How to create great content for the disabled?

October 4, 2021
Marketing

Have you ever known that a fifth of your target audience may be unable to use your website?


According to the Census Bureau, in the United States, 1 in 5 people is regarded as disabled, according to the Census Bureau.


Digital marketers tend to invest time in building customer demographics, including: marriage status, baby boomers, sex, income, etc. But many marketing plans don’t care about this one-fifth of America's disabled population.


Dr. Samantha-Kaye Johnston, a researcher on dyslexia and Reading for Humanity’s founder, shared some great insights into creating content for dyslexia.


Based on what she said, it turned out that a large number of disabled people can apply certain of the knowledge she shared. And it brings to this comprehensive list of creating great content for the disabled. 


Use an audio visual and written content combination


There are a variety of reasons why we should use a mix of audiovisual and written content. One of the major points is it makes your content more inclusive and accessible with a wide range of media.


You should accompany all photos with descriptive captions to help everyone know what they represent. 


In order to diversify your strategy, visual content such as photographs, videos, and infographics are used, and many sight-aware also get information faster from visuals than from writing. 


However, it doesn’t mean that people with visual impairments are not interested in what they illustrate because they can't visually process images.


Written content is necessary because it helps the search engines find your content. However, you should make your content available to people with eye impairment or difficulty reading by audiovisual media such as videos, podcasts, and audio clips.


One more time, content audiovisual is important because:


You can better connect with your audience.

It creates additional options for repurposing content.

It’s easier for the audience to communicate with your content. Managers may not be your target audience, but here is a good fact applying to all Internet users in general: 

According to WordStream, "59% of managers said that they were likely to choose a video if both text and video were included on the same topic."


So, both written and audiovisual content are recommended.


Insert subtitles


Video subtitles are suitable for people with hearing problems. However, there is another fun fact. According to Diana Briceno, approximately "92% of people watch a video with no sound mode on mobile devices."


92% of people watch a video with no sound mode on mobile devices


For video content, subtitles make a major difference. However, making subtitles is a time-consuming and tedious process. The longer your video is, the duller it becomes.


Not everyone has the same idea, but some hate to see subtitles generated automatically from sites like YouTube. 


It shows that the content creator doesn't spend the time editing the video, so it looks like gibberish half of the time. And again, correct captioning takes time.


To conclude, you should add subtitles to your videos to allow people with difficulty hearing to deal with the content better.


Use the effect of the serial position


The Serial Position Effect was mentioned in the last interview with Dr. Johnston. It seems that online writers tend to do something without knowing that there is psychological support.


This is the serial location effect described by Saul McLeod. "Experiments show that when you present a list of words to your participants, they are more likely to recall some first and last words and forget the middle ones." 


Therefore, Dr. Johnston suggested we include both the beginning and the end of our articles with a summary of key features. She proposes to have bullet points to the summaries in longer articles to make it easier to read.


Insert estimated reading time


Reading is also an essential factor of attention. Including the estimated time to read in your blog posts is a great idea. When you read your article, your readers want to know how long they should spend their attention.


Your readers want to know how long they should spend their attention


Certain online platforms like Medium automatically integrate this feature. To find the best way to add this function, you will have to dig for some of these platforms. Take the investigation. It's valuable.


Use text to speech combination


For all your blog posts on several platforms, it would be great to have audiovisual elements, even though they can be very unworkable.


The text to speech combination in your blog, a website is a good compromise cause the software will enable visually impaired people to access your website. 


They only need to click on a button and read the text out on the web page.


In addition, there is an excellent article comparing four of TTS' best integrations written by Visakh Padmanabhan. Check it out here.


Enhance site navigation


Dr Johnston had a great point of conversation with site navigation. Based on that, it’s difficult for everyone to use a website with poor navigation. But for people with dyslexia, this is particularly true.


Below are some suggestions for improving site navigation suggested by Dr Johnston:


  • Create a logical flow for your browsing to make it easy-to-find
  • Make your site user-friendly in all aspects
  • Always have a link back to the homepage so that your visitors can return to the homepage anytime they want.


Include text breaks


About 30% of dyslexia people experience Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). But, we don't have to focus only on disabled people here. 


People are more likely to deal with "skimmable" blog posts


We’re living in a skimmers generation. People hate having to read large text blocks. They are more likely to deal with "skimmable" blog posts because they allow readers to spend short attention periods.


Here are top three "skimmable" content strategies you can refer to:


  • Use white space properly to write short phrases and paragraphs.
  • To separate critical points, use headers.
  • Add gifs, infographics, bites of sounds, or other media anywhere necessary.


Make good use of readability tools


Online writers tend to consider readability tools to create SEO-friendly contents like the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress. 


Online writers tend to consider readability tools to create SEO-friendly contents


Readability tools certainly support you to customize search engine content better. They also help you simplify your content so that disabled people can easily access it.


Some of the best reading instruments are:


  • Yoast SEO (for WordPress sites)
  • Grammarly
  • Readability Analysers


Avoid high contrast backgrounds 


We of course, love making our websites look stunning, bright with flashing headlines. Flashing headlines. Tons of design and artwork.


