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If You Assume Web Accessibility is Just for a Few, Think Again!!!

People misunderstand the meaning of building an accessible web design. Accessibility does not mean creating a website so that people with disabilities can also access it but to build a website which can be easily accessed by all humans.

People presume that making a website accessible following the guidelines of 508 Compliance Law which states that a federal website needs to be safe and accessible to all including people with disabilities, is not worth the investment. The justification you will hear from most of the website owners is that; "We don't know if any such challenged users come to my site so why should I waste my time in making a podcast or including subtitles?"

Accessibility is not web design for few people but an easy to access design for all.

Accessible to Visually Impaired:

Have you made a Screen Reader friendly site and assumed it is for the visually impaired? Let us analyze this, we are aware that technology development happens because humans thrive to decrease the difficulty in doing every job, this includes reading a website. Speech to text is something which even I use and how about Alexa reading a book from Kindle? So, if you think screen reading is only for the visually impaired, check your facts again. Enabling zoom also helps not just the visually impaired but everyone as most people prefer to browse websites through their phones where the text could look tiny to many. Similarly adding a podcast not just aids the visually impaired but also many prefer hearing the content while they are on the go rather than reading it.

Most of the new designers focus on creating subtle (not too loud) designs. No doubt it looks good and works really well if you have a 20/20 vision but what about visually impaired people? Or people who are over the age of 50 and losing their sharp vision? What about people who are viewing the website through their mobile phones under the glare of sunlight?

Sitting at the comfort of your home and designing a subtle looking website sounds wonderful but if you can step out of your comfort zone and step into the shoes of these people, you will understand the importance of a high contrast wed design.

Accessible to Cognitive Disabled:

If you are building a website while thinking why should you consider building it for somebody with a cognitive disability when such people will rarely visit your site, you are violating the UN’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities code which states that people with a disability should enjoy or exercise on an equal basis like other humans.

In reality, all human beings are cognitive disabled as we all are distracted now and then and find it hard to concentrate and understand. Additionally, English may not be the user’s strong suit. The advantage of creating a website friendly for cognitive disables is that others also can easily access the site.

Accessible to People with Motor Skill Challenges:

There are people who struggle with the use of keyboard and mouse. Many web designers do not even consider such people as their users, so using their web designs is a challenge to such users. Now forget people with motor skill disabilities and think about someone who has got injuries such as fractured arms or a person suffering from acute arthritis, how will they access your page? Making your site's design suitable for people with such motor skill disabilities can also help many other users easily access the site. Adding simple changes like making the site optimized for voice inputs can help all users access your site with ease.

Compatible with People Suffering from Seizures:

There are people suffering from conditions such as epilepsy and their seizers often trigger due to flashing lights. As a designer, have you ever considered about such issues before you added an animation or a gif to a page? But if you think only such patients have issues with excessive animation, you are mistaken, any human can get triggered (irritated) by looking at too much of animation so skipping on such elements, you will be doing a big favor to all your readers.

Accessible to Hearing Impaired:

Adding video contents in a website with subtitles help people with hearing impairments to enjoy the content but these are not the only people who find this beneficial. People who do not follow the language clearly take the aid of subtitles to enjoy the content as well.
Good accessibility does not just benefit the disables, but it benefits all.

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