The Social Observer

The Social Media Marketing Blog by SNHU Students

Web Accessibility – 3 Steps to Ensure Every Donor Can Access Your Website

Limited Web Accessibility May Result in Limited Donations

The web offers a brilliant interactive billboard to engage and attract potential donors for your non-profit. Organizations pour hours of energy into content, design elements, sharability, and multimedia. But all that work and energy may be wasted because a significant portion of the American population suffers from disabilities that prevent them from fully engaging in a website. Those who suffer from visual, hearing, motor, and cognitive disabilities may not be able to navigate your website. You have effectively cut off a segment of potential stakeholders simply because you overlooked some simple steps that make it easier for everyone to access your site.

Our friends from Australia have provided a great video primer:

For Transcription click here.

In the United States the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 – specifically Section 508 which was added in 1998 – have set a standard for all software applications and operating systems, web-based information or applications telecommunication products, video and multimedia products to ensure that Americans with disabilities have the same ability to access information and equipment as their enabled fellow citizens.

Currently the 508 standards only govern federal agencies. But that does not mean that your non-profit should neglect these standards. Achieving 508 compliance on your website offers more than just being a good upstanding member of the internet society. It also offers some excellent SEO benefits for your website. Working toward 508 compliance is a win-win proposition.

How do you get started? 

Here are 3 Steps toward meeting web accessibility standards:

1. Add Alternative Text to Image
Providing a context to those who are visually impaired helps them “see” what is going on in the picture. Don’t stop at labeling a photo as “A bridge over a river.” Explain the features of the bridge, the characteristics of the sky and water, and any other nuances. This is your chance to channel your inner art critic.

Rule of thumb: Make the description shorter than a tweet but longer than the file name.

2. Add Transcription for Audio and Video
By adding transcripts to included media it allows those who are hearing impaired to interact with your content. The impassioned speech or funny skit that cost time and energy can be completely ineffective to a portion of your audience. A transcription also allows users to scan/quickly read and find content they are looking for if they don’t have time to listen/watch the whole thing.

3.Make Sure To Use Proper Heading Order on Each Page
Screen readers and other assistive devices allow users to quickly navigate a page by headers, if they are out of order or if you page doesn’t use any, it will not make sense to the user. This also allows the users to quickly and efficiently find the exact information they are looking for.

 Getting you website to meet 508 Compliance standards takes some work, sure. But every person deserves to be able to view and join in on your vision to change some part of the world. That is what non-profits are for, right?

For more information on web accessibility and 508 compliance please visit:

Category: SEO