You may have heard the term accessibility in the offline world, regarding products and environments designed for individuals living with disabilities. Examples of this may include wheelchairs, entryway ramps, hearing aids, and braille signs.
Did you know that accessibility is applicable in the online world as well? In fact, it’s quite relevant in the online event space, where it is referred to as digital accessibility.
What is Digital Accessibility?
Digital Accessibility is the ability of a website, mobile application or electronic document to be easily navigated and understood by a wide range of users, including those users who are living with visual, auditory, motor, or cognitive disabilities.
Who interacts with your event sites?
In the online registration industry, digital accessibility is something we should all keep in mind. Consider the people who interact with your event sites. This could be participants, donors, fellow event organizers & fundraising coordinators, guardians, volunteers, etc. That’s quite a lot of people when you think about it.
Now, consider all of the possible user characteristics they have:
- They may be living with vision loss or dyslexia, which means they may be using an auditory or tactile screen reader, or will possibly need to zoom in a great deal.
- Individuals living with physical disabilities may have limited use of their hands affecting their ability to use a mouse or keyboard.
- They may be dealing with a color vision deficiency, also referred to as color blindness. This means someone may have difficulty distinguishing certain colors, or perceive colors as black and white.
- Someone using a mobile device may need to zoom in or increase the font size, and they are likely to be using a touch interface rather than a mouse.
Consider these statistics
- 324 million people live with vision loss (1 in 22).
- 360 million people live with hearing loss (1 in 20).
- 720 million people live with dyslexia (1 in 10).
When you add up all of these numbers, it means that 1 in 7 people – 1 billion in total – live with a barrier that may affect how they interact with technology.
Race Roster hosts registration for thousands of events, many of which directly connect with or have fundraising organization partners who support people with barriers.
How does Race Roster contribute?
Our goal is to create an exceptional customer experience for all users. Race Roster is actively working to break down all barriers by designing with accessibility in mind.
Members on our development team are active speakers in the tech community, educating others on best practices for digital accessibility. These members apply and spread their knowledge when designing and developing at Race Roster.
Here are a few ways we are actively working to accommodate individuals living with vision loss, dyslexia, or a physical disability:
- Including labels on all form inputs – this allows individuals to navigate and fill out the registration form using a screen reader. Screen readers will be able to indicate which field the user is currently on and will indicate when a field is mandatory. (e.g. First name – mandatory field)
- Keyboard navigation – a user should be able to navigate an entire registration from start to finish without the use of a mouse.
- Mobile optimized and responsive – We maintain a constant effort to ensure that our public facing pages are mobile optimized and responsive. Our data indicates over 50% of registrations on Race Roster occur on a mobile device.
- Color and contrast – when designing, we consider users who have low vision or color blindness by using tools to simulate their experience and ensure all headers and instructions are still legible. Additionally, we have a built-in contrast checker on the event branding page that will alert event organizers when there is not enough contrast in the colors they have chosen.
We are actively working to improve the digital accessibility of Race Roster everyday to reach our goal of a fully accessible platform for everyone. As accessible technology evolves, our code will continue to be updated in order to meet the latest standards. Our support and development teams will continue to work with participants and event organizers to ensure our product is prioritizing digital accessibility.
We welcome all feedback on the accessibility of our registration and event detail products. Feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any comments or questions. We’d love to hear from you!