Web accessibility has become a hot topic thanks to the growing number of lawsuits these days. And because of this, more and more businesses across all industries have begun to take measures to ensure that their online properties remain inclusive. Unfortunately, many brands and companies focus too much on individuals with visual and auditory disabilities and forget about those with physical restrictions.
To give those with motor disabilities a greater level of access and prevent being sued, you must first understand how they interact with the World Wide Web and make use of accessibility compliance solutions. In recent years, especially, major, multinational retailors have had claims brought against them. ADA compliance is a standard that has to be met whether it’s a small business or a corporation. There are solutinos to avoid such trouble though, before a case is made and while one is ongoing. For instance, accessiBe helps merchants facing lawsuits by fixing ADA compliance issues with their website-overlay product, as well as providing litigation support.
How do the Physically Disabled Access the Internet?
Unlike those with vision problems or who are hard of hearing, people with motor disabilities can listen to and see everything on a website. However, their conditions prevent them from actually interacting with it, whether it’s because they’re unable to type very well or have limited controls with their mice. They usually depend on more adaptive technologies, such as eye-tracking software, voice controls, head pointers, and mouth sticks, to operate their computers.
Among those mentioned, the most popular one would be the mouth stick because it’s simple to use and is a low-cost option for people working under tight budgets. As its name suggests, it’s a piece of equipment primarily held by the mouth to allow the user to manipulate a mouse or select commands, depending on the degree of control the person has. It’s fairly easy to test the level of accessibility of an online domain by using it yourself. It’ll help you realize just how exhausting and complicated it can be for those with some form of disability.
Common Challenges Experienced by Those with Physical Restrictions
There are a number of difficulties that those who have motor disabilities experience when browsing the World Wide Web. Here are some of them:
- Precision actions. Someone who may have limited movement with their hands may find it challenging to perform precise actions, such as clicking on links spaced too closely together. One issue, in particular, is drop-down menus.
- Inconsistent and challenging navigation. Keep in mind those with physical disabilities depend on keystrokes when navigating the internet. If your website requires many clicks so the user can get his or her desired information, it will likely lead to frustration for those relying on adaptive technology.
- Actions that need a mouse. Some people who suffer from disabilities may not necessarily have full control over a mouse and use keyboard commands instead.
- Time-limited steps. Even with assistive technologies, it may still take the differently-abled to perform certain actions. Thus, time-limited features should always have an override function.
Understanding the difficulties those with disabilities face when going online is the first step in enhancing your web accessibility. And accessibility is more important today than it ever was because not only will it allow you to tap into a potentially large demographic, but it’ll also allow you to avoid expensive lawsuits.