Because making websites accessible means that people with disabilities, or anyone with special needs and preferences, can use them.
Accessibility is defined as the set of properties that allows a product, service or facility to be used by people with a wide range of capabilities. Making Web sites and applications accessible refers to the inclusive practice employed to design and develop them in such a way that all people can use them and have equal access to information and functionality.
According to the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)
"Web accessibility means that people with disabilities can perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the Web, and that they can contribute to the Web."
While web accessibility was primarily envisioned to benefit only people with disabilities, such as those who have a visual, speech, or hearing impairment, those with motor disabilities, and people who have cognitive disabilities, it quickly become apparent that it has the potential to improve web experience for everyone (e.g. older adults).
Selected Web Accessibility References
- Introduction to Web Accessibility
- How People with Disabilities Use the Web
- Easy Checks - A First Review of Web Accessibility
- WAI Web Accessibility Tutorials
- Accessible Rich Internet Application specification (WAI-ARIA) - Overview
- Mobile Accessibility
- Android Accessibility
- Making your iOS App Accessible
- Microsoft Active Accessibility
- Adobe Flash accessibility design guidelines
- Guidelines for Accessible and Usable Web Sites: observing users who work with screen readers - M.F. Theofanos, J. Redish
- Accessibility guidelines for different Web site components - Accessibility and Usability at Penn State University
- Accessibility for everyone - Laura Kalbag
- A Web for Everyone: Designing Accessible User Experiences - Sarah Horton & Whitney Quesenbery
- Apps For All: Coding Accessible Web Applications - Heydon Pickering
Video introduction to various web accessibility aspects
- Web Accessibility Perspectives Videos: Explore the Impact and Benefits for Everyone
- Importance of Web Accessibility - Accessible Media Tube
- Make Technology Work for Everyone: introducing digital accessibility - Fix the Web