Thu. Jul 25th, 2024
Website Accessibility for People WithHearing Impairments

To rank a website high in the search engine and attract a large group of online audience, one has to develop an engaging and positive experience for all their site visitors. This shall include publishing useful and relevant content that is fully accessible to all, regardless of their ability. Millions of people across the world have deafness, hearing loss, and being hard of hearing. To make a site accessible to them, one needs to add visual text like subtitles, transcriptions and captions to distinctive audio elements online like videos, podcasts and sound clips.  Web accessibility companies like AccessiBe specialize in offering tech-based solutions that help in making websites accessible to people with disabilities.

AccessiBe marks a few ways by which websites can be made more accessible to people with hearing impairments

When talking about hearing impairments and web accessibility, it is vital to understand the varying definitions concerning people who have this disability. For instance, there are people who are born with profound deafness and never really have experienced a life with the ability to hear. However, there also are people who might have lost their hearing ability later in life and experience different type of circumstances. While planning on making a website accessible for people who are profoundly deaf, one shall be targeting a very particular community that has its own language. This may lead people to post videos on their site with presenters signing in ASL. On the other hand, if one is considering website accessibility on a broader scale for people with deafness or hard of hearing, they should rather provide captions and subtitles along with videos.

Videos have emerged as one of the most prominent forms of media that are used to present content online. Unfortunately, owing to the audio in videos, it also is among the most difficult forms of media for people who are deaf to consume. Effectively making use of captions on the videos can make the content a lot more accessible to them. It is also vital to see to it that the subtitles and captions appear on the screen just as they are said on the video. Mismatched timings may display words that aren’t relevant to the visuals of the video. This can be confusing and jarring for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.  It is also imperative to see to it that the captions are not interfering with other vital visual elements of the videos. Subtitle and caption placements are generally at the bottom center of the display.

When researching on web accessibility, one would come across how a text alternative for images makes sites more accessible for people having vision impairment. Similarly, for the ones who have a hearing impairment, transcripts for the videos can prove to be quite helpful.  Structuring content with proper headings and spaced-out paragraphs can also be helpful, as people who depend more on their visual ability than hearing are likely to look for visual cues to skim through sites. AccessiBe offers AI based solutions that can help people to make their websites adequately accessible to people with disabilities, including the ones with hearing impairments.

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