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Accessibility in the Digital Space

Your business office is probably physically accessible for clients or employees who have a disability. The accessibility components might include handicapped parking, curb cutouts, ramps, or elevators. This is not news, though. In 1990, the United States Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act, commonly referred to as the ADA. The ADA mandates that public and private spaces be made accessible to individuals with disabilities. But is your company website digitally accessible? 

What Does Digitally Accessible Mean? 

If you are not quite sure what it means to make your business or business website digitally accessible, whether it is viewed on a smartphone, tablet, or desktop, then read on. According to MediaWire, Digital Accessibility addresses the ability of people with visual, auditory, motor, or cognitive disabilities to access electronic resources such as the Internet, software, mobile devices, e-readers, etc. It also includes people with changing abilities due to aging or illness. Basically, digital accessibility is technology put into place to allow a wide range of users to easily navigate the digital space.

Think for a moment about your digital correspondence and website. Are there text or audio alternatives for someone who can not visually focus on small letters? Can your website be navigated without using a finger on a touchscreen but rather the arrows of a keyboard? Is the text written in an easy-to-read font and color? These questions probably have you thinking about how someone with a physical, cognitive, or sensory impairment views or navigates your digital world. 

How Can You Make Your Website or Digital Correspondence More Accessible? 

Thankfully, as technology evolves, so too does the assistive tech that can help make the digital world easier to manage. Assistive software has come quite a long way since the digital world came on the scene. Now, there are technologies or programs that include: programs for screen magnification, screen reading, speech recognition, text-to-speech, Braille printers, Braille scanners, touch screen displays, oversized mice, and oversized joysticks. 

Another example of universal design that can adapt easily to different users’ needs or preferences is the alt text tags for graphics or videos. For the hearing impaired, videos are unusable. For the visually impaired, images on a website are extraneous. Alt text provides captions for the hearing impaired trying to watch a video and audio alternatives for the visually impaired. 

Some users have physical difficulties navigating a website using a cursor alone. Digital accessibility means that websites are now able to be navigated using only the arrow keys on the keyboard. 

When the ADA was created in 1990, the Internet as we know it now did not exist and there is now a great need for updated laws concerning accessibility in the digital realm. The ADA requires that “places of public accommodation” be accessible to the disabled. Most businesses are now beginning to access their digital accessibility. Do you need to reassess your website in business digital realm? Check out our workshop on this topic on October 17, 2019. 

Tips to Improve your Website

The Internet is an ever-changing miracle of technology, and it is important that you keep your website up-to-date. Improving your website often makes for a better, more seamless user experience, which in-turn will reward you with a satisfied customer. A website that looks dated or that doesn’t have the latest features ‒ as they pertain to your business ‒ is almost a turn off for would-be customers. Here are some helpful tips to improve your website for the modern world:

  • Add a Mission Statement – Also known as a value proposition, this informs visitors to your website about your company. Information to be included in the statement is: the location of your company, to whom you market and serve/sell, what your company does, and the benefit(s) customers can get out of using your company. The mission statement should go on your homepage, and you can add it to your About or Blog page(s).
  • Incorporate Social Media Links – If your company has social media profiles ‒ which it definitely should nowadays ‒ you should add links on your website for visitors to follow. Utilizing social media greatly increases the amount of traffic your website receives.
  • Use Calls-to-Action – When a visitor first gets to your website, can s/he easily navigate through the various pages to fulfill the purpose of their visit? While there are some basic calls-to-action, such as “call/email for a consultation”, you should strive to update them for a better user experience. Some examples of more advanced calls-to-action are: click here for more information, sign up for a webinar, and view pricing.
  • Is Your Website Mobile-Friendly? – The advent of the Internet has birthed new technologies, most notably the smartphone. Almost everyone has a smartphone nowadays, so it’s important that your website be optimized for mobile. You can test this out yourself on your own smartphone, and ask yourself the following: when would someone go to my website on mobile? How is the experience on the website right now? Remember, mobile optimization is all about user experience, so your visitors should be able to navigate your website effortlessly and with ease. Check out the mobile category on our blog for more information.

One of the biggest considerations for a quality website is user experience. Most updates and new features are released to make the whole experience for visitors to your website easier, and more enjoyable and fluid. It’s a smart technique to garner more traffic to the website and, therefore, more potential customers. The content should be flattering and attention-grabbing, but not so flashy that users are turned off. There’s a delicate balance to making a user-friendly website, and getting it right will be so beneficial, not only for you, but also your new customers.

BLS Provider CPR (1-day Initial or Renewal Course, multiple sessions available)

(Initial or Renewal Course based on the 2015 AHA Guidelines)
Basic Life Support (BLS) is the foundation for saving lives after cardiac arrest. This course teaches both single-rescuer and team basic life support skills for application in both in-facility and prehospital settings. This course is designed for healthcare professionals and other personnel who need to know how to perform CPR and other basic cardiovascular life support skills.

In addition, BLS training can be appropriate for first responders, such as police officers and firefighters, as well as for laypeople whose work brings them into contact with members of the public, such as school, fitness center, or hotel and restaurant employees.

Students must pass a written exam and skills test in order to qualify for a BLS Course Completion Card.
Upon successful completion of this course, students will receive a completion cad valid for 2 years.

Conveniently scheduled on Saturday, please choose the session that works best for you.

REGISTER NOW!

Signs You Need to Update Your Website

When was your business website designed?  Was it the late 1990s or possible the early 2000s?  Websites built and designed even just a few short years ago may not have the capabilities and look of a modern website. Your business website is a window into your company where clients, consumers, employees, and vendors can learn about you and interact with you. So, if your “window”  is poorly designed, old or just hard to “see” through, then it may be a time to update. Here is a quick list of red flags that may be trying to tell you that it is time for a face lift, either aesthetic or technological, in nature for your business.

  • Your key words are not showing up on Google or any of the major search engines.

    Search engine algorithms have changed quite a bit over the years, so if your organic search engine rankings are low, it could mean it’s time for an update.

  • You can’t update your own content. If you have to constantly contact your web design company or harass your IT department to change the content, then you don’t have a website designed to be used by employees. Many companies have switched to platforms such as WordPress that allows them to change blogs, prices and other items on their site easily.

  • Your website takes too long to load. For every second it takes to load your page, whether it is on mobile or desktop, you lose visitors.

  • You have a high bounce rate. If your web analytics show a high bounce rate, low time on site and low average pages per visit, that’s a pretty strong indicator that your visitors don’t find your current site useful for one reason or another.
  • Your website is not mobile compatible. According to Smart Insights, over 20% of Google searches are performed on a mobile device, and when it comes to local searches, more than half are performed on mobile devices. In the United States, a whopping 25% of internet users only access the internet on a mobile device. If these stats tell you anything, it’s that the world has gone mobile, and if your website isn’t optimized, it’s officially time for a responsive re-design.
  • Your website looks outdated. It’s been proven time and time again that a person’s perception of your company is directly affected by their perception of your website. Think of your website as a virtual storefront on main street. Make sure it looks new, fresh and is easy to navigate.