When it comes to ensuring that your website remains accessible for visitors with disabilities and struggles, one thing that you likely don’t think too much about is the presence of animations on the website or application. However, animations—though seemingly innocent and inconspicuous for the majority of people—can cause concerns for certain individuals who struggle with learning difficulties of those who experience photo-epilectic seizures as a result of viewing animations on websites. Therefore, if you are serious about making sure that your website is accessible for viewers, then it is important that you consider the impact that animations on your website could have.
For the vast majority of people, animations cause no difficulties and are a nice little addition to a website. Animations can be useful for conveying a message and are often used to help visitors engage with the webpage. However, for certain people, these animations can actually be a source of great distress for numerous different reasons. Understanding this is imperative if your website is to make the changes necessary to ensure that it is accessible for all website visitors and users, regardless of whether they enjoy animated content on websites or if these can cause them danger.
So, how can animations cause a problem? The answer to this question lies in a few specific conditions—because, for most people, animations will not cause any problems in and of themselves. However, for people who suffer from photo-epilectic seizures, the flashing images and flickering can trigger a (potentially deadly) seizure in the individual.
People whose seizures are triggered by flashing and flickering images are usually experiencing a tonic clonic seizure. These are the most common, however, other seizures are also possible. Either way, these seizures can be a big problem for the person having to experience them—and so action needs to be taken by the website to ensure that problems are not seen for their viewers and visitors.
As many as one in 100 people can suffer from photo sensitive epilepsy, the Epilepsy Society estimates; as such, it is imperative that consideration is given as to the importance of catering for these website visitors when building your website.
There are a number of ways in which your website can likely make use of no animation tools in order to help ensure that your visitors have the best possible experience. For one thing, for some website visitors, animations can be annoying to see. For others, the animations may slow down their connectivity if they have a slow internet connection, potentially leading to difficulties; thus, it is clear to see how having the ability to turn off animations could potentially benefit your visitors.
However, the importance of this change for visitors with Epilepsy is even greater. For these individuals, being able to turn off the animations on your website could even be the difference between life and death; thus, it’s clear to see how important prioritising this as a goal should be for a website developer. For more information on how you can allow visitors to block animations from your website, give a member of our team at Purple Lens a call ASAP.