Web accessibility refers to removing barriers that prevent access and interaction to the website. When the sites are correctly designed and developed, all users, including peoples with disabilities, have equal access to the website information.
When the website is coded with enlargeable text and images, it allows users with poor eyesight to read and understand the content. To ensures the color blind users will notice them, links should be underlined as well as colored.
Textual equivalents provided for images, text-to-speech software or/and text-to-Braille hardware can helps people with visual impairment to effectively and efficiently interact with the website.
Website should be design where the clickable links and areas are large, this help people with difficulty or inability to use hand, muscle slowness and control. Pages can be coded that allows users to navigate using keyboard alone, so users who cannot control mouse with precision ,such as Parkinson’s Disease, can navigate the sites.
To help individuals who have hearing impairments, websites with closed captioned videos or sign language version will enable the users to understand and access the sites.
Website should avoid using flashing effect or made optional, risk of photo epileptic seizures can be caused by visual strobe or flashing effects.
To help people with developmental disabilities or learning disabilities, content should be written in plain language and illustrated with instructional diagrams and animations. This will allows all of these users to accommodate without decreasing the usability of the site for non-disabled users.
Ultimately, million of people with disabilities are affected with the use of the web, most of the web sites have accessibility barriers that make it difficult for them to access. A good website should made available to them so more people can contribute to the web more effectively.
Web accessibility not only benefit people with disabilities, but also to people without. When designing a website, it should be flexible to meet different user needs, preferences and situations. In certain situation like slow internet connection, people with temporary disabilities or aging population, key principle and guidlines of Web Accessibility can be followed.
Web accessibility is essential in many aspects of life, it provides equal access and equal opportunity to people with disabilities and help them to actively participate in the society. Web technology also offer many possibility for people with disabilities to access information and interaction.
There are evaluating tools to evaluate the accessibility of a web site. However, no tool alone can determine if the site meets the criteria and guidelines. We have to use the knowledge of humans to determine if a site is accessible.
WebAIM- web accessibility in mind.
Cowdenhill Web design.
Web Accessibility for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing