Module 5 Access & Accessibility

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities determined access to the internet and the web as a basic human right meaning that if a website does not offer some sort of handicap accessibility procedure, that website could be infringing on a basic human right.  According to w3.org’s article on accessibility, “The Web is fundamentally designed to work for all people, whatever their hardware, software, language, culture, location, or physical or mental ability. When the Web meets this goal, it is accessible to people with a diverse range of hearing, movement, sight, and cognitive ability.”  In many people’s eyes, the internet supports social inclusion and accessibility for people with disabilities.  The internet is an invaluable resource in many aspects of life such as education, employment, recreation etc.  That is why it is crucial to include accessibility features in all websites today.

My web project on Weebly will include many of the examples given in this week’s articles and other resources.  First an ALT tag on images on my website, so blind users can still understand the information of what the image is as well as text-only browser users and lower bandwidth users.  Another accessibility feature I want to include in my website complete keyboard functionality.  Many disorders limit fine motor control which can inhibit mouse usage for some users, complete keyboard functionality can bypass these obstacles.  Examples would be scrolling using the arrow keys, clicking using enter and going back a page using tab or escape.  A main feature not only pertaining to accessibility for users with disabilities but to all users is clear web design and navigation, using headings correctly to organize the structure of content.  One of the accessibility features usually not expressed is choosing your website colors carefully.  Red-green color deficiency is the most common form of color deficiency meaning that it affects about 9% of the population.  Using only these colors will prevent people with this deficiency from seeing the content.  Color can also be used to distinguish and organize web content, in particular this will greatly benefit users with learning disabilities.  Use color in your website but also use other visual indicators such as visual separation between blocks of content.

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