Making Websites More Accessible

The use of web is steadily spreading into most areas of daily life and society. In many nations, the web is increasingly being used for education and training, news, workplace interaction, commerce, healthcare, recreation, entertainment and so on. The web is in fact replacing traditional resources and service delivery in certain instances.  The CEO of AccessiBe, however stresses upon the fact that even today millions of consumers with disabilities around the world, digital entertainment, online shopping and even vital public health information is out of reach owing to non-accessible sites. Web accessibility puts emphasis on people with all types of disabilities, physical, auditory, visual, cognitive and even neurological disabilities. It also focuses on older people with age-related impairments.

The web is a vital medium for receiving and providing information, as well as interacting with society. As a result, it is vital that the web is accessible to all for the purpose of providing equal access and equal opportunity to people with disabilities. This basic human right is in fact recognized in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which particularly mentions that the Internet and other accessible information and communications technologies (ICT). Having an accessible web goes a long way in enabling people with disabilities and older people to be active participants of the society.

The accessibility barriers linked to visual, audio and print media can be much easily overcome through web technologies. The web is capable enough to provide unprecedented access to information for people with disabilities if the right planning and strategy is put into place. For example, when the most common way to get information was to go to the library and read it on paper, people with disabilities used to face a number of major barriers, including getting to the library, physically acquiring the resource and reading it.  However, when the same information is available online in an accessible format, it becomes a lot easier for people to access it.  Hence, People with disabilities have more efficient and effective access to information through websites that are accessible.

There additionally are certain disabilities that might limit the type of work a person does. An accessible web can increase their employment options to a great extent. It also helps in expanding opportunities for community participation and social interaction for individuals with disabilities and older people with age-related impairments.

Unfortunately, currently there are major barriers on the web for people with disabilities. As not all developers make their web pages and web tools accessible, a good percentage of the populace face unnecessary difficulties using the web. For example, if developers create a website that requires mouse interaction, the individuals who cannot use a mouse may face a lot of problems. On the other hand, if developers do not include alternative text for vital images, individuals who are blind cannot get the needed information. Companies like AccessiBe have been developed to create solutions that support web accessibility.