Why Digital Accessibility Matters

What is website accessibility? Creating a website that is accessible is a process, and one must consider all the things available to make it accessible to people with disabilities and other restrictions. First, it is important to ensure that there are no barriers in the way of interaction. Second, web accessibility ensures that websites are inclusive of people with situational disabilities. It is a good practice for a number of reasons. Here are some things you need to consider. Read on to find out more about website accessibility and how it can help you.

Here are just a few examples of what an accessible website should contain. it should be designed with captions. Graphics that flash more than three times per second are dangerous. They can cause a seizure. Third, they need to be described. If the text on the website is hard to read, a caption will be necessary. Finally, graphics should be readable to blind people. A description should be provided as well. The description should be simple and understandable.

Nicholas Hoekstra demonstrates using a screen reader showing examples of documents that are; inaccessible, readable and accessible.
 
Transcript:

Hi, my name is Nicholas Hoekstra. I work here at the Accessible Books Consortium as the capacity building focal point. I want to show you today three versions of Marrakesh VIP Treaty and demonstrate how my computer reads them aloud. I’m opening a copy of the Marrakesh Treaty in the PDF format. I click on the document and wait for it to open. And what I hear is.

[Screenreader Voice]: Alert: empty document. Alert: empty document.

Empty document, this means that all the information contained in this file is completely inaccessible to me. This is probably because this PDF is an image or a picture of the text, which my computer cannot read. Now I’m opening a copy of Marrakesh Treaty in Microsoft Word. As you can hear, this document is readable.

[Screenreader Voice]: Diplomatic conference to conclude a treaty to facilitate access to published works by visually impaired persons and persons with print disabilities.

My computer, or reads me the text, but it’s important to point out that this text is not structured with a table of contents, with headings, or with page numbers. Imagine that this was a 400 page textbook, something that’s very common when we talk about textbooks. If I wanted to read only chapter two, I would have to page down again and again and again, and read text on each page until I locate just the page that I need. This can be very time consuming. Now I’d like to show you an accessible PDF file.

[Screenreader Voice]: Marrakesh three to facilitate access to a published preamble, adding level two. Article one, relation. Article two, article three, article four.

As you can hear this accessible PDF file is being read aloud, but it’s also structured. This means that important elements such as page numbers or headings have been designed in such a way that my computer can access them. So for example, just by touching a key I can jump from heading to heading. Article one, article two, article three. This means that I can quickly access the information that I need, when I need it. So this document is both readable and accessible.

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