Sometimes, we're asked, "What is an example of accessibility?" An example of accessibility would be any content or functionality that is fully available to and usable by people with disabilities. This may refer to individual elements, features, or the whole web experience.
Common examples of important accessibility features include:
- Image alt text
- Keyboard accessibility
- Sequential heading structure
- Accessible hyperlinks
- Consistent navigation
Accessibility features are elements specifically designed to improve equal access
The best way to approach accessibility is to make it an integral part of content, design, and coding techniques and processes. Usually, therefore, accessibility features are already part of a well-coded website.
Ensuring accessibility doesn't have to add extra work or money — start by understanding the basics of accessible design and find ways to incorporate them. Here are some of the most common examples of accessibility features that are also some of the easiest to start improving today.
Image alt text
Screen readers and other assistive technologies rely on text and so anything that is graphical in nature needs to have a complete text alternative. Some of the most common alt text mistakes include using the word "image," skipping the text contained in the image, and including descriptions for purely decorative images.
For more, please read 8 Common Image Alt Text Mistakes to Stop Making.
Anything a mouse use can reach, select, or manipulate needs to be available to people who use a keyboard, keyboard emulator, or other input device. Full keyboard support is a pillar of an accessible web and while there can be nuance in technique or key controls, it's surprisingly easy to get started trying to test your own website for keyboard accessibility.
For more, please read Give Yourself an Accessibility Test: Don't Use a Mouse.
Sequential heading structure
Headings aren't just design elements; they're critical for navigation and content organization. Make sure that headings are coded with actual heading elements (that they don't just look big or bold) and that they're nested in a hierarchy that organizes and presents the content as it's intended to be read and understood.
For more, please read 4 Often-Overlooked Accessibility Mistakes (And What To Do Instead).
Links are the main navigational features of the web experience, letting people move from point to point quickly and easily. However, if they aren't created to be accessible, links can actually present major accessibility barriers. To be accessible, all links should be clear, readable, visually distinct, color contrast compliant, and keyboard accessible.
For more, please read Quick Guide to Accessible Hyperlinks.
Consistency in design, layout, and particularly in navigational controls helps people use a website confidently and without unnecessary error. Key tips include positioning repeated navigation links in the same location on different pages, including skip links, and using icons and control elements consistently.
For more, please read: Why Consistency Is Important to Accessible Design.