What Are The Web Accessibility
The Web Accessibility Initiative
(WAI) is responsible for implementing the World Wide Web Consortium's
(W3C) commitment to making the Web accessible to all people. The WAI is
a recognized authority for the development of Web accessibility
guidelines. Each checkpoint has a priority level assigned based on the
checkpoint's impact on accessibility.
Good Web design makes information
accessible. By the same token, Web designers must be aware of
accessibility issues in order to accommodate people with disabilities.
People with disabilities can use a range of assistive technologies
(specialized software and hardware) with their computers to help them
access information. Obstacles that people with disabilities face when
surfing the Internet include the following:
A Web content developer must satisfy
this checkpoint. Otherwise, one or more groups will find it impossible
to access information in the document. Satisfying this checkpoint is a
basic requirement for some groups to be able to use Web documents.
A Web content developer should
satisfy this checkpoint. Otherwise, one or more groups will find it
difficult to access information in the document. Satisfying this
checkpoint will remove significant barriers to accessing Web documents.
A Web content developer may
address this checkpoint. Otherwise, one or more groups will find it
somewhat difficult to access information in the document. Satisfying
this checkpoint will improve access to Web documents.
WCAG 1.0 ] (Opens a new browser window.)
About Section 508
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- People with visual impairments
and some types of learning disabilities often rely on text-to-speech
screen readers that read aloud text appearing on the screen. Screen
readers cannot read images (graphs, maps, etc.), so information
provided in only these formats is not accessible to these individuals.
Blinking and scrolling text can also cause problems for screen
- Flickering or flashing designs
can cause seizures in people with certain neurological disorders.
- Without captioning,
people with hearing impairments cannot appreciate multimedia content
such as on-line newscasts, movies, and lectures.
- Without descriptive narration,
individuals who are blind miss information portrayed visually.
- For individuals with little or
no hand control, using a mouse can be very difficult. Being required
to "click" on a tiny area to access information can be an obstacle.
- Inconsistent page layout and
poor information design can be disorienting and confusing to any user.
Good design is good design. Just as
sidewalk curb cuts--originally intended for people using
wheelchairs--also benefit parents wheeling strollers and individuals on
roller blades, accessible Web design benefits more than just people with
Accessibility and usability are intertwined and are equally important.
Not adhering to Web accessibility principles excludes segments of the
population. Accessible Web design will provide equal access to the
information and opportunities on the Internet. In addition to making
information easier to access, benefits of accessible Web design include
- Improved usability for all
visitors. Consistent navigation makes it easier to find desired
- Clear navigation and clear
content supports people with low literacy levels.
- Good color contrast aids people
with color blindness, people using monochrome monitors, and those who
prefer to read from printed pages.
- Providing text equivalents
(e.g., ALT attributes and captioning), table summaries, and metadata
improves search engine listings.