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What is Web Accessibility for Websites?

What is Web Accessibility for Websites?

What is Web Accessibility for Websites?

There is a common fallacy about the term “web accessibility”.  The term is usually associated directly and exclusively with people suffering from disability and the distinct environment, whereas in terms of building a website they commonly refer to it as providing the people with disability with access to the web.  This is not entirely wrong but more of an incomplete definition.

Web accessibility definition

Web accessibility is beyond the mere providing of access to people who have noticeable deficiency such as those people with visual impairment; it is giving a fair access to every individual of different places regardless of the condition, age, health, gender, and race.


Being in Compliant with the Section 508 Websites

When we are talking about web accessibility, we will often encounter two prevailing terms which is the Section 508 and the WCAG.  Under the WCAG, it states that the content of the website should be robust, understandable, operable and perceivable whereas the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 where the Section 508 websites is included highly prevents the discrimination under the basis of deficiency.  It highly instructs the agencies to provide an access to the disabled person which is comparable to the access of a normal person.

One importance of turning your site into a Section 508 Website is the fact that you will be able to understand the behavior and online activity of people with impairment.  Just because they have a disability doesn’t mean that you will discount them as a possible audience of your site.  For instance, based on the statistics released by the World Health Organization, around 285 million individuals all over the world have visual impairment. These people have the ability to access the web using tools such as keyboard navigation and screen readers.  Those who have mild disability such as low vision will highly rely on higher contrast, vivid colors and maximizing the screen size.

One of the largest hindrances in creating a Section 508 websites would be the technology.  First, is due to the browser choice; IE or Internet explorer is one of the widely used browsers all over the world, but it is also one of the least accommodating.  Traffic from other browsers normally make up the 30% of the traffic.  Normally, you will have to provide that 30% with the same level of experience.  One of the best ways to do this is to perform cross-analysis of browser.

There are also ways to improve Section 508 websites using semantic HTML for the blind users.  Semantic HTML will definitely help them to navigate freely on the different sections of the website, fill out online forms and navigate on a more complex behavior.  When it comes to the deaf user, you have to understand that most of them have the difficulty in processing the text.   They will also find it hard to understand audio or video file; this is why you need to incorporate subtitles and transcriptions.  Web accessibility also affects dyslexic and autistic users.  See to it that you will provide graphic representation for the dyslexic users and create a concise and simple text for individuals with autism.

Always remember that web accessibility is something that should be conducted and evaluated by a human through an automated tool may provide some assistance.

For more advice and to get your free, bespoke  web page audit, click here.