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Sam Collett
for SHU Computer
Technology For Business

Website Accessibility

What is web accessibility?

Emmanuel, O (2018) said accessibility is where, regardless of a condition, everybody have the access to something. So in terms of the internet and the web, it means that people who have a disability can also use the internet in the same way. Kennett, O (2018) says that due to the fact that the internet is vast and that there is so many competing websites one way to gain an advantage over other sites is to make your website more accessible. Kennett, O (2018) also goes on to say that due to making a website more accessible it will be better optimised for search engines as the website will be more descriptive and have an intuitive structure.

Can I get sued for not taking acceessability into mind?

bmibaby logo
Fig.7 - bmibaby Logo

Back in 2012 there was a high profiled case of a company being fined for not having a accessible website. Rourke, C (2012) reported on how the Royal National Institute for the Blind sued the then low cost airline Bmibaby due to the poor accessibility of its website. This meant that customers with disabilities couldn't book flights or check-in online as the website was not suitable for people with visual disabilities.

Fig.8 - bmibaby Website

Visual Disabilities...

There any many different disabilities that need to be catered for when creating a website. W3 (1999) states that there are many different types of disabilities that need to be accounted for when developing a website. One of these is visual disabilities like blindness or low vision. W3 (1999) says that the barriers that people with visual disabilities can encounter on the web are that images do not have alt text so that means that there is no description in what the image actually is, videos that are not closed-captioned and browsers that do not have keyboard support for all commands.

Hearing Disabilities...

Another disability that needs to be accounted for is hearing disabilities like deafness or hard of hearing. W3 (1999) says that people with these disabilities can encounter a lack of captions or transcript for audio content and lack of visual signposts in pages full of text which means that it would be hard to pick out key information.

Physical Disabilities...

The last key disabilities that developers need to take into consideration is physical disabilities like motor or speech impediments. W3 (1999) says that people with physical disabilities have barriers when it comes to browsing through websites that do not support serialized keystrokes or command, forms that cannot be tabbed through in a logical order and sites that require voice-based interaction and have no alternative method of input.

Assistive Technologies...

Disabled World (n.d) talks about what technologies people with disabilities use when interacting with a computer. Some common assistive technologies include; Screen readers which allows people who are blind or partially sighted to read what it on there screen by a text-to-speech tool, On-screen keyboard which allow people with reduced dexterity to use a keyboard by clicking with a mouse or a touch screen and voice recognition for people who cannot use a mouse or keyboard with ease to interact by using only their voice.

Last Updated: 14/04/19

Useful Resources

Fig.5 - Accessibility Fundamentals with Rob Dodson

Fig.6 - Introduction to Web Accessibility and W3C Standards