Reach a larger part of your target audience with web accessibility
- April 2, 2020
- 3 minutes
4.5 million Dutch people have difficulty reading, understanding or using websites. So there is a big chance that you will not or not reach a good part of your target group with your website. Do you also want to make your website accessible to this group? Then you are facing a nice challenge. This group consists of young people with dyslexia, but also older people who no longer see well. You understand: within this huge group, not everyone has the same needs. Fortunately, there is a simple solution to reach a larger part of your target audience with web accessibility. Wondering what that solution is? Then read on.
Web accessibility = user-friendliness
Stichting Accessibility uses the following definition for web accessibility:
“Making the Web accessible to everyone, including the elderly and people with disabilities … It is (certainly in the Netherlands) not about access to the internet, but about the usability of the services and information offered by people with disabilities.”
This definition clearly explains how many people think about web accessibility. It especially seems to be a challenge that applies to people with disabilities. But this also creates the image that it is a problem for them for which we must offer a solution. I therefore find the definition of Carie Fischer, a leading accessibility writer from America, much more pleasant. She says:
‘Website accessibility is actively designing, developing, and creating content in such a way that it does not hinder any person from interacting with the website.’
And with that, she equates web accessibility with user-friendliness. When you think about the user-friendliness of your website, you also think about the 25% who struggle to use your website in a traditional way.
Who are among those 4.5 million people?
Many companies pay little attention to target groups with disabilities when developing their website. This may be because they underestimate the size of this group. With people with a disability you probably think of blind and partially sighted people, but then you only have a small part of it. Many websites are also difficult to access for the elderly, low-literate, dyslexics, immigrants and people with motor disabilities. Ultimately you end up with about 25% of the Dutch population. The tricky thing about web accessibility is that it’s impossible to create a single solution that helps with every individual disability. It does not exist. From that observation, the idea for the startup Aally originated.
Aally provides a solution to reach a larger part of your target audience with web accessibility. Aally offers an individual user the opportunity to adapt the content of a website to his or her individual needs. Someone with dyslexia chooses a more legible font and uses a digital reading ruler, a visually challenged person chooses a larger font or has the text read aloud. Ivar Illing, community manager at Visionair and himself partially sighted, was at the start of the startup:
“What makes Aally different is that we understand that one solution is not enough. One functional limitation is not the other. What works well for me makes a web page completely unreadable for someone with dyslexia. We therefore do not reason from the technical point of view, but from the end user.”