Website Accessibility – Does your website meet the mark?
What does “Website Accessibility” mean? It is a term used to describe the ease in which website content can be perceive, understood, interacted with and navigated by people with disabilities. “People with disabilities” covers a broad range of impairments that include visual, auditory, physical, speech, cognitive and neurological disabilities.
There has been an overall lack of awareness within the Web community regarding the needs of people with disabilities, resulting in many websites containing software or user interfaces that create accessibility barriers, making it difficult to impossible for many people with disabilities to use. I recommend that everyone read the stories of people with disabilities using the Web to help you get a better understanding of the everyday challenges they face.
It’s important to remember that Website Accessibility isn’t just about benefiting people with disabilities. One of it’s core principles is designing Web sites and software that are flexible to meet different users needs, preferences and situations. This flexibility can benefit people without disabilities, for example people using a slow internet connection, text based browsers, people with “temporary disabilities” (broken arm) or people with changing abilities due to ageing.
Growing concern about Website Accessibility has lead to numerous resources and guidelines being developed to assist in creating a Web environment everyone can access. Such resources can be found in the Web Accessibility Initiative and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0.
If you are unsure of how accessible your website is there are some Website Accessibility evaluation tools available that can help determine if your website meets accessibility guidelines.
The Web is an enormous information, communication & social resource, it is vital that we work together towards a Web that everyone can enjoy.
If you would like to learn more about Web Accessibility I would recommend attending AccessibilityOz’ Accessibility Week seminars in either Melbourne 6-10 February 2012 or Canberra 16-22 March 2012.
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Posted on January 31, 2012, in Website Accessibility and tagged Accessibility, accessibility barriers, accessibility evaluation tools, content accessibility guidelines, disabilities, W3C, WCAG, Web Accessibility, web accessibility initiative, web content accessibility, Website content, Website development. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a Comment.