Web Accessibility refers to the inclusive practice of making websites usable by people of all abilities and disabilities by incorporating accessibility standards into website design and development. Individuals with disabilities may encounter barriers to access if a website is not designed and developed with accessibility in mind. Incorporating the use of web accessibility guidelines with the principles of universal design, and web usability best practices can maximize the user experience and ensure content is available to all users.
"Web accessibility means that people with disabilities can perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the Web, and that they can contribute to the Web.1" Accessible websites improve the experience of all users.
(See also Universal Design, Assistive Technology, Section 508 Requirements)
Several key groups have developed web accessibility guidelines and standards including the US Access Board, which developed the Telecommunications Act Accessibility Guidelines and Section 508 Standards, and the World Wide Web Consortium, W3C, an international consortium which develops protocols and guidelines that ensure the long-term growth of the Web.
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0
1: Content must be perceivable.
2: Interface components in the content must beoperable.
3: Content and controls must be understandable.
4: Content should be robust enough to work with current and future user agents (including assistive technologies)
WCAG 2.0 Quick Reference List
- Text Alternatives
- Time-based Media Alternatives
- Adaptable Content
- Distinguishable Content
- Keyboard Accessible
- Enough Time
- Readable and Understandable Content
- Predictable Functionality and Operation
- Input Assistance to Help Users Avoid and Correct Mistakes
- Compatible with Current and Future Assitive Technologies