Accessibility Research

Accessibility is a major issue taking on growing importance ethically and commercially in the web design industry. So it’s vitally important that I make sure that this website I’m developing will have good accessibility.

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities identifies access to Information and Communications Technology, including the web as a standard human right. Simply put that means my design could not discriminate against any particular type of users.

The Web Access Initiative (WAI) (W3.org/WAI) outlines the below as some examples to prevent a person with disabilities access to your website content:-

  • Alternative Text
  • Clear Navigation
  • Simple & Understandable
  • Not using colour alone to provide meaning
  • Alternatives to audio/visual content

Providing these also ensures a good commercial sense which is increasingly widely adopted by large companies so they ensure access for a larger market share by providing people with disabilities.

Conclusion

I need to make sure I include the W3’s WAI outlines in my design so I ensure that the website is up to W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) standards. The reason being is the inventor of the world wide web Tim Berners Lee founded W3C as an international movement to bring a standardisation to the world wide web. WAI is a part of that and as a professional web designers strive to meet those standards/outlines for their clients.

This would be great practice and good general knowledge to have during the creation of ANY website going forward. A very valuable experience post-graduation from this degree after the projects done.

I can achieve all those WAI outlines easily except for alternative text. If I’m building the website from scratch I’ll need to get something modular made by somebody else to help with that as my expertise for website development does not stretch that far for back-end coding.

Resources

http://www.hobo-web.co.uk/design-website-for-blind/

https://www.w3.org/WAI/

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