Global Accessibility Awareness Day: Optimizing the Web for All [Blog]

By UsableNet on May 21, 2015
Topics: Web Accessibility


Whether seeking a last minute flight or browsing a favorite retailer’s selections, the Internet provides the majority of consumers with endless information and the ability to make swift, seamless transactions. However, an estimated 1 billion people live with disabilities that often bar them from enjoying the full range of features our digital society offers. In the US alone, 74.6 million people face a limiting, long-term illness, impairment or disability. Brands that do not embrace accessibility and provide tools to help even the disabled browse effectively risk excluding a large segment of consumers.

Learn more about Web Accessibility in our latest infographic here.

Alarmingly, of the 38% of disabled Americans that use the web, almost 20% say their disability makes browsing challenging. Developers may be interested in optimizing the web for those with disabilities, but they’re often unsure where to start. Unfortunately, an estimated 9 out 10 public and commercial websites are not enriched with accessibility features.

That’s where Global Accessibility Awareness Day comes in. Each year, on the third Thursday of May, web developers, designers, UX experts are encouraged to start talking, thinking and learning about web accessibility across devices to create exemplary experiences for disabled users. Here are some guidelines to keep in mind as you work towards designing for accessibility for all:

  • Hearing difficulty affects 360 million people worldwide - 35 million in the US alone. Make sure online video tutorials always list out all steps and important information.
  • Present crucial text in black and white, as some users may not be able to distinguish colors, and make sure links are clearly recognizable.
  • Place audio recordings throughout a site so the visually impaired still have the means to acquire necessary information.
  • To optimize operations, developers should also pay attention to form validation and design accessible form controls.

Download our new infographic to understand  how to evaluate your site performance and functionality to know how challenging they may be for disabled users. Test at least one page of your site in an accessibility tool to gauge its use to disabled audiences and devise ways to fine tune its ability. By auditing sites and paying mind to obstacles, brands can ensure audiences will have rewarding web experiences and return for future transactions.  

For more information on how we can help you make your website more accessible, visit here.



Founded in 2000, UsableNet created some of the first tools and platforms to make websites accessible and usable for all people. Starting out, we worked with government agencies as well as universities and corporations. Today, accessibility has become important to almost all companies. We provide accessibility solutions to Fortune 1000 companies, small and medium enterprises, government, and education organizations across industries including retail, travel, hospitality, food services, automotive, financial services, and healthcare.

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