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Why Accessibility?

Print friendly Modified August 28, 2012

Millions of people have disabilities. This typically includes co-workers, students, or members of the public who seek access to your web-based content. Without accessible design, this content cannot be delivered with equally effective access to individuals with and without disabilities.

Imagine turning off your computer monitor and trying to effectively navigate your website, online course, or attempting to describe what is taking place in a web-based video. Or unplugging your mouse and trying to gain access to important information on your university’s website with only the use of your keyboard. Or visiting a web-based instructional tutorial, turning down the volume and trying to guess what is being explained in the tutorial. For some this would be simply an exercise, but for others it is an everyday occurrence.

Content in web-based environments has historically been inaccessible to individuals who utilize a variety of assistive technologies, like screen readers, mouth sticks, and assistive listening devices.

Web accessibility encompasses a variety of disabilities: visual, hearing, motor, and cognitive impairments. Those who provide web-based content must design their websites, online courses, registration systems, etc. with accessibility in mind. In addition, those responsible for purchasing must ensure information kiosks, computers, telecommunications products, software products, etc. are also accessible.

This is accomplished by following the Section 508 Standards.