Web accessibility is a web design process that focuses on creating websites that are accessible to individuals with impairments.
While website usability focuses on the whole user experience, which includes both disabled and non-disabled users, accessibility focuses on satisfying UX requirements that turn websites into environments that persons with limited vision, hearing impairments, or mobility disabilities may benefit from.
There are four primary concepts of website accessibility that may be used to create material that anybody can consume, absorb, and interact with on the internet.These 4 concepts are the following :
Perceivability: refers to UI components and website content in such a way that users' senses can readily perceive everything without missing anything. Visual components are either altered for users with impairments or replaced by sound and other tactile aspects for users with disabilities.
Operability: refers to interactive interface components like as controls, and navigation. The usage of assistive technologies such as eye trackers and voice commands by makes controls operable by users who are unable to interact with a website in the standard manner.
Understandable formats: refers to consistent and obvious web technology, with predictable design and usage patterns allowing users to understand the content and purpose of the material offered with no difficulty.
Robustness: refers to a website's capacity to function across a variety of technologies, including assistive devices used by people with disabilities.
In order to make a website as web accessible as possible it is necessary to comply with the following guidelines provided by WCAG Standards.
1. Availability of text alternatives: turn the visual content information into readable text for designated users.
2. Availability of captions and transcripts: text transcripts come in handy as suitable replacements, as captions or sign language interpretation of audio content
3. Presentation of content envelops read-aloud by the computer/phone, using different color contrast options, smaller or larger text size, for users that need it.
4. Avoidance of Auto played and Time-Based Content: djustment of time-sensitive elements on a website for users who are confused or distracted by fast or slow content.
5. It is also advisable to avoid the flashing content that can hurt people with a photosensitive disorder or at least provide a timely warning about this content ahead.
6. Accessible Navigation: an intuitively organized content structure that lets users with disabilities experience websites according to their needs.
7. Legible and Understandable Content: making content readable and easy to understand in diverse formats, especially for users with cognitive limitations and learning disabilities.
8. Predictable Content Organization: users can understand and navigate the website quickly by following familiar patterns.
9. Accessibility Statement: include an accessibility statement or badge on your website’s homepage to let users know your site is web accessible.
All measures that are undertaken by any website to make their services as web accessible as possible must be in accordance with the Web Content Accessibility guidelines and must pass the Accessibility testing in order to prove itself efficient and avoid further complications for users with disabilities.
Web accessibility is extremely important because it provides more that fifteen percent of global users with the opportunity to feel, included and understood in what your business is trying to convey. Web accessibility offers tangible benefits for a business through increasing its credibility, positive market approach and generating new target audience who can turn into potential customers.
Accessibility was a hot topic at WordCamp Europe 2018
Maja Benke gave a broad overview of accessibility considerations, tips, testing tools, and resources.