Accessibility Tip: Why accessibility is important

Last updated on August 28, 2016ArticlesNon-technical-guides

Web accessibility is very important - but often overlooked. Now we have had the internet for several decades we know very well how to make websites accessible, however it is a shame that many websites are not as accessible as they could be.

Making a site accessible has clear business benefits - you can reach more customers, they can interact with your services easier and it generally makes your site/app easier to use even for those not affected by disabilities.

One of the main reasons companies focus on web accessibility is due to the fear of legal consequences. Almost all countries have legal requirements to have accessible websites.

USA have their Section 508 and The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) law. UK have their equivalent

Moral obligation

If you run a website or app which has real users, then you should feel a moral obligation to make your website accessible.

1 in 5 users have some form of a disability. That is a huge chunk of your customers that you should think about when designing new applications or websites.

Scare customers away

If your website is not accessible then your (potential) customers may not be able to use your site, and you will be missing out on their custom.

Who web accessibility affects?

People with the following issues may be affected by accessibility on your site:

  • Blindness or low vision
  • Colour blindness
  • Learning/congnitive disabilities
  • Motor issues (e.g. unable to easily use a mouse)

Best practices when it comes to web accessibility

I cover all of these points elsewhere on this site but a quick run down of what you should be doing at a mimimum to ensure that your website or application is accessible:

  • Ensure that users can use your site with just a keyboard (no mouse, no touchpad)
  • Ensure that any images that are needed to understand the content (not decorative images) have valid and useful alt tags. Any decorative images should have an empty alt tag
  • Ensure that any audio content has transcripts
  • Ensure that valid HTML is used correctly

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Welcome to Accessibility for Developers

New to accessibility?

Accessibility for Developers

This is a free site to give advice on how to make your website accessible

I have been a software developer for nearly a couple of decades, and really want to help promote better accessibility in apps and websites that we, as developers, create! Accessibility isn't very difficult, it is just important to be aware about it and understand it.

If you spot any mistakes or have any suggestions, ideas or collaborations please check out my contact page.

Important: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only. I make no representation or warranty, express or implied. Your use of the site is solely at your own risk. I've tried my best to make sure all information is accurate, but I am just a software engineer (not an accessibility expert).