Digital inclusion and accessible websites

As organizations who advocate for individuals who have an intellectual disability and striving to create inclusive communities, the concept of autonomy and independence play a vital role.

An aspect that is not often at the forefront of the autonomy and independence conversation is what that looks like in terms of digital inclusivity.

It is often left in the hands of organizations or companies to determine how accessible and inclusive their websites are so as the organizations paving the way for inclusion. I think it is important to make sure we are implementing this first.

When looking at your website or digital presence, it is important to take a look at how accessible it is and if inclusion is considered.

Factors to consider include whitespace, font type/size, ease of navigation, and readability. All of these factors could make it more difficult for individuals looking to browse your site to find what they are looking for, along with numerous others.

Start small and look at ways your organization can ensure that everyone can access and understand what is on your site and social channels.Simple ways to make a website more accesible include:

  • Using bullet lists or number lists when appropriate: This will help anyone using a screen reader to interpret the content correctly.
  • Utilizing headings to break up text to improve readability.
  • Using plain language whenever possible.
  • Allow for white space, especially when there is a significant amount of text to reduce the chances of overstimulation.
  • Make menus and navigation simple, ensuring it is easy to find a page you are after.

Digital inclusion is something we can all have a hand in creating for people who have a disability, starting with our organization’s website. To check if your site is accessible, you can use this tool by SiteImprove.

By leading the way and setting an example for community partners, making this a focus could cause a ripple effect to ensure more people can use the internet without barriers.