October 29 is World Stroke Day, bringing awareness to the leading cause of disability and one of the leading causes of death in the United States.
The effects of stroke vary, but many of the commonly-resulting disabilities and impairments are some of the key areas for which web accessibility best practices work to solve when it comes to navigating the digital world.
What is a stroke?
"Stroke is a disease that affects the arteries leading to and within the brain," according to the American Stroke Association, and, "a stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts (or ruptures). When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood (and oxygen) it needs, so it and brain cells die."
The signs of a stroke and what to do can be remembered by recalling "FAST," according to the World Stroke Organization.
- Face: drooping to one side of the face
- Arms: weakness in one arm
- Speech: slurred speech
- Time: if you see these symptoms, it's time to call for emergency help
What are the effects of a stroke?
The effects of a stroke vary from person to person. The location of the stroke and how much of the brain is impacted will determine which neurological and physical functions are affected.
Some of the most common effects are paralysis, speech and language problems, changes in behavioral style to become more cautious or more inquisitive, memory loss, and vision problems.
How can web accessibility help?
People who have had strokes can be left with serious disabilities and complications. These impacts can lead to significant changes in how some people use computers and digital devices, including the use assistive technology.
When websites and apps are built to be accessible, more people will be able to use them independently. Unfortunately, the majority of sites are not accessible and the result is this: many people with disabilities, including many of the one-in-four who has a stroke, cannot use them.
Tips for easier web browsing
If you or someone you know are looking to make web browsing a little easier, please check out these tips:
- Easier web browsing with visual disabilities
- Easier web browsing if you are deaf or hard of hearing
- Easier web browsing without a traditional keyboard
- Easier web browsing if you have difficulty with a mouse
- Easier web browsing if you have trouble understanding web content
Tips for making websites more accessible
If you own a website, your decision to take accessibility seriously will benefit people who may otherwise be excluded as a result of disability, like the common disabilities caused by strokes.
To gain an improved understanding of the real-world impacts and how to create accessible web experiences, it may be helpful to understand how we actually test or determine the accessibility of a website or app.
- Accessibility testing for people with visual disabilities
- Accessibility testing for people who are deaf or hard of hearing
- Accessibility testing for people with cognitive, learning, and neurological disabilities
- Accessibility testing for people with physical disabilities
- Accessibility testing for people with speech disabilities
Totally new to accessibility? Check out an introduction to digital accessibility.
Here to help with all your digital accessibility needs
If your website or app isn't accessible, it's not too late to fix it and we can help. To get an idea of how accessible your site is, you can start with a free confidential accessibility scan. Or, if you're ready to begin formulating a customized accessibility compliance strategy for your organization, contact us.
We look forward to helping you achieve, maintain, and prove digital compliance.