Creating an Equitable Web Experience for All Users
One of the greatest benefits of the World Wide Web is that it cuts down on many potential barriers to communication while providing a seemingly infinite wealth of knowledge. However, despite all of these benefits, the Internet, and more specifically the websites that comprise it, can be difficult for individuals with certain disabilities to navigate and utilize. This situation drove the need for web accessibility, which allows individuals with disabilities to “perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with…(and) contribute to the Web,” (W3C, Introduction to Web Accessibility).
Due to the incredible prevalence and overall influence a website has as a communication tool and information hub, it is necessary to make it as accessible as possible for individuals of all ability levels. The following information provides assistance in achieving a functional level of accessibility. For additional guidelines, requirements, and recommendations regarding web accessibility, read the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, other W3C accessibility materials, and the Section 508 Amendment (1998) to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. These sources provide greater detail on all facets of web accessibility, as well as some of the legal mandates driving it.
There are multiple areas and potential barriers that must be addressed when making an organization’s website accessible. These include:
- Visual design
- Text size and font
- Image descriptions