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How to make your website accessible

The key goal for all business websites is to attract as many visitors as possible. However, not many business owners remember to cater their website to those with special needs and disabilities. To make sure your website is accessible for everyone on the internet, here are a few tips to consider.

Be mindful of your colour choices

Colour is often viewed as a major contributor to making a website visually appealing. However, not all people have the privilege to distinguish between colours, or may find it difficult to read texts over certain colours. It is therefore important to be mindful of the colours you choose to use on your website as well as the contrast levels between your text and background colours. For example, red-green colour deficiency is most common among individuals experiencing colour blindness so it is best to avoid using such colours on your website altogether. Using visual cues such as asterisks and question marks can also be helpful in separating content otherwise divided by colour.

Ensure your website is keyboard and mobile-friendly

Not all of your website’s visitors are going to be on a computer, so it is important to make sure your website is both keyboard and mobile friendly. Keyboard-only navigation means that all of the content, links and pages on your website can be accessed without a mouse, often using the ‘tab’ key. It is also important to accommodate mobile users and make sure your website can shrink down to the vertical, zooming and pinching format while also retaining its functionality.

Include alternative text for images

Visitors may prefer to read text over viewing images on your website due to a number of reasons, such as slow internet connection, image-blocking browsers or users who are sight-impaired. To satisfy such audiences, consider providing descriptive alternative texts in place of images to convey the same message to those who cannot see them. Alternative text is especially important in cases where your image acts as a page link or is integral to the content on your website.

Make sure your content is structured

A clean and uniform structure is integral to making your website accessible and this can be achieved by using headings to correctly organise your content. Headings can be used to help visitors easily navigate between your content, but it is also important to make sure your headings are visually uniform to prevent confusion between different content pages on your website.

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Avoiding mortgage default

Posted on August 27, 2020 by admin

As individuals struggle with cash flow through the coronavirus, the Australian Bankers Association records that repayments on almost 500,000 mortgages have been deferred for six months. While repayments can be delayed, they cannot be avoided altogether.

Lenders can send you a default notice the day your repayment is overdue. However, they could also wait until your repayment is overdue by 90 or more days. When you receive a default notice, you are given 30 days to repay the amounts you have missed in addition to the regular repayment on your loan. Individuals who are struggling with their home loan repayments can avoid mortgage default by considering the following.

Contact your lender
Lenders are generally willing to work with you through financial hardship. Don’t be afraid to contact your lender to discuss your situation and find out what options are available for you. Lenders are often willing to negotiate short-term variations to repayment schedules that both parties can agree to. However, make sure that you do not agree to unrealistic repayment conditions that cannot be met.

Many Australian banks are offering a six-month deferral on mortgage repayments (including interest) for customers who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. If this is you, contact your bank to see if this is an option.

Apply for a hardship variation
Mortgage holders may be able to change the terms of their loan or temporarily pause or reduce their repayments under a hardship variation. A hardship variation can still be requested after you receive a mortgage default. To apply for one, contact your lender’s “hardship officer” and tell them that you wish to change your loan repayments due to financial hardship. This will usually require you to explain why you are struggling to make payments and to estimate how long your financial problems will continue to determine how much you can afford to repay.

After submitting a hardship variation request, your lender must contact you within 21 days with the outcome of your request. They may ask you for more details regarding your request; in this case, they must contact you again within 21 days from when you provide the additional information.

Consider selling your home
Selling your home is a tough decision, but in some cases this may be the better option if your circumstances are unlikely to improve. If you get to the point where your lender takes possession of your home and sells it, it’s likely that you won’t make as much as if you sold it yourself. When you sell your house on your own terms, chances are you will get a better price and avoid having to pay the legal fees passed on by your lender. Inform your lender if you decide to sell your home; they may ask for proof, such as a copy of the contract with your real estate agent or property advertisements.

Renting out your home until you can afford to make repayments again may also be an option if you are able to live somewhere else during this period.

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