How to Make Your Web Content Accessible: Top 4 Tips from Guide Dogs

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Imagine if your computer’s keyboard suddenly disappeared. 

You may be able to navigate a bit with the mouse or turn on voice commands to try to get around. 

But think about planning your fundraising campaigns. Responding to your supporters on social media. Writing up presentations for your team… Potentially impossible! 

Now consider one billion (about one in every seven) people live with a significant disability or impairment, that may make using the tech others use daily challenging for them. 

We’ve seen how more people than ever are choosing to fundraise online. Online contactless donations and monthly regular giving are growing fast. And individual online donations are holding strong. Which tells us it’s the best time ever to consider this for your charity. 

We’ve talked before about the importance of accessible fundraising and the big difference it can make for your supporters. 

This time around, we’ll show you specific examples of improvements charities can make to their website to improve the donation, learning, and engagement experience for everyone. 

Web content accessibility examples from Guide Dogs 

Guide Dogs works to support blind and partially sighted people to live the life they choose. Accessibility is at the core of their online content to ensure their website’s as easy-to-use as possible for their supporters. 

We talked with Guide Dogs about the practices their team have in place that help people learn about and support the charity. 

Website design 

  • Alt Text and titlesAlt text shows on the screen if an image is unable to load and helps people with sight loss understand what’s featured on the screen, for example, with the use of screen readers.
Example image of titles and alt text added to images on the Guide Dogs website. This image shows a photo of volunteer fundraisers with guide dogs collecting donations in public, with on overlay that says "volunteer fundraisers smile with collection boxes and guide dogs", demonstrating the title of the image.

This image shows how Guide Dogs’ adds appropriate titles and alt text to the images on their website. For example, the image shown here of volunteer fundraisers features the title, “volunteer fundraisers smile with collection boxes and guide dogs”. This allows the text describing the image to appear in place of the image if it’s unable to load.

  • Captions pre-recorded captions in video content helps people who are deaf or hard of hearing understand the information in the video.
Example image of captions added as a text overlay on videos. This image shows a still image of a video of a black dog walking on a black surface, with an overlay reading "By sponsoring a puppy, you will be at the heart of their journey."

This image shows how Guide Dogs adds a text overlay to their video about sponsoring puppies. The text matches the voiceover, to help people who may have trouble hearing the video.

Guide Dogs
  • Easy navigation – uncluttered screen layouts and consistent page structure can help people with cognitive impairments to navigate websites more easily.
Example image of information organised neatly on the Guide Dogs website. This image shows four clickable tiles arranged in a two by two grid layout, making the information easy to navigate and understand.

This image shows how Guide Dogs organises images and text in a grid layout on their website, which helps make navigation easier for website visitors.

  • High contrast colours – having highly contrasting colours enables users to view text and other items much more clearly. For users with limited sight, this can enable them to view a site without the use of additional software.
Example image of the importance of using high contrast text, for example dark text on a light background. This image shows two tiles on the Guide Dogs website home page with a white background and dark text on top, making the content easy to read and understand for website visitors.

This image shows how Guide Dogs make their website readable by using dark text on a light background.

Example image of an accessibility standards page linked from the Guide Dogs website home page. This image shows a screenshot of the Guide Dogs website home page, with a clickable link in the header that reads, "Ensuring our website is accessible."

This image shows how Guide Dogs features a link on their website’s home page which reads, “Ensuring our website is accessible”, and links to a dedicated web page on the different ways they make their website as easy to use as possible.

Web content accessibility advice from Guide Dogs 

Here are Guide Dogs’ Top 4 things you can do today to make your content more accessible for people with a vision impairment: 

  1. Add alt text to your imagery. 
    Alt text is text that describes each image and is displayed in place of an image if one can’t load. This enables screen readers to read this description aloud for people with visual impairments. Make sure to use concise, clear descriptions that state exactly what’s in the image. 
     
  1. Avoid relying solely on colour to communicate information. 
    Relying solely on colour can prevent people with colour-blindness from reading and understanding information. In addition, always make sure there’s high contrast between text and the text’s background. 
     
  1. Add audio description to your videos. 
    Audio descriptions allow people who can’t see your video to get a version they can still consume and understand. 
     
    One way to do this is to record a separate video that includes an audio track describing the visuals from the video, or link to a separate audio transcription. 
     
  1. Use CamelCase hashtags. 
    Yes, hashtags can be made accessible too! To do this, use the method called CamelCase (the name comes from the way the words look when combined! 🐫 ).  
     
    If you have a hashtag made of multiple words, capitalise the first letter of each one to make it much easier to read. 
     
    For example, it’s much easier to read #ChildhoodToAdulthood than #childhoodtoadulthood.  

Guide Dogs also use JustGiving and other accessible platforms to ensure supporters have the best experience possible. 

More accessibility and inclusion best practices from JustGiving 

Accessibility is at the heart of how we write, design, and build at JustGiving. Here are some of the accessibility principles our team uses for our communications, website design, and copywriting. 

Accessibility as a core JustGiving value 

At JustGiving, we’re committed to making giving work for everyone. We hold accessibility and inclusivity as a core value and aim to achieve level AA compliance of W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. 

Plus, our dedicated JustGiving Accessibility Champions team upholds the accessibility standards required to make the JustGiving experience the best it can be for everyone. 

We encourage your charity to adopt accessibility practices to make giving simple and accessible for the most people possible. 

More reading on accessibility for charities 

For feedback on how to improve the usability of the JustGiving website, or any other questions about accessibility and inclusion topics not covered in this article, please contact us here. 

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