Did you know you can be sued if your dispensary website is not accessible? It’s true. If a user with a disability tries accessing your website and cannot reasonably operate it or view it, they can sue on grounds of discrimination. It’s why ensuring your website is WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guideline) compliant is becoming increasingly vital in 2022.
WCAG is a standard for web content that meets the needs of all individuals, organizations, and governments internationally. It explains how to make your content accessible to people with disabilities. In the cannabis industry, this is even more important than you may think.
Cannabis is both a medicinal and recreational product. A survey taken in 2019 shows that 11.2% of young adults with medical conditions used cannabis on a daily basis. A decent subset of a dispensary’s client base is going to be those with a disability or medical condition. Making your website accessible to these people not only provides a better web experience for them – but you’ll probably make new customers for life.
Making Your Website Accessible
The WCAG standard sets out a large list of guidance for making a website accessible. Making a website accessible isn’t a quick and easy job. There is a lot of work involved in it. But, let’s take a look at a few that you can easily do to benefit your business’ web presence today.
Font Color, Font Choice, and Size are three simple things to address on your website. If a user can’t read, or has trouble reading, what your text says – what makes you think they’ll stay on your website?
- Ensure font colors have enough contrast against a background color or image.
- Choose fonts that are easy to read. Sans Serif or Serif fonts. No cursive, handwritten, or decorative fonts.
- Use font sizes that make it easy for a user to read. 16pt or higher on body text.
Images are another easy fix. You don’t even need to do anything to the images themselves. This fix is vital for making your website accessible to visually impaired users, who have to utilize a device called a screen reader. Go through your images and ensure they all have alt text, which is a text description of what the image is. When a visually impaired user is browsing your website with the help of a screen reader, they’ll be able to understand what the image is without the need to view it.
Focus & Labels are a fix you’ll most likely need to work with a web designer to handle but relate directly to forms and options such as quantity selectors. Basically, you want to have a way to distinguish form fields and options that are actively being used by a user.
Working with Accessibility Experts
Making sure your website is accessible is not an easy task. While we discussed three areas that you should address, the fact stands there is a lot more than that to make your website compliant with WCAG standards. In order to ensure your cannabis website is accessible, we recommend working with accessibility experts.
Working with an expert can also help limit exposure to possible civil suits. 3PRIME partners with an accessibility software that will scan your business’ website and notify you of any accessibility issues, how to fix them, and even includes a couple of interesting features that make your website more accessible without any changes to your website’s code.