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Making Your Online Experience Accessible

Published: 28 Feb 2024

The internet should be a space for everyone, regardless of ability. Unfortunately, many websites remain inaccessible to individuals with disabilities, creating barriers to information, communication and participation.

Many people need information about a venue before they decide if it’s for them. This is particularly true for people living with health issues and disabilities, who may need more reassurance that the experiences are accessible to them.

Here at ATS, we are passionate about inclusion and accessibility, and we produce a wide range of accessible content for visitors both pre-visit and on-site.

Our sign language and subtitled tours for D/deaf and hard of hearing visitors are available on our multimedia guides. For blind and partially sighted visitors we provide specialist consultancy, scriptwriting and production of audio described tours – a mix of audible wayfinding and object descriptions, using words to paint a visual picture.

However, we can also help you meet your visitor’s accessibility requirements before they even step foot inside your venue. Our in-house producers, film crew and web developers can help you create a website designed with accessibility in mind, benefiting all visitors, including those who are D/deaf, visually impaired or neurodiverse.

This article explores the key website features you can consider to create an accessible experiences for everyone.

D/deaf and Hard of Hearing:

  • Captions and transcripts: Videos and audio recordings should be accompanied by accurate captions and transcripts. This allows all individuals to access the information conveyed through these multimedia elements.
  • Sign language interpretation: Consider offering sign language interpretation for key video content, especially for informational or educational purposes.
  • Visual alternatives for audio cues: When using audio cues for actions or notifications, provide a visual alternative, such as flashing lights or on-screen text prompts.
  • Clear and concise language: Use plain language that is easy to understand and avoids jargon. This benefits everyone, including deaf individuals who may rely on lip reading or sign language interpretation.

Sight Impaired:

  • High contrast: Ensure adequate colour contrast between text and background elements. This makes the content easier to read for individuals with low vision or colour blindness. Colorblindly is a Chrome extension that simulates colour blindness for web pages, helping you to check whether a red call to action button stands out enough for those that are red/green colour blind, for example?
  • Text resizing: Allow users to adjust the font size to their preferred level. This caters to individuals with varying degrees of visual impairment.
  • Alternative text (alt text): Provide descriptive alt text for images, which is read aloud by screen readers used by visually impaired individuals. This conveys the meaning and purpose of the image.
  • Keyboard navigation: Ensure all website functionality is accessible using only the keyboard. This is crucial for individuals who cannot use a mouse or touchpad.
  • Focus indicators: Make it clear which element on the page is currently in focus, aiding navigation with screen readers and keyboard controls.
  • Audio Descriptions: Incorporating audio descriptions of video content can make it accessible to individuals with blindness, ensuring they can understand the visual elements on screen.
  • Transcripts: Including a detailed transcript of any video’s narration and dialogue allows screen readers to convert the content, making it accessible to those using screen reader software.
  • Avoid carousels: Screen readers may announce carousels as a single unit (rather than separate image and text), making it difficult for users to understand the individual content within each slide. If included, users need to be able to pause the carousel movement because it can be too fast or distracting, making text hard to read.


  • Clear and predictable layout: Maintain a consistent and predictable layout across all pages to avoid confusion and disorientation and avoid unexpected animations or pop-ups that can trigger anxiety or sensory overload.
  • Uncluttered design: Minimise distractions and clutter on the page to reduce cognitive overload for users with attention deficit disorders and use clear and concise labels for navigation elements and avoid complex menus or structures.
  • Multiple input methods: Consider offering alternative input methods, such as voice commands or text-to-speech functionality, to cater to different learning styles and preferences.
  • Simple and concise language: Avoid complex sentence structures and jargon. Use clear and direct language that is easy to understand. You could also consider including closed captions which can provide additional support for those who may have difficulty with auditory processing.
  • Minimise distractions: Avoid excessive animations, flashing elements, or auto-playing audio that can be overwhelming for individuals with sensory sensitivities. You can also think about offering a focus mode option that removes distractions and simplifies the page layout for users who benefit from reduced clutter.
  • Adjustable settings: Allow users to adjust settings like font size, colour scheme, and animation speed to personalise their experience.

Additional Considerations:

  • Accessibility statement: Publish an accessibility statement on your website that outlines the steps you have taken to make your website (and your venue) accessible and how users can provide feedback.
  • Mobile responsiveness: Ensure the website is optimised for different screen sizes and devices, including mobile phones and tablets. This is important for everyone, but especially for individuals who rely on assistive technologies like screen readers, which are often used on mobile devices.
  • Regular testing: When it comes to testing, it’s important to remember “Nothing about us, without us”. While many services exist to test against, none are foolproof and will require in-person testing to indicate a true performance level. This testing should be carried out by people of all abilities.
  • User feedback: Encourage users with disabilities to provide feedback on your website’s accessibility and use their insights to continuously improve your design and functionality.
  • Welcome video: We can create a welcome video that allows individuals to see the layout of your venue, what accessibility provisions you provide and facilities such as special parking spaces. We can ensure the video itself is accessible by including user-friendly video controls, such as adjustable playback speed and volume, all to ensure that individuals can customise their viewing experience to suit their preferences. You can have a look at our article on why Welcome Videos are so important.

Building an inclusive online experience is not just about compliance; it’s about creating an online resource that is welcoming and accessible for everyone and demonstrates your venue’s commitment to providing an equal experience for all visitors, regardless of their abilities.

Remember, accessibility is not a one-time fix, but an ongoing process. As technology evolves and user needs change, it’s important to continuously evaluate and improve website accessibility to ensure it remains inclusive for all.

Even small venues with limited resources can take meaningful steps towards becoming more accessible and inclusive. We discuss low-cost solutions in our article Breaking Barriers on a Budget.

Great storytelling (and a flair for the creative!) is at the heart of what we do and the expert teams at ATS can advise on the best way to bring your story to life. So get in touch for a chat!

How can we help?