Design a Website With Hearing-Impaired Accessibility Using These Tips
By Laura Carlson at endurabilities.com
Building an exceptional website for your business is an essential step, as it provides a way for you to engage with customers, make sales, and promote new products or services. You won’t be able to enjoy the full impact of your site, however, unless you ensure that it’s accessible for all types of abilities. When it comes to creating a business website that is inclusive to individuals with hearing impairments, there are a few simple but effective moves you’ll need to make. Smiling Web Design explains more here.
Read Up on the ACA
The Accessible Canada Act ensures that individuals of all ability levels have the same access to businesses, are protected from discrimination, and have access to equal opportunities for employment. Not only does your business have to legally abide by these laws, you’re responsible for making sure that your website complies as well.
If your customers with hearing loss are unable to access important information on your business site, not only will you lose that customer, you run the risk of a lawsuit as well. Read up on the ACA and learn more about what you can do to ensure that your business is compliant with all accessibility laws.
Benefits of Accessibility
Not only does an accessible business website prevent legal issues, it can also provide several benefits for you as well. Because having different types of media on a webpage is beneficial for SEO purposes, your website will have increased traffic due to high search engine rankings.
Accessibility also boosts your brand’s reputation and gives your business a more innovative look in the eyes of customers and investors alike. When customers who are living with a hearing impairment feel valued, Accessibility.com notes that they’re more likely to continue to do business with a particular company.
Try adding videos with closed captioning alongside infographics, which can be made accessible for visually impaired visitors. The images alongside the text are helpful for sighted people because the images emphasize key information and draw visual attention to text that further explains things.
Start with a Logo
When you create a logo for business, having a logo for an accessible website is crucial as it serves as a visual anchor and identifier for your brand or organization, aiding both sighted and visually impaired users in navigation and recognition. For visually impaired individuals who rely on screen readers, a well-designed logo with proper alt text provides essential context about the website and its purpose, contributing to a more inclusive user experience.
Additionally, a logo can enhance the overall branding and professionalism of your site, making it more memorable and trustworthy for all users, while also reinforcing your commitment to accessibility, diversity, and inclusivity in the digital space. You can use a free online logo maker to create a design quickly and easily.
Make Your Website Accessible for Hearing-Impaired Customers
As you begin building your site and adding media such as videos, it’s crucial to keep in mind that customers who are hearing impaired benefit from accurate captioning and subtitles, and, as TechSmith points out, you can create these yourself. They should include both spoken words and music/sounds.
If you’re doing a podcast-based business, you should ensure you offer closed captioning with every release. You should also be aware of liabilities and protect your company. Set up an LLC for podcast with the following in mind:
Name and Registration:
Choose a unique and appropriate name for your LLC, ensuring it’s not already in use in your state. Most states have an online database to check name availability.
Register your LLC with the appropriate state agency, typically the Secretary of State’s office. This involves filing articles of organization and paying a registration fee.
Create an operating agreement that outlines the ownership structure, management, and operating procedures of your LLC. While this may not be legally required in all states, it’s highly recommended to avoid disputes among members in the future.
Member Roles and Responsibilities:
Determine who the members (owners) of the LLC are and their respective roles and responsibilities. In the context of podcasting, this could involve content creation, marketing, finances, and more.
Licenses and Permits:
Check if your city or state requires any specific licenses or permits for podcasting or online content creation.
Copyright and Intellectual Property:
Understand copyright laws and ensure you have the necessary rights to use any music, images, or other content in your podcast. Consider consulting with a lawyer for guidance on intellectual property issues.
Remember that the specific requirements and regulations can vary from state to state, so it’s important to research and comply with the rules and regulations in your jurisdiction. It’s also a good idea to periodically review and update your LLC’s structure and operating procedures as your podcasting business grows and evolves.
The design and layout of your website will play a pivotal role in ensuring that your hearing-impaired customers can easily find what they’re looking for and that they can access the tools they need to understand your content. Using proper headings and paragraph structure is a must; not only is this beneficial for those with hearing loss, but it’s also important for those who use vision aids such as a screen reader, especially if you have long blocks of text on your site.
For web visitors with visual impairments, adding alt text to images, using high color contrast in your web design, and including sufficiently large text are among the most useful changes one can make to their website. Be sure to consult WCAG 2.0 standards for more information.
Outreach should be optimized to reach the most users. Employ basic SEO tactics as part of your larger content marketing strategy to drive traffic to your site. You can learn more about the latest concepts of effective content generation and distribution by referring to online resources that offer tips on generating new traffic, leads, and sales.
Provide Multiple Options for Communication
Whether you’re just now creating your business website or are making some changes to an existing site in order to be ACA-compliant, it’s important to make sure every aspect is designed to be accessible. Keep your customers with hearing loss in mind when providing contact information, for example, as it may be difficult for them to engage in a phone call. Adding multiple forms of communication will help everyone in your audience feel valued and will make it much easier for them to get in touch about things like ordering problems or questions about your business.
Connect with All Users Through an ACA-Compliant Website
Making sure your business website is ACA-compliant requires some careful thought, but it’s not as difficult as it may seem. By reading up on the laws, planning carefully in your layout, and utilizing professionals to help you come up with the best possible site design, you can make your business website accessible and successful. Better yet, for a professional touch you can reach out to Smiling Web Design to develop a beautiful and accessible website.
Smiling Web Design focuses on creating engaging, responsive websites that captivate and inspire. Connect with us today for more information! 425-761-5258