Ruth Woods is a hair stylist in Portland, OR who specializes in neuro-affirming haircare and discovering what your hair does best.
For some, being in a salon can feel overwhelming or downright impossible. Her mission is to create an accessible salon that celebrates the beauty of everyone (kids & teens included!)
She came to me wanting…
- To make her site more accessible
- A refreshed brand aesthetic
- 1:1 training on how to create accessible content
Ruth already knew quite a bit about accessibility thanks to being a member of the Successible Community. But she’s BUSY with clients and needed someone to swoop in and make the changes happen.
”Choosing Caitlin is one of the best business investments I’ve ever made. She is professional, prompt, artistic, collaborative, and a pure joy to work with.”-Ruth
ADA Compliance vs. Web Accessibility
I want to be clear about these two terms:
- ADA Compliance: being in compliance with The Americans with Disabilities Act, the law which states that places of public accommodation need to be accessible to all.
- Web Accessibility: The inclusive practice of removing barriers so that online content is easy for everyone to access and use – including folks with disabilities.
One is a law and one is a practice. I am a designer who practices accessible design – I don’t offer ADA compliance, which is a more extensive (and expensive) process that involves manually testing and remediating your site.
(If you’re looking for someone to help you with ADA Compliance, I can recommend some fabulous friends!)
And if this topic interests you, read more about it here.
Making her Squarespace site accessible
First I evaluated her site using an accessibility scanner. (Automated scanners are not a complete solution for auditing a website, but they do help identify a variety of potential issues.)
Ruth’s site had issues with:
- color contrast
- missing alt text
- lack of heading structure, and
- long/complex sentences that were hard to read
Then we explored accessible font and color combos for her new look.
We chose Helvetica as the font (it’s supportive for folks with dyslexia) and we made sure her color combos had high enough contrast to pass AA WCAG guidelines.
After applying the new look to her site, we made these tweaks as well:
- Correcting heading tags (H1, H2, H3..)
- Rewriting the copy to be in “plain language”
- Adding alt text to all images
- Simplifying the menu to reduce decision fatigue
- Adapting animations to meet WCAG standards
Continued accessible choices
Ruth wanted more than a “quick fix” – she wanted to feel empowered to continue making accessible choices throughout all of her content. (YASSS RUTH!)
Between the live training and custom video library I created for her, we covered…
- How to write good alt text
- Accessible color combos for Canva
- How to write in “plain language” using the Hemingway app
After making these changes, I ran her site through the accessibility scanner again and – viola! She’s passing with flying colors.