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Website accessibility! Are you kidding?
I am sure you have heard that businesses like WalMart need to make their stores accessible to EVERYONE, big or small, rich or poor, able or disabled.
That means a hand rail by the slope entrance next to the staircase and a parking spot close to the store gates with a blue rectangle saying “handicap” on it.
Believe it or not, the trend is shifting to Cyberspace as well. Most Government websites are already designed to be accessible for all kinds of Internet users.
Do not be surprised if this law extends to websites in the future, especially eCommerce websites that are doing business.
Why?Because disability applies to Internet users too! The most common disability being vision impairment.
Many people don’t have the luxury to read small print, especially online, where it is proven that online print is not nearly as sharp and clear as ink print. Therefore, measures are likely going to be taken to accommodate for the many unfortunate.
Why Wouldn’t You Want Website Accessibility Anyway?This is a great question. Why wouldn’t you? It would behoove you to factor in website accessibility during your design stages.
A website that is designed to accommodate all sorts of web surfers will not only attract more traffic (because now you are capturing the vision impaired, etc), but the techniques you use to enhance website accessibility are inherently better for your website design.
You Should Consider Website Accessibility TodayIn order to fix any problem you must first identify it. It is critical that you understand what makes your website difficult for some of your visitors to navigate around and get to the bottom line of why they are leaving.
A good website analytics tool should be able to tell you this. Once you identify the problem, brainstorm some solutions you think you can implement to make your visitor experience more pleasurable.
The number 1 authority on website accessibility today is the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). It is an organization dedicated to defining the standards of good website design and development.
You will find a bunch of free resources on their WAI - Web Accessibility Initiative. You can use this guide to understand common problems with website design and what you can do to make your visitor’s experience on your website more pleasurable.
I suggest using this guide only after you have a good understanding on websites and are comfortable with the jargon and common terms used. This guide is pretty technical and not necessarily for beginners. You can always come back and refer to it once you gain more experience with websites.
If you have gone through this entire site a couple times, I would say you will probably be comfortable getting through most of it (except for the coding/technical references).
Include this link as its own link under the web design section of the site
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