Web Accessibility – Introduction

Wed Apr 05 2017

The Web, this wonderful place, was created with one ideal in mind. To offer a platform where people can acquire, produce content and participate in the same activities despite their location, language or situation.

With the movement of Progressive Web Apps, we are trying to make the Web more reachable to the billions of users worldwide with slow internet connections and mobile devices.

With the movement of Web Accessibility we are trying to make the Web more accessible to people with disabilities. Why should we care? Well according to the World Health Organization, 15% of people live with some form of disability. So, while creating an application or website if we don’t take that into consideration we are potentially excluding 15% of the population. And this percentage is on a rise due to population ageing and improvement in methodologies to measure disability.

In addition, by using the techniques that we’ll mention, you won’t only improve the experience for this group of users but for everyone else as well, as they implement usability best practices and web standards.

Categories of Impairment

So what kind of issues may somebody have that we can be proactive about?

Vision Issues

  • Blindness
  • Low Vision
  • Color Blindness
  • Distracted Person

Hearing Issues

  • Deafness
  • Hard-of-hearing
  • Ear Infection

Motor Issues

  • Arm Injury
  • One Arm
  • Holding something

Speaking

  • Non-verbal
  • Laryngitis
  • Heavy Accent

Cognitive Issues

  • Learning Disabilities
  • Distractibility
  • Inability to Remember of Focus

Technical Issues

  • Slow Internet Connection
  • Screen Size
  • Old Technology

Other

  • Hospital Website Example. Someone that is headed to this site may be in a crisis state.

Temporalities of Impairment

In addition to the categories of impairment we can group impairments dependent of their temporality.

Temporary

  • Vision Issues
    • Cataract
  • Hearing Issues
    • Ear Infection
  • Motor Issues
    • Arm Injury
  • Speaking
    • Laryngitis
  • Technical Issues
    • Co-worker is streaming a movie and you have a slow connection

Permanent

  • Vision Issues
    • Blind
  • Hearing Issues
    • Deaf
  • Motor Issues
    • One Arm
  • Speaking
    • Non-verbal
  • Technical Issues
    • Are working in company with firewall restrictions

Situational

  • Vision Issues
    • Distracting Place (Stadium, mall)
  • Hearing Issues
    • Can’t listen to audio in an open office
  • Motor Issues
    • Bartender
  • Speaking
    • Heavy Accent
  • Technical Issues
    • In the elevator

So how can we improve our Web Applications and make them more accessible. Are they guidelines for this? Is there a standard or a checklist?

We will answer these questions in this learning path.

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