The Nuances of Web Accessibility: Can You Account for Everything?

Written by Kevin Liew on 21 Mar 2022
37,048 Views • Mobile Development

Web accessibility refers to websites, technologies, and tools designed so that people with disabilities can easily navigate them. Although accessibility standards exist to assist people with disabilities, web designers should accommodate users in different circumstances.

In this post, you’ll be learning the different categories of web accessibility. Each category includes guidelines that can help a website achieve accessibility.

Four main principles of web accessibility

To achieve web accessibility, a website should follow the four main Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) principles. In most website accessibility lawsuits, WCAG is the most referenced standard. It is also considered the best guideline for achieving web accessibility.

Perceivable

The website should hand out information and user interface components so that the users can understand the displayed information, not hidden to all their senses.

The following are the guidelines that can help you achieve a perceivable website:

  • Text alternatives. Consider providing text alternatives for all non-text content. This way, it can be converted to the formats that individuals require, including braille, big print, symbols, speech, or simpler language.

  • Adaptable. Your content should be presentable in different ways without losing structure or information.

  • Time-based media. Your website should offer alternatives to time-based media.

  • Distinguishable. Separate the foreground and backdrop to make it easier to hear and see the content.

Operable

Navigation components and user interface must be operable. Users should be able to use the interface in a suitable way and not require them of action that they can't do.

Below are the guidelines under this principle:

  • Enough time. An accessible website should give enough time for users to use and read the content.

  • Keyboard accessible. Every function should be accessible using a keyboard.

  • Navigable. Provide tools to assist users in finding content, navigating, and determining their location.

  • Input modalities. The website should provide different ways to operate functionality other than a keyboard.

  • Physical reactions and seizures. Ensure that all the site’s contents are designed not to cause seizures and physical reactions.

Understandable

Both operation and the information presented by the site’s user interface should be understandable. It should be easy for users to understand for better navigation.

Check out the guidelines below that can help websites meet this web accessibility principle:

  • Predictable. Design web pages in a way that makes them predictable.

  • Readable. The text or typography of the website should be easy to read and understand.

  • Input assistance. Provide a feature that allows users to correct and avoid mistakes.

Robust

Assistive technologies should be able to interpret the site’s content and other user agents. Even after user agents and technologies evolve, a robust website should still be accessible. Your website should have maximum compatibility with user agents today and in the future. It includes assistive technologies like text-to-speech, voice recognition, visual search engines, and more.

Conclusion

Overall, your website should meet the principles of WCAG to say that it is accessible. Now that we have mentioned the nuances of web accessibility, you can check if your website meets each of them.

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