What Defines Web Accessibility?
Web accessibility is ensuring there are no barriers that prevent interaction with, or access to, websites on the Internet by anyone with disabilities. Correctly designed websites, using Universal Design principles, that are properly coded and edited, should provide all users equal access to information and functionality.
Web Accessibility is About Inclusion
Inclusion demands the use of Universal Design to ensure web accessibility issues are properly addressed and requires the elimination of barriers to ease accessibility for all.
What Does Web Accessibility Address?
When sites are built using Universal Design Principles, all users will be accommodated without lessening the website usability for non-disabled users.
Web Accessibility’s goal is to address the following categories of needs:
- Visual: Blindness and other visual impairments, low vision variations, poor eyesight and color blindness;
- Motor/mobility: the inability or difficulty to use the hands, including tremors, muscle slowness, loss of fine muscle control, etc., due to conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, stroke, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy;
- Auditory: Hearing impairments or deafness, including those individuals who are hard of hearing;
- Seizures: Photo epileptic seizures which can be caused by flashing visual effects or visual strobe lights;
- Cognitive and intellectual: Learning difficulties such as dyslexia, etc. developmental disabilities and cognitive disabilities which affect memory, attention, problem solving, logic skills, and developmental disabilities.
The Legal Side of Web Accessibility
Plenty of legal issues are involved when it comes to web accessibility. The bottom line for web sites is that being accessible is the smart choice for any business.
Unaddressed Web Accessibility Legal Issues
We won’t be addressing Web Accessibility legal issues or requirements here, just doing what’s right. And what’s a good business practice. For information about Web Accessibility legal issues check out some of my other blog posts at Accessibility International.