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Website Accessibility: Essential for Some – Useful for All?
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Website Accessibility: Essential for Some – Useful for All?

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Website Accessibility: Essential for Some – Useful for All?

The web is used by many people and is an essential part of daily life. Website accessibility means that people with disabilities – about 15% of the world’s population – can use the web equally.

There are many kinds of disabilities: auditory, cognitive, neurological, physical, speech, visual (blind, low vision), caused by congenital condition, disease, illness, accident, or aging. Accessibility is about people.

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international community whose mission is to lead the World Wide Web to its full potential by developing protocols and guidelines that ensure the long-term growth of the Web.

This short video from W3C gives a quick overview about Web Accessibility and the W3C standards: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20SHvU2PKsM.

Accessibility is all about design and should be part of the creative process from the very beginning. By providing clear, concise, informative, relevant content in an organized well-structured flow, your website will be accessible to those who need it, but useful to all who use it.

This Quick Tips Checklist is courtesy of Michigan State University (https://webaccess.msu.edu/Help_and_Resources/checklist.html):

  • Text & Contrast – Check that text has a strong contrast against the page background
  • Text Styles – Use more than color to denote differences, emphasis and content meaning
  • Heading Styles – Use descriptive heading styles to designate content organization
  • List Styles – Use bulleted or numbered list styles to denote list structure
  • Alternative Text – Provide alternative text for images, graphs and charts that is in context with the information on the page and relevant to the user
  • Multiple Avenues for Multimedia – Supply multiple avenues for multimedia content (e.g., audio with a transcript or video with captioning)
  • Added Context – Use descriptive titles, headers, and link text to provide added context. Do not rely solely on references to shape, size, or position to describe content
  • Tables – Format and use simple tables with column and row headers

 

More helpful links:
https://www.w3.org/WAI/
https://www.w3.org/WAI/tutorials/
https://www.w3.org/WAI/fundamentals/accessibility-intro/
https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/inbound-marketing-website-failing-basic-accessibility-tests