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 continues to develop and maintain design criteria for the built environment and electronic and information technology, 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