Customer Service

How accessible are your utility communications?

Your facilities might have a ramp for wheelchair access. You might have a customer service phone line for people with differing hearing or speech abilities. But how easily can your customers with visual, hearing, or other challenges access your website or other materials? Here are a few areas to consider to make it easier for all of your customers to engage with you.

Website

  • Are pages designed to be responsive – e.g. do they resize for different screens and translate well in both portrait and landscape mode?
  • If users resize text, does that cause any functionality to be lost?
  • Do images and text have sufficient contrast?
  • Can visitors access all site functions using a keyboard?
  • If any elements of your site flash or have animation, how easily can visitors turn off or pause these items?

Bills and bill pay

  • Do any payment instructions rely solely on a visual element (e.g., click the green button to proceed or the red one to cancel)?
  • Do any CAPTCHA blocks used allow for alternatives to accommodate different sensory perception needs?
  • If users can get timed out, do they have an easy option for extending their time on the page (e.g., pressing the space bar)?
  • Do form fields have descriptive labels?
  • How easily can users verify and correct information before finalizing payment?

Outage maps

  • Do any outage maps have a descriptive heading, title, and alternative text?
  • Does the map, and any overlaying text, have high enough contrast with all elements? Would it render in black and white, or be readable by someone with colorblindness?
  • Does the map rely on colors, or are there other elements such as symbols or textures that can convey meaning?
  • Can data from the map be accessed in a different format, e.g., downloaded as a spreadsheet?
  • Do users need a mouse to navigate the map, or can they use the keyboard?

Social media

  • Do posts use a lot of emojis that break up the text, or would a customer using an assistive reading device get your message clearly?

Documents

  • Do all PDFs make the full content of the document available to a customer using an assistive reading device? This includes having tags throughout the document, setting a logical reading order, and adding descriptive text for any images or charts.
  • Is the reading level at or below the 10th grade?

Images

  • Do images (or other non-text items) have alternative text? Alt text should be descriptive and transferable so that users can change the text into other forms (e.g., braille or speech).
  • Are images and graphics high contrast or able to be ignored by assistive technology?

Video/Audio

  • Do all audio/video elements have captions or text available?
  • Do videos have synchronized descriptive audio?
  • Can background noise in audio be avoided or turned off?

Learn more about Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.