Most people today can hardly conceive life without the internet. Everyone should equally enjoy what the entire world has to offer, including the Web. This includes people with disabilities.
The major categories of disability types are:
- Visual: Blindness, low vision, color-blindness
- Hearing: Deafness
- Motor: Inability to use a mouse, slow response time, limited fine motor control
- Cognitive: Learning disabilities, distractibility, inability to remember or focus on large amounts of information
WebAIM.org provides comprehensive web accessibility solutions and is one of the leading providers of web accessibility expertise internationally. WebAIM is a non-profit organization within the Center for Persons with Disabilities – external link at Utah State University – external link.
They developed an online web testing product called WAVE as a free, web-based tool to help web developers make their web content more accessible. WAVE allows anyone to quickly and effectively evaluate the accessibility of their web content. Quick and easy, to use! I test drove it and found it quickly validates a sites accessibility — right from your browser. Making a site more accessible, expands a sites access to a larger audience. Try it and see how accessible your site it.
To learn more about how to make a website accessible to a larger audience, read The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) documents explain how to make Web content accessible to people with disabilities.
The four principals of WCAG:
- Make it Perceivable — Web content should be available to the senses: sight, hearing, and/or touch
- Make it Operable — Interface forms, controls, and navigation should operable
- Make it Understandable — Content and interface should be understandable
- Make it Robust — Content should be used reliably by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies
WCAG is primarily intended for:
- Web content developers (page authors, site designers, etc.)
- Web authoring tool developers
- Web accessibility evaluation tool developers
- Others who want or need a technical standard for Web accessibility
To get a fun sense of the importance of making a site viewable for everyone, watch this YouTube video promoting WCAG: