Ensuring Accessibility: A Crucial Component of Nonprofit Web Design

Chris McIntosh February 27, 2023
As more and more nonprofit organizations turn to the web to promote their causes and connect with supporters, it is essential to ensure that their websites are accessible to everyone, regardless of their abilities. Learning how to leverage the tools that come with Drupal to improve a website's Accessibility is critical to compliance with laws as well as ensuring everyone has equal access to your nonprofit's initiatives. Accessibility in web design refers to creating a website that is usable by individuals with disabilities, such as visual or hearing impairments, mobility impairments, or cognitive disorders. In this article, we'll discuss the importance of accessibility in nonprofit websites and how it impacts your organization's online presence.

Why is accessibility important in nonprofit websites?

First and foremost, creating an accessible website is the right thing to do. The web should be a place where everyone can participate equally, and nonprofit organizations, in particular, have an obligation to ensure that their message and mission are accessible to everyone. Additionally, accessibility is a legal requirement. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) mandates that all public entities and businesses must make their websites accessible to people with disabilities. Nonprofit organizations are not exempt from this requirement and can face legal action if their websites are not compliant. Beyond legal obligations, creating an accessible website also benefits your organization in several ways. For one, it expands your reach.  In the past this was hard to accomplish with previous versions of Drupal, and Wordpress is arguably less compliant than in the past. With Drupal 9 you can start ensuring your website is accessible with built in features and contributed modules. By doing this you are making your message and mission available to a wider audience, including individuals with disabilities who may not have been able to access your organization's content in the past. It also demonstrates your commitment to inclusivity and social responsibility, which can help build trust and credibility with your supporters.

What are the challenges in creating an accessible nonprofit website?

Creating an accessible website can present challenges for nonprofit organizations, particularly those with limited resources or expertise in web design. Accessibility guidelines are complex and can be difficult to navigate without specialized knowledge. Additionally, there can be a misconception that creating an accessible website is expensive, time-consuming, or requires a complete redesign. However, the reality is that accessibility can be integrated into any website design process, regardless of size or budget. Another challenge is ensuring ongoing compliance. Web accessibility guidelines are constantly evolving, and it's essential to stay up-to-date with the latest developments to ensure your website remains accessible. Nonprofit organizations may not have the resources to monitor and update their website continually, which can result in accessibility issues over time.

How can nonprofits ensure their website is accessible?

The first step in creating an accessible website is to familiarize yourself with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). WCAG is a set of guidelines developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to provide a universally recognized standard for web accessibility. The guidelines are divided into three levels of accessibility: A, AA, and AAA, with AAA being the most stringent. While achieving AAA-level compliance may not be feasible for all organizations, striving for at least AA-level compliance is essential. Some basic steps to improve website accessibility include: Providing alt-text for all images on your website, which describes the image for people who are visually impaired. Ensuring that all multimedia content, such as videos or audio files, are accompanied by captions or transcripts. Making sure that the website's color contrast ratio is sufficient, so people with visual impairments can read the content. Ensuring that all forms on your website are accessible and easy to navigate using a keyboard. It's also essential to test your website's accessibility regularly to identify and fix any issues. Several online tools, such as WebAIM and WAVE, can help you assess your website's accessibility and identify areas for improvement.


Ensuring accessibility in nonprofit web design is a crucial component of building an inclusive online presence. It benefits both the organization and the community it serves, and it is a legal requirement. While creating an accessible website can present challenges, nonprofits can take simple steps to improve