Web Accessibility With Drupal 8

The Internet is today an integral part of more than 3 billion people across the world. Right from collecting information for projects to social networking, the Internet today has become the most powerful resource to mankind.

Over some time back, the rise in chatbot and machine learning applications has helped businesses to design their online presence in the form of websites. We have also seen how chat has taken over social media to connect to businesses.

But, have you ever wondered, is it possible for everyone to access the web? To get a positive answer to this question, it is important to accommodate all website users and come up with a website that is easier to use.

Why is Website Accessibility Important?

Every user counts and we believe even people with disabilities have the right to access the web just like us. Moreover, if your website is not accessible to a visually impaired individual, it is violating Title 3 of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The world wide web has introduced some guidelines to acquire certain levels of accessibility to make sure that a website is as useful as possible.

Rules for Website Accessibility

Visually impaired users access the website via screen readers and special browsers. These tools either read what is on the screen or output the website content to braille display. The most popular tool used by visually impaired users is Job Access With Speech (JAWS). The most widely accepted standards for website accessibility are:

WCAG 2.0

This is for web content accessibility guidelines. It is developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). It is primarily developed for web content developers.

ATAG 2.0

This is helpful developers of authoring tools including WYSIWYG HTML editors, blog, wikis, photo sharing websites, CMS and other social networking sites.

Section 508

This standard is designed for higher education, government and non-profits.

WCAG makes you understand how to make web content more accessible to people with disabilities and ATAG focuses on the ways to make authoring tools accessible so that people with disabilities can create web content.

Drupal is one such platform that has been created keeping the accessibility factor in mind. It strictly adheres to WCAG 2.0 and ATAG 2.0 guidelines.

Accessibility Features Of Drupal 8

The advanced version of Drupal, i.e. Drupal 8 lets your website to become more accessible. For the same, accessibility in Drupal 8 encompasses:

Improved Contrasts

Poor contrast level is often the most overlooked feature by Drupal developers. Drupal 8 features core themes that have higher contrasts. With the help of improved contrasts, visually impaired individuals or the ones suffering from color- blindness can easily access the website. This functionality is also an added advantage when viewing a website under bright light in a portable device like mobile phone or tablet.

ALT text for images

ALT text is really helpful for blind individuals who use screen readers. They can easily understand the meaning of an image via short descriptive phrases. The ALT text is now a required field in Drupal 8.

Use of semantics

Drupal 8 uses HTML5 elements in templates that add more meaning to the code. Screen readers can now interpret elements like “header”, “footer” and “form” easily.

Forms

Any kind of error that occurs while filling up the form is something that affects UI to a great extent. With the help of web accessibility standards, identifying errors becomes much easier. Form validation error verbiage offered by Drupal 8 makes it easy to improve the accessibility that is associated with display of form errors. With this accessibility feature, visually impaired person can also identify the errors he/she made while filling a form.

Use of buttons

Using buttons is much more logical than anchor texts. This new standard set by Drupal 8 can be managed easily without being dependent on WAI-ARIA. This is useful in identifying purpose of action-oriented elements.

Web Accessibility In Drupal: The Future

The most advanced version of Drupal allows your website to be far more accessible than ever before. Since the past few years, Drupal has taken some steps forward to acquire web accessibility via some of its major releases. Web accessibility is one of the major factors that contributes to the UI. It maximizes the ability of a business to reach maximum audiences vis several initiatives for Drupal core.

Drupal 8 comes with a lot of accessibility features built in and businesses need to take advantage of those features to get their website up to par. You can hire Drupal developer who is well-acquainted at utilizing the features of the latest version and takes your website to higher notches.