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Web AccessibilityIs it time for Accessibility ?

1. What is Web Accessibility ?

Web accessibility refers to the practice of making websites usable by people of all abilities and disabilities regardless of what browsing technology they're using. In addition to complying with the law, an accessible website can reap huge benefits on to your website and your business.

Accessible websites are built using technologies that enable users to access them from a wide range of user agents and devices regardless of what browsing technology they are using Accessible websites allow access to both disabled and non-disabled people. Different browsing technologies, each with their own accessibility requirements, can include:
  • Lynx browser - Text-only browser with no support for tables, CSS, images, JavaScript, Flash or audio and video content
  • WebTV - 560px in width with horizontal scrolling not available
  • Screen reader - Page content read aloud in the order it appears in the HTML document
  • Handheld device - Very small screen with limited support for JavaScript and large images
  • Screen magnifier - As few as three to four words may be able to appear on the screen at any one time
  • Slow connection (below 56kb) - Users may turn off images to enable a faster download time
  • 1600px screen width - Very wide screen
This basically means that to ensure your website is accessible to everyone you must provide alternatives to:
  • Images - in the form of ALT text
  • JavaScript - through the tag
  • Flash - with HTML equivalents
  • Audio & video - by using subtitles or written transcripts

2. Why Web Accessibility is Important?

For example, when we create a website with meaningful HTML, with textual equivalents provided for images and with links named meaningfully, this helps blind users using text-to-speech software and/or text-to-Braille hardware. When text and images are large and/or enlargeable, it is easier for users with poor sight to read and understand the content.

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