Log in   Register a New Account

Accessify Forum - Discuss Website Accessibility

New to the forum?

Only an email address is required.

Register Here

Already registered? Log In

Currently Online

No registered users are online.

What is the point?

Reply with quote I'm currently studying for my B.A in interactive design and my main area is web design.

Over many years, I have heard about accessibility and creating sites accessible to all, my question, why should I bother?

The percentage of users who for instance have visual impairments is so low that this shouldn't really be an issue, alongside the fact that html5 has machine readable code built into its core tags, should I really be bothered by this?

Another major consideration is the site focus too. A blind person wont be visiting video or gaming websites. And the restriction on innovation seems off-putting to say the least, using the latest scripts, plug-ins and techniques is generally where accessibility hits a brick wall.

As long as I use my headings correctly and give a certain amount of information in text, should I care?
Reply with quote *troll alert* Shocked

James Coltham - NHS web content manager by day, web and accessibility blogger at lunchtime, freelancer by night. Tweets at @prettysimple.
Reply with quote but seriously... (now I've taken a breath)

aceformat wrote:
The percentage of users who for instance have visual impairments is so low that this shouldn't really be an issue

It's probably not as low as you think. RNIB estimates that almost two million people in the UK alone are living with sight loss. That's approximately one person in thirty. And anyway, why should we discriminate against an audience, just because they're outnumbered?

Plus, web accessibility is much more than making content available to those with visual impairments. Approx 1 in 5 people have some form of disability.

aceformat wrote:
A blind person wont be visiting video or gaming websites.

Says who? Why wouldn't a blind person be interested in gaming websites? You must realise this is a pretty daft statement to make?!

aceformat wrote:
And the restriction on innovation seems off-putting to say the least, using the latest scripts, plug-ins and techniques is generally where accessibility hits a brick wall.

Inclusion need not limit innovation, and is in fact often a catalyst for it. But the fact remains that it's the right thing to do, and in many countries it's also the legally required thing to do.

There are hundreds of examples I could point you towards, but maybe start by reading the W3C's piece on developing a web accessibility business case.

James Coltham - NHS web content manager by day, web and accessibility blogger at lunchtime, freelancer by night. Tweets at @prettysimple.
Reply with quote I think knowledge of accessibility and how different people can be affected by the way you code sets you apart. The best developers I have come across have always had an appreciation of accessibility. For me, if they don't, warning bells start to sound. If you are studying then find out more about ARIA roles .

Design, development and marketing for the web.
Edge Three Sixty Ltd: Web Design Liverpool
Reply with quote Sites that are accessible have higher SEO than sites that are not accessible.

However, the real reason why you should bother is because it is the right thing to do.

Restaurants need to have wheelchair accessible bathrooms. If they have stairs, they need to have wheelchair ramps. The web is not any different.

I don't expect Zynga to make Pioneertrail accessible to blind players anymore than I expect the DMV to offer the written exam for a drivers permit in braille. However, when a resource that is open to the public can be made accessible it should, whether that resource is a store selling books or a web site selling books.

The nice thing about the web is that making your content accessible can often be done at very little cost, and the result of making content accessible benefits everyone.

I am not an accessibility guru yet, but I can tell you this - the web sites I have visited while researching accessibility, web sites built by people who are gurus, are typically far more of a pleasure to use and easier for me to navigate and find what I am looking for than most web sites.

Designing with accessibility in mind clearly does not just benefit those who need to use assistive technology. It benefits all your users.
Reply with quote DOMBlogger is spot on
Reply with quote Yep. It boils down to this: people who do accessibility do a better job than people who don't do accessibility. They are thinking more deeply and working more carefully, so the quality is inevitably higher.

See the related discussion in Accessibility Myths 2011.
Reply with quote Pretty much agree with other posts here.

Website accessibility is not just about sight impairments but about motor control, learning difficulties etc. It will also help with situational and temporary impairments and with people using different technologies to access the web.
Benefits include a cleaner design, easier maintenance, better page rankings and general usability

Do not assume what people can and can't do and who your audience is: A few years back I organised some user testing for a major company. We looked at a new website for their interactive TV service.The site was inaccessible to non-mouse users and difficult for a tester with dyslexia. The developers had questioned the use of our final tester as she was partially sighted tester as they won't be using the service. They changed their attitude when she gave up, exasperrated saying do you know, I would have been interested in this for my son, but it's no good if I can't get info on it
Reply with quote Can't agree more! Accessibility isn't just limited to one particular thing, such as ramps for wheelchair users. It doesn't just pertain to things that are on land. There was actually a court case dealing with this very subject here in the United States. It basically asked the question, does the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) apply to cyberspace? The final ruling was yes, and I couldn't agree more. BTW, to the poster who included a link to the W3c article on why to make websites accessible, thank you. I will definitely have a look at that as I hadn't been there before. I'm just getting my feet wet regarding a lot of this accessibility stuff.
Jake

Display posts from previous:   

All times are GMT

  • Reply to topic
  • Post new topic