-tags

It’s a way of being able to describe an image and give it context. All too often we throw images onto our pages without any consideration for the person browsing our site.

Assuming you were blind for a moment, what would you need to know about an image? “My disco” isn’t much help but “A packed dance floor at a wedding celebration” is much better.

Closed-captions for media

Any video you have on your website with someone talking in it should have captions. They are so very useful not only for accessibility but also for users who may be looking at your website somewhere where they can’t play audio.

Keyboard navigation

Anything you put on your website should be something that could be conceivably carried out using a keyboard only…including navigation. Turn on keyboard navigation in your browser to see how your own website performs.

Use the ARIA tag

The what?

Aria is a simple set of HTML attributes that help make your website more accessible to people with disabilities. It helps give context to links, buttons, error messages and more.

ALWAYS use the title tag

Browsers don’t always display the HTML title tag but it’s super-helpful for screen readers so make sure that all your website pages have a short, but descriptive title that tells the visitors what the page is all about.


If you’ve ever wondered what your website looks like with a screen reader it’s really simple. Just turn the voiceover function on (if you’re using a mac) or the narrator on a windows machine and then try to use your website with your eyes closed and see how you get on.

I tried my own DJ website and was blown away by how bad it was so in my quest to learn more about accessibility, I’ll be adding those features very soon!