What is "Accessibility"?
Accessibility, ADA, WCAG: What does it all mean?
Web accessibility is an extension of the rules of the American Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibit discrimination of access to public venues for people with disabilities.
Regarding websites, "accessibility" is a term that describes making your website in a way that certain groups with disabilities can still understand information from your website. These people with disabilities include blind, legally blind, color-blind, vision-impaired, deaf, and people with injuries which limit their interactions with a computer. This is because courts rule websites to be publicly accessible venues.
WCAG 2.0 AA (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) is a recognized standard for website accessibility, created by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). It involves principles of Perceivability, Operability, Understandability, and Robustness. They affect information on the website, as well as video, documents on the website.
Why care about Accessibility?
Prevention is faster and cheaper.
Here is a short list of some organizations that have been sued, with the ADA as a premise for the suit:
For most, accessibility is a recommendation. For federal organizations and federally-funded organizations, according to Section 504 and 508 amendment of the Rehabilitiation Act of 1973, it is required.
For private companies with public websites, accessibility is something to consider, considering the precedent set by the ADA and the outcomes of recent lawsuits against private companies over their inaccessible websites.
Let's Discuss Your Accessibility Needs
As a web development company, RWG is well-suited to help you with accessibility -- knowing website markup is essential to understanding what machines see (and subsequently, what is communicated by the machines to disabled users). In addition, RWG has the following:
- Web accessibility projects with the University of Hawaii at Manoa since 2017
- Screen readers (text-to-speech) for testing like JAWS and NVDA
- Additional specialized accessibility tests that analyze each individual page