Accessibility

Accessibility

Accessibility means providing flexibility to accommodate each user’s needs and preferences. In an Internet context, accessibility is making computer technology and Internet resources useful to more people than would otherwise be the case.

What we can do for you…

Internet Accessibility is normally aimed at allowing for the participation of people with disabilities. Internet accessibility can also include consideration for people whose communication infrastructures or capabilities are not advanced or not in place.

Why do we need accessibility?

  • Internet Accessibility allows for a larger participating audience. Accessible web pages for example will expand a site’s potential audience to the millions who are disabled, or who have slow connections.
  • In some countries, it’s the law. In the United States, for example, the Americans with Disabilities Act requires reasonable accommodation for employees with disabilities, and that requirement extends to web site accessibility.
  • Accessible designs often benefit not only people with disabilities but also those in the mainstream. For example, screen readers and dictation software, which are meant to empower the visually impaired, can be used for document creation and proofing.
  • Accessibility is the right thing to do. It helps achieve societal goals of full participation and of equality.

Issues:

There are three Internet accessibility issues covered by this report: Web accessibility, Email accessibility, and Adaptive technologies.

Web accessibility

Web accessibility involves the ability of a web page to be read and understood, using adaptive technologies where necessary. The blind and visually impaired are the most affected by the advances in the graphical nature of web sites. The good news: web site developers can make web pages both accessible and visually appealing by following good and simple Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) programming practices.

Email accessibility

For many of the world s peoples, access to email (or even just to a communication hub) is considered a luxury. Although the costs are dropping, these users pay heavily for every kilobyte of email received. Email accessibility simply involves the sensible use of email.

Adaptive Technologies

Any technology that allows access to computer resources for a person with disabilities is known as adaptive technology. These “electronic curb-cuts” can be found in hardware and software. The challenge is to make adaptive technology part of any base configuration and make all components work in a seamless fashion. This will increase the access to computers and applications without making major modifications.