The main objective of this site is to simplify learning understanding and implementing accessibility.
Web accessibility refers to the inclusive practice of making websites usable by people of all abilities and disabilities. When sites are correctly designed, developed and edited, all users can have equal access to information and functionality.
- When a site is coded with semantically meaningful HTML, with textual equivalents provided for images and links named meaningfully, it will help blind users using text-to-speech software and/or text-to-Braille hardware.
- When text and images are large and/or enlargeable, it is easier for users with poor sight to read and understand the content.
- When links are underlined (or otherwise differentiated) as well as colored, this ensures that color blind users will be able to notice them.
- When clickable links and areas are large, this helps users who cannot control a mouse with precision.
- When pages are coded so that users can navigate by means of the keyboard alone, or a single switch access device alone, this helps users who cannot use a mouse or even a standard keyboard.
- When videos are closed captioned or a sign language version is available, deaf and hard-of-hearing users can understand the video.
- When content is written in plain language and illustrated with instructional diagrams and animations, users with dyslexia and learning difficulties are better able to understand the content.
- When sites are correctly built and maintained, all of these users can be accommodated without decreasing the usability of the site for non-disabled users.
The Web is an increasingly important resource in many aspects of life such as education, employment, government, commerce, health care, recreation, and more. It is essential that the Web be accessible in order to provide equal access and equal opportunity to people with disabilities.
Often people have misconception as accessibility is only for screen reader users, but in fact accessibility is for all. An accessible Web can give you more advantages beyond social inclusion as follows.
Search Engine Optimization is one of the major advantages of implementing accessibility which comes by default. Accessibility and SEO come hand in hand.
Many of the search engine algorithms overlaps with accessibility best practices like appropriate page title, meaningful links(not having only click here, more etc), semantic heading mark up, images with appropriate alternate text and audio/videos with transcripts and Captions. See more @ SEO section in Semantic Markup. Thus following accessibility helps indexing your content well by search engines, thereby gets you more traffic.
Following a semantic markup and table less layout for separating content from presentation, and responsive design will render your content well across the browsers and devices such as mobile and tablets. Thus reduces the cost of maintaining device dependency web sites
Usability and accessibility co-relates. Pages with good color contrast are easy to read including for persons with low vision, senior citizens, and color deficiency users, pages with consistent layout and content in plane language will be understandable to basic internet users and cognitive(learning) disabled, and videos with captions/sub titles helps understanding non-English speaking users and hearing impaired users Accessible content will be usable but the converse need not be true, for example an input field with spanned label text helps understands to sited users what the control is but is not accessible to screen reader users.. Thus accessibility helps your content usable to widest audiences.
Over 10% (1 billion) of global population is disabled as per World Health Organization ( WHO )latest report, fortunately due to advent of various Assistive technologies most of them are able to access the web. But less than 10% of the websites are accessible so far, making your site accessible gets you these potential customers.
These days growing number of countries have accessibility legislations. With the inception of UNCRPD ( United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disability ) in 2007, 153 countries signed and ratified, which requires accessibility under article 9, some countries just have a legislation and some have both legislation and own guidelines(example, US has Section 508 Amendment to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and India has GIGW) as per UNCRPD. Some developed countries like US, UK and Australia has accessibility legislation since many years. If your website does not meet the Accessibility Guidelines, then the website owner could be sued for discrimination.
In 2006 Target Corporation was sued for $6 Million to make its web site accessible. Here is some Accessibility Legislations
- US: ADA(Americans with Disability Act) and Section 508 Amendment to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
- UK: Equality Act 2010
- Australia: DDA(Disability Discrimination ACT 1992
|International||Web Content Accessibility Guidelines WCAG 2.0 developed by World Wide Web Consortium W3C|
|Country Specific||U.S.||Section 508 Amendments to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 Section 508|