“The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect” Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director and inventor of the World Wide Web
Web accessibility concerns making a website useable by all internet users (disabled and non disabled). Accessibility depends on how a persons disability affects the way they perceive the information on the web page and how they navigate between pages. There are a number of elements that affect accessibility including:
It is very important to pay attention to the usability of your website because if someone who has a disability cannot access information on your website then it can be seen as discrimination.The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) makes it unlawful for a service provider to discriminate against a disabled person by refusing to provide them any service which it provides to able bodied members of the public.
There are also benefits to you in having an accessible website:
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international community where member organisations, staff and the public work together to develop web standards and their mission is to lead the Web to it’s full potential. For further information on the W3C visit http://www.w3.org/Consortium/
In December 2010 the British Standards Institution launched the first British standard to address accessibility and the challenge of digital inclusion. Guidance notes can be read here.