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Citizens With Disabilities - Ontario
"TOGETHER WE ARE STRONGER"

         



All Access Pass - How accessible is your website?

by Catherine Elder - We all hate barriers that prevent us from getting what we need or want. We quickly become frustrated and annoyed when access is denied, especially when it needn't be. We may try to find ways around the barriers or we may just give up and move on, looking for an easier way to get what we want.

In a competitive marketplace, can you afford to lose the approximately 15% of individuals who have a disability because you didn't spend time providing access and removing barriers?

What Does Web Accessibility Really Mean?

"Web accessibility means that people with disabilities can use the web. More specifically, Web accessibility means that people with disabilities can perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the Web, and that they can contribute to the Web" - according to w3.

There are various types and degrees of disabilities and the approximately 15% of people who have reported having a disability all experience the same frustration at being denied access to websites simply because the site does not comply with w3 accessibility guidelines or follow best practices.

What Does Disability Include?

Disabilities range from mild limitations (like temporary backache) to more severe levels, and types include:

Additional considerations include:

Remove Barriers And Provide Access

Making your site more accessible will improve your site's usability overall which will affect not only those that have a disability but everyone else who is trying to get what they want quickly and efficiently. Incorporating as many of the accessibility guidelines below will improve your users' experience.

Guidelines To Improving Accessibility

Images

Multimedia And Video

Take Into Account Various Devices:

Input devices include pointer devices, keyboards, Braille devices, head wands, microphones, mouse and others.

Output devices may include monitors, printers, speech synthesizers and Braille devices.

Programmatic objects, event handlers and triggers should have html equivalents. Use logical event handlers such as "onfocus", "onblur", "onselect" since "onmouse" is device specific.

Style, Formatting And Colour

Written Content

Content Organization And "Findability"

Code

Accessing

Making your site accessible is not only a best practice and a way to reach people with disabilities, it is also the socially responsible thing to do and will reduce your legal liability for discrimination. If your site follows accessibility guidelines then it will improve your usability, be browser compliant, be easy to maintain, fast to load and be consistent. Improved accessibility and usability increases site use and reduces abandon rates. It just makes sense. So, how accessible is your site?

Resources

Taken from http://www.prescientdigital.com/articles/best-practices/all-access-pass-2013-how-accessible-is-your-website.

Catherine Elder

Consultant, Prescient Digital Media
http://www.prescientdigital.com/about-us/team/catherine-elder

More accessibility articles.