Accessibility Tips Part 4

When talking about accessibility although it is often used to refer to ensuring that web sites are accessible to people with disabilities it actually has a larger scope and actually addresses accessibility of web sites to EVERYBODY. Sure enough when designing web sites the accessibility to the majority of users are always considered, which is why the topic is not really fall under accessibility but usually focuses on usability when it comes to the majority of users. When it comes to the minority of users who might encounter difficulty in being able to view a website, this is when the issue of accessibility takes center stage.

So when is accessibility an issue? It is an issue when the user:

  • has any disability - Whether this be visual impairments, motor dysfunctions, auditory impairments, cognitive/intellectual disabilities. This is true for any medical condition (like seizures) that result in special consideration of the user’s needs in order to be able to make the accessing the website possible and safe.
  • uses a non-standard platform/device - This pertains to both software and hardware. For software alternative operating systems and web browsers might be used. For hardware mobile devices (i.e. newer mobile phone models) might be used.
  • uses a computer with lower specs - There are dinosaurs still in existence or simply people who prefer lower resolutions. Make sure the websites is still viewable even then.
  • has a slow internet connection - Always consider the needs of those with dial-up connections by giving an alternative version to graphic-heavy sites and offering lower resolution/smaller sized downloads.

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