AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising

One-Minute MarketerIs Your Website Ready for Disabled Users?

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Is Your Website Ready for Disabled Users?

According to Pew Research, more than 20% of American adults self-reported living with a disability. Google estimates that more than 1 billion people in the world suffer from a disability.  Website Accessibility Concept

Designing your website for your target audience may include being cognizant of disabilities and how to optimize your site for those disabilities (13 million Americans have cognitive difficulties; 11 million have hearing loss; 7 million have vision issues, even with glasses).

Google offers four ideas for better designing your websites for disabilities:

1. Create perceivable content–Color contrast can have a major impact on the vision impaired (including 8% of the population that is color-blind). There is a tool recommended by Google called the Material Design Color Tool to help with selecting higher contrast alternatives for web design. For color-blind people, you need to use visual cues other than color to distinguish actions or clickable areas.

2. Offer more ways to navigate–People with physical disabilities may only use the keyboard to navigate. When you only use keyboard commands, it really changes the user experience. You may also find that some information is not accessible or too difficult to sort through using the keyboard commands.

3. Make sure your site plays well with others–This goes without saying, but make sure your site works with multiple browsers and works with assistive technologies such as screen readers. One way to do this is to add “alt text” to all of the images. Keep info short and focused.

4. You must test your site–Google offers several accessibility test sites to help accomplish this: Google Chrome’s Lighthouse and Accessibility Scanner.

The goal is a more accessible experience. All of the tools are trying to make sites more user-friendly rather than works of art. Even mild vision issues can impact the user experience in a way that will decrease engagement and stop conversions. So the days of tiny gray type on a gray background should end.


Written by:

Mark wrote his first direct-mail fundraising letter in 1981 for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement. The effort raised a few million dollars in undiscovered wills and legacy gifts. From that day forward Mark discovered a love of the big idea that moves the needle. After 12 years at KWWL, Mark became a business owner as a co-founder of ME&V — rebranded as AMPERAGE in 2015. After 25 years of leading creative teams in video production, graphic design, PR, writing and web development, Mark transitioned out of ownership in 2021. Today he serves in an employee role as special projects consultant. He is creatively ambidextrous — son of an artist and engineer — and famous for distilling complex ideas down to a few words and a few visuals. Mark is a writer. When he found that many nonprofits struggled with complex branding puzzles, he wrote the book, “NonProfit-NonMarketing .” He also wrote a novel called “Reenactment.” Mark is an active blogger OneMinuteMarketer® with nearly 1,000 readers each week on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. One of his most popular YouTube videos is on “How to Look Good on Zoom.” One of Mark’s fondest business memories was being named to INC 500 two times and attending the INC 500 conference with other winners. Mark is considered by some a Civil War expert (and that explains his novel). Mark also served as an adjunct professor in the business and in the communications departments at Wartburg College. Mark is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is currently vice president of the University of Iowa Journalism and Mass Communications Advisory Board. Mark is married to state Sen. Liz Mathis, and the two love to travel, even when it means being trapped by a volcano in the Czech Republic for three weeks.