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December 14th, 2020
Web Accessibility: Making the Web Accessible for All
By:-

As the web begins to grow and develop like never before, web accessibility is also becoming a matter of concern. Most of us can’t imagine life in the absence of the internet. Have you ever thought of people who can’t access them at all?

Well, digital accessibility is not just for those who can read and write and can do all the tasks. It needs to consider those people who have disabilities, as well. Web accessibility is an attempt to ensure digital accessibility for everyone in society. In this post, you will know more about the term.

Defining Web Accessibility

Before we dive into the importance of web accessibility and how we can achieve it, it is necessary to understand what the word “web accessibility” means.

According to W3C (World Wide Web Consortium), web accessibility implies that people with any sort of disabilities can perceive, navigate, and interact with the web. The term also extends to older people with age-related disabilities and those in rural areas with no advanced facilities.

The comprehensive practice of designing and developing websites and applications should ensure no barriers can hinder the usage of the web by people with disabilities. Despite their condition, they could use and contribute to the web across digital platforms.

Types of Disabilities

A disability is any condition or impairment of body or mind that makes it difficult for a person to do or perform certain activities and interact with the world.

When you say people with disabilities, it comprises:

  • Impaired vision and hearing
  • Difficulties in Motion
  • Disabilities in learning or cognitive impairments

The disability is divided into three stages:

  • Permanent disability where the person is completely disabled. Example- blind or deaf.
  • Temporary disability where disability exists for a short period and hinders you from fulfilling your responsibilities. Like a person who is suffering from an accident or any injuries.
  • Situational or Conditional disability where the person is not able to do certain things because of the situation he/she finds himself/herself in. An example could be a poor internet connection.

What are the Accessibility Standards?

Series of Web Accessibility Guidelines are published by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the W3C or World Wide Web Consortium, which is the international standards organization for the internet. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1) are a part of these.

The WCAG 2.1 guidelines explain how you should make digital services and tools accessible for everyone, especially for people with disabilities. In certain countries, there are legal requirements for public sector websites to address these guidelines.

Why is Web Accessibility Significant?

In many aspects of our lives, the internet and web sources have increasingly become an indispensable resource. This includes education, job affairs, online purchasing, entertainment, health care, government, etc.

An accessible web renders an equal opportunity to disabled people and helps them become “differently-abled” people. It endorses the active participation of everyone in society, thereby enhancing life experience for all.

Putting aside their disabilities and impairments, web accessibility makes it easier and comfortable for people with disabilities to access information and interact with people. With advanced web technologies, they will be able to defeat the usual barriers to print, audio, and visual media.

Furthermore, it opens up a number of possibilities and opportunities for them to do online business and become independent. Thus, web accessibility is a crucial domain of corporate social responsibility.

How can we Implement Web Accessibility?

Web accessibility counts on the designers and developers of the web pages. The following are some of the key principles that provide an accessible design for the web. You can implement most of them without making any big deals with the overall look of your web pages.

Provide Alt Tags

Alt tags or alternative HTML property is to explain an image on a web page. If the image can’t be displayed or seen by the person, a description of the image will be provided. It is important to make sure that the alt-tag is as explanatory as possible so that the screen readers can understand what you are trying to portray.

Keyboard Navigation

This is for those who are suffering from motor disabilities. People who are not able to access a mouse can navigate the website using the keyboard. If you can’t use the navigation buttons or drop-down buttons through screen reading, keyboard navigation can make sure that the site is accessible to you.

Descriptive Tags in Tables

Captions or small descriptions can be used for a person who can’t understand the data in a table. Also, by adding the ‘scope’ element, you will be able to mark new rows and columns so that the reader won’t be troubled much.

Make Use of Title Tags

Short and descriptive title tags inform the reader about the content of the page and can help if they are using a screen-reader. So, make sure your websites have title tags.

Use ARIA Tags

ARIA, which is extremely well-suited to HTML, helps disabled people to understand the semantics and find the purpose of an element. The attribute sets the specific role of a particular object.

Conclusion

In the digital-driven era, technology is moving at a fast pace, and the internet becomes the way forward. When people dwell with digital resources, you should make sure that they are accessible to everyone in society.

Whenever you are building a website or a web page or any application, at the back of your mind, you should consider web accessibility that complies with the latest accessibility standards. Throughout the designing and building process of the website or application, web accessibility and inclusivity should be your prime motive.

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