Website accessibility typically is comprised of two concepts with different ideas striving for the same goal. The first concept of website accessibility (the one I thought of first) is that of meeting people with different levels of access to the internet or a computer. This includes different types of services (cable, DSL, dial-up, etc.) as well as the internet accessibility in certain rural regions.
The other concept of web accessibility is dealing with users having physical, mental, or learning disabilities. The ability to have access to the internet can be characterized as a basic human right. Therefore, we as web designers need to be able to make our sites accessible to those with disabilities.
Making Your Site Accessible
One of the first things to look at when it comes to your website’s accessibility is if people can see it. This could involve people with a form of colorblindness. You want to make sure that your site is visible to those with colorblindness or at least easily distinguishable. This website provides some good and bad examples of designs for dealing with colorblindness. For my site, I will need to consult that website and make sure the color scheme that I choose is acceptable.
Three other main examples of making your website accessible are alternative text for images, keyboard input, and transcripts for video and audio clips/interviews. The alternative text will describe the image to the user if they are not able to view it. This is also why it is so important to describe the images you use to avoid any confusion. Next, your website should be able to be navigated via the keyboard in case some of your users are not able to control the mouse. Finally, if the users are deaf or the audio clip will not play, having a transcript of what was said will allow them to still have access to that information.
I hope to use all of these types of accessibility for my web project, especially the use alternative text and color scheme. Another thing I will keep in mind is the use of bright colors and flash that could affect users with epilepsy. There is some great information on this topic found here.
This idea of web accessibility is so important. For users, it is great for people with disabilities to be able to find information about topics. Finally, for web designers, isn’t it important for all potential users to be able to reach and use your site?