Accessibility Information

The Web can present barriers to people with different kinds of disabilities:

People with visual disabilities can have problems with:

  • unlabeled graphics, undescribed video
  • poorly marked-up tables or frames
  • lack of keyboard support or screen reader compatibility

People with hearing disabilities can have problems with:

  • lack of captioning for audio
  • proliferation of text without visual signposts

People with physical disabilities can have problems with:

  • lack of keyboard or single-switch support for menu commands

People with cognitive or neurological disabilities can have problems with:

  • lack of consistent navigation structure
  • overly complex presentation or language
  • lack of illustrative non-text materials
  • flickering or strobing designs on pages

By carefully designing web sites we can meet the needs of all members of society

  • use accreditation standards like 'Bobby'
  • refer to WIC initiatives
  • avoid the heavy use of graphics and animation
  • Develop 'Access Keys' to be used by those who find it difficult to use a mouse.

There are several reasons why Web accessibility is important:

  • use of the Web is spreading rapidly into all areas of society
  • there are barriers on the Web for many types of disabilities
  • millions of people have disabilities that affect access to the Web
  • web accessibility has carry-over benefits for other users

The Web is the fastest-adopted technology in history.

But for people with disabilities, it's sometimes a "mixed blessing":

It is displacing traditional sources of information & interaction

  • schools, libraries, print materials, discourse of the workplace.
  • some of the traditional resources were accessible; some not.

The Web is becoming a key, but sometimes inaccessible, resource for:

  • news, information, commerce, entertainment
  • classroom education, distance learning
  • job searching, and workplace interaction
  • civic participation -- laws, voting, government information, services

An accessible Web will mean unprecedented access to information for people with disabilities.