Accessibility. Do you care?

I do, as long as we are talking about the same thing.

Let me define what I mean for accessibility first.

Since I first started my adventure in the web design field I looked for points of reference, guidelines, rules, suggestions, something I could go back to compare and evaluate my work with.

The W3C has always been a good place to find the resources I needed and I find this draft on usability and accessibility pretty helpful in order to understand what accessibility is, where it overlaps with usability and where it doesn’t.

When designing it’s important to keep in mind your end users, you want to meet their expectations and you want to surprise them, but not disorient them. You want your visitors to find what they need, which supposingly is your product/service.

Graphic design, content, functions, they all need to meet a set target.

It’s an easy mistake trying to please everybody. The reality is that every product or service has its own target, no matter how broad it is, it won’t be everybody.

That said, I believe accessibility should be for everybody.

Accessibility is about ensuring an equivalent user experience for people with disabilities. For the Web, it means that people with disabilities can perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with websites and tools, and that they can contribute equally without barriers. Accessibility is not an option, it is a human right, as recognized in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
Source: http://www.w3.org/WAI/EO/Drafts/access-use/accessibility-n-usability-2010-10Oct-31.html#accessibility

Other than the indisputable ethic and moral value that accessibility has, let’s not forget that there are obbligations and commercial benefits to it too.

I am going back to the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) again, because they put it better than I could, obviously:

Social, technical, financial and legal factors are different aspects you want to consider when developing a business case for accessibility.
Read more here: http://www.w3.org/WAI/bcase/Overview#factors

Web designers are not different from architects: you have the opportunity to build something that will be enjoyable by all who decide to visit your creation or build something that will inevitabily leave someone out. What would you do?

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