Web accessibility, what does it all mean?

Web accessibility, or e-Accessibility, is the inclusive practice of ensuring there are no barriers that prevent interaction with, or access to, websites on the World Wide Web by people with physical disabilities, situational disabilities, and socio-economic restrictions on bandwidth and speed.

Misconception #1: web accessibility is about disability.

It’s not. Web accessibility is about universality. It’s about making something that can be used by as many people as possible. Different environments, different devices, elderly, different cultural backgrounds, non-English speakers and impaired abilities. 11.2 million people in the UK, are registered as having a disability. Eighty-three percent of disabled people acquire a disability during their working life.

Disabled people in the UK are estimated to have the spending power of at least eighty billion per year. The majority of disabilities are not visible. Less than eight percent of disabled people use a wheelchair. We need to make our websites easy to use for everyone, including the hearing impaired, those with limited mobility, those with reading difficulties and anyone using hand-held devices.

So why do we do it?

By making your content more accessible more people in more locations can read your information and they will understand it more easily.

After all, you want everyone to get your message, right?

Accessibility is also a legal requirement under the Equality Act of 2010.

Misconception #2: web accessibility is not my problem.

It is. Web accessibility is everyone’s responsibility. We’re all in this together what you do makes a difference.

So what do people need?

People need information that is easy to read that works on different devices and that is easy to navigate. It also needs good design and colour contrast, images and graphs that are described well, has video captions or transcriptions, has documents and attachments in a format that can be used by everyone everywhere. Remember what you do at the start makes it easier at the end and your content gets published faster.

Misconception #3: web accessibility is hard.

It’s not. Web accessibility is easy to learn.

For more information about accessibility visit http://www.abilitynet.org.uk.

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About Daniella-Jade Lowe

Hello, My name is Daniella Jade Lowe. I am a PURSUN researcher and I am working on marketing myself as an Accessibility Consultant. Journalism and Politics are my passion. I have a BA degree in History and Politics. What type of disability do you have? At birth, I was diagnosed with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus which are neurological conditions. As a result, I use a wheelchair for mobility. What is disability to you? The only disability is a bad attitude. I have a disability. It doesn’t completely define me; it just enhances me in a way which differentiates and strengthens me. My disability should be viewed as an ability: to see the world in a different way. I don’t really like the term because sometimes it indirectly implies someone is dysfunctional or helpless. The most important thing is to never make assumptions. Someone with a disability can be very, physically, fit and strong, highly intelligent and articulate. What has been your experience from the time you remember till now? - positive and negative experiences. My life as a wheelchair user has been generally okay. Wheelchair Accessibility is frustrating. I was teased a little in school. Other than that, life is great. How do you cope with: -daily activities - your disability, do you have times when you are down - people's reactions towards you. I have carers, a Social worker, District Nurses, a GP, and extended family in this country. I am also in contact with a local disability charity in Yorkshire. I also have a friendly landlord. How do you keep yourself motivated? I must stay organised and practice good time management. I also prioritise my plans. What is your word or advice - to those with disabilities? - to the society Don’t let people put you in a box. You have a voice, use it. 10. Tell us about your platforms if you have any- Blog: The View from Where I Sit Facebook: Daniella Jade Lowe Instagram: @daniellajadelowe/@theviewfromwheresitblog Thank you!