Meaning of web accessibility
Website accessibility refers to how usable a site is for individuals with disabilities. Websites are considered accessible when all content, features, and functions are equally available to everyone, independently and with assistive technology they may use.
Many disabilities impact the ways people consume or interact with web content
Some people use assistive technology, such as screen readers, to use websites. Others might navigate the web using only a keyboard, use screen magnification software, use speech input, adjust contrast or display settings, or make use of other assistive technologies or adaptive controls.
What makes a website accessible?
Website accessibility is usually measured against the standards outlined in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which state that content must be Perceivable, Operable, Understandable, and Robust.
There are many factors to consider that make web content more accessible. Some of the basics include:
- Providing text alternatives for images.
- Using text and interface colors that have enough contrast.
- Making sure all functionality is keyboard accessible.
- Structuring content with proper headings and semantics.
- Providing labels for all forms and controls.
Accessibility professionals work to make the web usable for more people
Accessibility can be thought of as a measurement or quality of usability, but it can also refer to the growing specialty of accessibility as a discipline. As a professional focus, accessibility is the practice of ensuring steps are taken to identify and reduce barriers to equal web access for people with disabilities.