“About 15% of the world's population lives with some form of disability” – World Health Organization
As a web developer. I play an important rule to ensure that the websites I produce or contribute to are accessible; that's why I started learning about web accessibility some months ago.
In this blog, you are going to learn about web accessibility, why it is important, the business cases and benefits of making accessible digital content.
There are many standards and checks to ensure that your website is accessible. For example, making sure that there is enough contrast between the colours you use, ensuring your website is easy to use by keyboard-only users, etc...
However, web accessibility is not only a checklist or about meeting legal or project requirements. It is about people. It is about enabling real people with disabilities to use your website easily.
That’s why automatic accessibility checking tools are not enough to ensure that your website is fully accessible.
Way back in the 1990s, Tim Berners-Lee said:
“The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect.” — that's coming from the guy who invented it.
The web is used in many aspects of life. In some cases, the web is replacing traditional resources. Therefore it is crucial to ensure that all websites are accessible.
Accessibility is a necessity for people with disabilities and is helpful and often necessary for many others.
Accessible websites enable people with disabilities to do ordinary things, they can learn, communicate, read and play.
In some cases, the web allows people with disabilities to do things that they would not be easily able to do without it. Such as people who cannot move can shop online to get their items delivered, people who cannot speak can participate in online discussions through blogs and chats.
Accessibility does not only help disabled people. But also a wide group of people such as:
- People on mobile devices.
- People with low language skills.
- New users of modern technology.
- People with slow internet.
Here are some benefits to your organization of implementing web accessibility:
- Enhance your organization brand repetition.
- Minimize legal risk.
- Extend market reach.
First thing you might think about is to go and learn the W3C accessibility standards. Do not. The standards are important, but they are not the first step.
Because accessibility is about people. The first step is understanding how people with disability use the web.
Here is a free online course provided by W3C on edX to learn web accessibility: Introduction to Web Accessibility by W3Cx
Hope this article was helpful. Thanks for reading.
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