From Compliance to Compassion: Developing Accessible Websites

The internet is an essential part of our daily lives, and we all enjoy and benefit from it. However, my next thought is always, "I need to make sure that everybody does." According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 1 billion people worldwide are differently abled, and many of them face significant barriers when accessing the internet. This is where web accessibility comes into play. This is where I can make my small contribution to making the world a friendlier and happier place. It's a moral obligation to ensure that everyone has equal access to information and services on the internet.

In this blog post, I want to explain why I develop in REMs, how it improves accessibility, and how my clients benefit from this approach.

Using REMs for Web Development: Improving Accessibility

REMs are a relative unit of measurement based on the root font size, rather than the fixed pixel size. This means that REMs scale up or down depending on the user's preferred font size, making the website more accessible for users with visual impairments who may need larger font sizes to read content.

REMs are compatible with assistive technologies such as screen readers, which rely on the website's code to read out content to visually impaired users. By using REMs, web developers can ensure that assistive technologies can accurately read out the content and layout of the website, making it more accessible to visually impaired users.

Benefits of Using REMs for my Clients

The benefit of using REMs for accessibility is obvious. But how can my clients also benefit from this approach?

  1. Increased market reach: By making your website accessible, you can reach a broader audience, including individuals with permanent disabilities and those with situational limitations, who make up a significant portion of the population. This can lead to increased sales, revenue, and brand loyalty.
  2. Future-proofing: As the population ages, the number of individuals with disabilities is expected to increase. By investing in accessible websites now, business owners can future-proof their web assets and ensure that they remain relevant and accessible in the future.
  3. Improved user experience: Accessibility features not only benefit individuals with disabilities but also improve the user experience for everyone. Using REMs ensures that the spacing and layout of elements remain consistent across different screen sizes and devices, making it easier for users to navigate and interact with the website.

REMs are just a part of a wide range of actions I take to improve the accessibility of my websites. I also pay attention to many other factors, including semantic HTML, alternative texts for images, accessible videos, and color contrast. While there are challenges to implementing web accessibility, the benefits far outweigh the costs. Let's work together to create a more inclusive and accessible internet for everyone.

Written By
Karina Demirkilic
Founder | Lead Developer and Designer