We’ve already talked about the importance of web accessibility. You want your website to be open to everyone, including those with disabilities or limitations who just might be in the market for a new dentist.
So how exactly does the AccessiBe tool help you to do that?
When we refer the visual components that you use when visiting a website or app, like buttons and icons, we mean the User Interface, or UI. AccessiBe has a number of different profiles that you can choose to make your UI easy to understand for a wide range of users.
AccessiBe’s profiles essentially put the user in the driver’s seat. AccessiBe can make adjustments for users in 50 different areas. You created a site design for your business that appeals to you but you’re also giving people with disabilities the ability to customize it. There’s nothing on the site that they need to activate or turn on to use AccessiBe. The built in process is very intuitive.
Picking a profile that works
Say a potential customer has a language barrier. AccessiBe offers 14 different languages for users. There’s also a built in dictionary for people who may have difficulty understanding some of the content on your website.
Profiles also include font and contrast. People who are vision impaired with degrading eyesight, tunnel vision cataracts, or glaucoma might need a large font, just as a person who is color blind might need certain colors to best view your site.
There’s even a way for someone to hide the images on your site to focus solely on the text. This might be helpful for someone with ADHD to better absorb the material.
For those with a seizure disorder, users can control the movement and brightness of objects, making for a much safer experience.
Some of these things may seem like small adjustments but they are a big deal to people who need the accommodations.
Easy to navigate
When a user visits a site that uses AccessiBe, they use the tab button to access every single button or image. As you know, this isn’t something that normally happens.
On a standard website, you might be able to get to the footer with the tab button, but you can’t activate anything with the keyboard. It’s all the cursor. A comparison is trying to navigate a website on your phone. Big fingers, tiny buttons.
For people with some disabilities, that’s the same experience they have on their desktop. With AccessiBe, the ‘Enter’ and ‘Esc’ buttons become an important part of navigation.
We’re so reliant on the internet now for everything. It’s not just about buying a new pair of shoes. We buy our pharmaceuticals online. Register for events. Do online banking. Look for a dentist.
Accessibility is critically important for people, and for business reach.
Digital divide for those with disabilities
According to the Bureau of Internet Accessibility, America’s digital divide is a problem for the 1 in 4 Americans living with a disability.
In September 2021, a Pew Research poll found that just 62 percent of adults own a desktop or laptop computer, compared with 81 percent of of adults without a disability. People with disabilities also were three times as likely to say they did not use the internet daily.
That’s probably because they don’t feel as welcome there. The non-profit organization WebAIM (Web Accessibility in Mind) analyzed the homepages of the top one million websites in 2021. More than 97 percent of them failed to meet criteria from the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA, which is the standard for digital accessibility.
Amazing AI can bridge the gap
AI has come such a long way. Consider an image on your dental website of a person in a chair chatting with a dental technician. If a web designer did not specify a description for a particular image and someone with a visual impairment was using a standard screen reader to interact with digital content, the person would just know that it was an IMG for image.
But now AI is smart enough to give users a lot more information. A person with a tool like AccessiBe might discover that the image is of a man taking advantage of a free X-Ray for first-time patients. What the AI is doing is recognizing certain elements in the image, including some of the text that’s embedded to then create and then compiling a description in real time.
That is pretty powerful technology that is becoming ‘smarter’ all the time. Harnessing that technology for your business is a not only a smart move, it is the right thing to do.