Yesterday evening, I decided to assess the level of accessibility of a number government websites in my country (Kenya). These websites are key in facilitating the provision of essential services for its citizens and the outcome was heartbreaking. None of the websites checked were accessible nor did the content make any sense (I used ChromeVox Classic Extension Screen Reader) . Visually, the navigation,links, headings and images existed but ChromeVox recognized none of the elements. This means that an individual with visual impairment would find it impossible to navigate any of the websites.
Currently, a large number of tools, websites and apps are created with accessibility barriers that make it challenging to use.According to data provided by the World Bank Organization (October,2019), approximately 15% of the global population lives/experiences some form of disability. This data brings to attention the importance of having accessible tools and sites so as to ensure that a section of users are not excluded from using its products or services.
What is Web Accessibility?
Web Accessibility refers to websites, tools and technologies that are designed and developed so that individuals with disabilities can use them comfortably. This means that such individuals can interpret, understand, navigate and interact with web (and other technological tools) with ease.
Disabilities That Affect Access to the Web
Accessibility also supports social inclusion for:-
+Individuals in rural areas.
+Individuals in developing countries
+Individuals experiencing constant poor internet connections.
+Individuals using devices with smaller screens such as Smart Watches.
It is necessary for developers and organizations to ensure that their sites are accessible in order to provide equal access as well as equal opportunities to individuals with diverse abilities.
There is a lot to cover on the Web Accessibility. Stay tuned as we embark on this journey together!!
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