Web Accessibility

“Web accessibility refers to the inclusive practice of removing barriers that prevent interaction with, or access to websites, by people with disabilities. When sites are correctly designed, developed and edited, all users have equal access to information and functionality”        Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_accessibility

User groups and their accessibility requirements.

Blindness

Someone who has no light perception or very limited vision will rely on screen reader software like JAWS “Job Access with Speech” and/or an electronic refreshable braille display connected as a peripheral. Being able to logical navigation the website using the keyboard only is also very important. Having a site that has a text only equivalent will greatly improves the experience. A good example of this is https://m.facebook.com/

Low Vision

Low Vision may include someone who requires some level of display magnification and/or someone who is colour blind and/or suffers from vision fatigue. These can be address by using the “Easy of Access” options within an computers operating system or dedicated overlay software like “ZoomText” https://www.zoomtext.com/products/zoomtext-magnifierreader

Motor/ Mobility Impairment

Loss of hand dexterity and coordination through tremors, muscle slowness, Alzheimer and multiple sclerosis all which make using a computer mouse problematic. Again, being able to logical navigation the website using the keyboard only reduced these barriers.

Auditory Impairment

People who are deaf or hard of hearing rely on text substitutes for sound. This come in the form of closed captioning on video and sign language translation. Sites like www.deafnation.com are working to bride this gap.

Cognitive/ Intellectual impairments

Given the diversity of conditions it is difficult to provide a single solution that provides cognitive/ Intellectual accessibility. Easy to use, simple, consistent and clear are factor that provide a good user experience for someone with these impairments.

General Accessibility Standards and requirements.

Meeting general accessibility standards is a moral and legal requirement of web developers to ensure persons with a disability can access the internet. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG 2.0) outlines ways to make digital content accessible.

Web development standards and the importance of their applications

Web development standards are a set of guidelines or rule if followed by all parties; web developers, browser programmers, hardware manufacturers work together to ensure as possible compatibility and accessibility for anyone wanting to use the internet. Specifically, for Website developer it means using standards compliant mark-up code.

The benefits include; Reduced development costs, useability, compatibility, speeds, improved SEO and ease of use.

 

Accessibility Standards Checklist

Based off https://www.w3.org/TR/2006/WD-WCAG20-20060427/appendixB.html The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 Checklist the following checklist highlight the main section related to website development.

  • Provide text alternatives for all non-text content.
  • Provide synchronized alternatives for multimedia.
  • Ensure that information and structure can be separated from presentation.
  • Make it easy to distinguish foreground information from its background.
  • Make all functionality operable via a keyboard interface.
  • Allow users to control time limits on their reading or interaction.
  • Allow users to avoid content that could cause seizures due to photosensitivity.
  • Provide mechanisms to help users find content, orient themselves within it, and navigate through it.
  • Help users avoid mistakes and make it easy to correct mistakes that do occur.
  • Make text content readable and understandable.
  • Make the placement and functionality of content predictable.
  • Support compatibility with current and future user agents (including assistive technologies).
  • Ensure that content is accessible or provide an accessible alternative.