However, for people with dyslexia, too much might not work. This is well explained in this clip by Dr Johnston.


Use one bold to emphasize one point


Some people often use both bold and italics in their articles to highlight key points or words. This is such a big mistake that you should avoid.


Stick to bold format only if you want to emphasize anything in your articles


It’s abundant for anyone with dyslexia to use many kinds of emphasis. Moreover, both italics and the underline formatting make it hard for people with dyslexia to interpret words. 


Therefore, stick to bold format only if you want to emphasize anything in your articles.


Use the right typo


It’s often said that easily read fonts should always be used when creating content online, and that is helpful because it facilitates everyone to read your content. Open Sans is one of the most popular fonts that we all usually use.


However, you can also consider Dyslexie Font. There are conflicting opinions on whether this font helps people with dyslexia. 


Although there is no hard evidence, Dr Johnston said that Australian research suggests letter spacing in font text could better help people with dyslexia decode the words.


All your formats and CTAs must be obtainable


Online forms are available in every shape and size, from simple contact forms to college applications. 


Your website forms are your last transformation paths that lead your readers to the sales funnel. For a conversion-oriented user experience, functional forms are essential.


If a user has a disability and needs the use of supporting devices, the format and the lack of an appropriate form label can raise a barrier.


Every field label should be stamped properly and navigable easily.

Add short and clear instructions.

Buttons should be clear. For example, forms or applications for university scholarships should be marked 'submit application,' not 'submit’ only.

Make sure the online forms can be entirely operated by the keyboard (try moving across fields using the TAB key).


Include text interpretations for visual and videos


Infographics have become a popular marketing tool, but they have the disadvantage of inaccessible information for some users. 


Visually impaired persons may use screen reader software which transmits information through auditory or Braille output, making it challenging to read images on the page.


It, therefore, breaks another guideline of the W3C: Ensuring that the content is perceived. This can be corrected if an image description is included or connected to a text-only version. You can try to turn infographic content into text-based content by using all sorts of visual aids, including:


  • Detailed alt and title tags
  • Labeled tables
  • Bullet and numbers lists
  • Definitions


Another essential step you should think about is taking care of the basics - it’s image alt text. To analyze the photos of your on-page, you can use the SE ranking to find out whether it’s accessible and SEO-friendly. 


Use Web Audit section to perform an analysis when you register:



Use logical hyperlink text to provide clear instructions


Hyperlinks make the world wide web become an actual web. They connect websites, enabling them to pass between platforms.


For usability, hyperlinks are also essential, making users easy access to products and related content.


The users will be able to access additional content information with only one click. This can be even beneficial when you want to send users to your products or other areas of your site.


Most software for screen readers can jump from link to link. If you label your links with the standard "click here" or "more" tags, navigating can be very confusing.


When creating your links, you should make them descriptive and make sure your users know where your links send them to. In this way, you let assistive users see whether they want to click on the link or continue interacting with your content.


To double-check that your links work and provide clear navigation instructions, use auditing tools like SE Ranking once again.


Write clearly


One of the most important aspects of web accessibility is clear and concise content, which allows you to reach audiences with all kinds of disabilities.


  • Vision deadlock (your content should be easy to understand by listening to it aloud with assistive devices).
  • Cognitive trouble (your content should help readers easily focus on).
  • Learning challenge (your content should be understandable).


Serving all people with all kinds of difficulty means you’re building a positive brand with a strong reputation. This also helps them convert when they feel like interacting with your site.


Text Optimizer is a linguistic analysis tool including an audit function "content quality and clarity." It will review your content to suggest possible areas that need improvement. These improvements might be your word choice, sentence or paragraph length, diversity, and clarity of vocabulary.


The score of your Text optimizer should be 85% or more.


Remain accessible across technologies and platforms


The clear and accessible content is only one part of the work. The W3C Guidelines fundamentally highlight the concept of site robustness, which means the changing technologies keep your site informed.


It’s essential to make every aspect of your website more understandable; otherwise, you should delete them. All aspects of your content should include the principle of understanding.


While content accessibility is important, it doesn’t meet the W3C guidelines unless it’s accessed on mobile devices or with support technologies.


From coding and picking up a consistent theme to the website, all aspects of your website should target to enhance the site’s usability and accessibility. Frequent tests on various platforms are sensible to ensure everything works smoothly.


Fortunately, new technologies are now available to maintain and monitor accessibility standards. To automatically control and monitor access to your whole website, some tools use artificial intelligence to make it totally accessible through any site updates or technological change:



If you are interested in making an as accessible as possible website, try reading physically on how someone with disabilities actually goes online.


Or you can use yourself as an example. Download a screen reader like Google free's ChromeVox and learn how helpful technologies work. The experience will inform you on your way to create a friendlier website for people with disabilities.


All differently-abled people want to feel connected to your content. To make that happen, you need a little extra work and investment. But you will have the reward of a wider group of readers.


Apply our 16 tips above to make your content accessible to everyone, not disabled people only.


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