By Dru Macasieb (March 1, 2017)
Web accessibility means allowing everyone the opportunity to access and utilize digital resources on the web. This compromises of creating hardware, software, and web content that can assist differently abled people. We are all not created equal therefore, some people have difficulty using the web due to differences in visual, auditory, physical, speech, cognitive and neurological abilities (Katsanos, Tselios, Tsakoumis, and Avouris, 2012).
A web page that is accessible, is one that benefits a spectrum of differently abled people. From users and developers to people with diverse needs and preferences, web accessibility empowers individuals and creates an environment of inclusiveness.
What is the importance of creating a website that follows accessibility guidelines?
Having accessibility guidelines is important because it allows for universal access to all, thus creating the same opportunities for everyone. Two key guidelines to follow are:
- Web design should be flexible and adaptable
- Accessible through different mediums such as mobile devices or assistive technologies
What is the difference between a website that is accessible and one that is not?
A website that is accessible recognizes the current trends and technology, as well as design, that allows for maximum participation, and makes diligent efforts to provide reasonable accommodation for all. A website that is not accessible ignores the fact that many people are differently abled, thus does not provide flexible and adaptable content.
Katsanos, C., Tselios, N., Tsakoumis, A., & Avouris, N. (2012). Learning about web accessibility: A project-based tool-mediated approach. Education and Information Technologies, 17(1), 79-94. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10639-010-9145-5