The purpose of this article is to provide a general idea of what accessibility is, why it is important, the benefits it brings, problems related to it you may come across and the steps to follow when it comes to applying accessibility practices into projects.
So, what do we mean by ‘accessible’?
In general, when we say that a site is accessible, we mean that its content and its functionality can be accessed and operated by everyone. As developers, it’s easy to assume that all users can see, use a keyboard and mouse or a touch screen, and can interact with your page content the same way you do. This can lead to an experience that works perfectly for some people and still creates issues that range from simple annoyances to show-stoppers for others.
A brief introduction to web accessibility 2. According to Web Design and SEO Agency, accessibility, then, is the practice of making your websites usable even for users who might be outside the narrow range of the “typical” user, who might access or interact with things differently than you expect.
Specifically, it concerns users that experience some type of impairment or disability — and bear in mind that experience might be non-physical or temporary. You can visit the site HubsAdda to get more info about accessibility and its importance.
Why is accessibility important?
It is evident that accessibility is the right thing to do, but there are additional benefits that you can get from making your site accessible:
- The correct use of semantic HTML improves not only accessibility but also SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) score, making your website easier to find.
- Other good practices that improve accessibility also make your site more usable on a wide range of devices, such as mobile phones or tablets.
- In some countries, complying with accessibility is mandatory by law.
What range of accessibility issues should I consider?
You should consider the number and types of potential accessibility issues users will have. These are common barriers:
- Visual (e.g., colour blindness)
- Motor/mobility (e.g., wheelchair-user concerns)
- Auditory (hearing difficulties)
- Seizures (especially photosensitive epilepsy)
- Learning/cognitive (e.g., dyslexia)
Ability barriers can also arise for any user:
- Incidental (e.g., sleep-deprivation)
- Environmental (e.g., using a mobile device underground, low-speed internet connection)
How can I make my site accessible?
There are several sets of accessibility guidelines and checklists available on the internet. However, I will mention hereunder the ones which I find the most useful or relevant:
- Web Content Accessibility Guidelines WCAG This document was published by W3C and provides precise, technology-agnostic criteria for accessibility conformance. These guidelines are not short by any means; for that reason, I suggest taking a look at WCAG at a Glance to get introduced to the topic.
- Web.dev is a website created by Google. It provides actionable guidance and analysis for developers to test their sites and apps. It also runs diagnostics and understands how and where to start improving. It includes audits for performance, accessibility, and progressive web apps.
- Your country may also have specific legislation on web accessibility that can be helpful.