The Internet has made a wealth of knowledge available, but still excludes a huge number of people from accessing that information. Everyone has a right to access information, but some people are unable to do so because of physical impairments, learning disabilities or language barriers,.
Technology and new official guidelines for website creators have made great progress in supporting people with physical and sensory impairments, but content itself can often fall short of being accessible. Symbols can make information much easier to understand. The addition of visual support means that visitors to a website do not have to rely entirely on the written word.
In this context, 'accessible' means making information easier to understand by using clear, straightforward language and supporting it with symbols. Easily understandable content is a powerful addition to common features such as providing speech or high-contrast alternative colour schemes for visually impaired users. Symbols help illustrate the meaning of new or unfamiliar words.
The easiest way to understand how symbols can be used on a website is to look at these three examples which have been created specifically for symbol users, with symbols and photographs supporting the text:
These websites show how existing text can be transformed and made accessible to a much wider audience, regardless of age, ability, language or culture. All three sites are supported by Widgit Symbols.
What can you do to make your website more accessible?