Web accessibility refers to the practice of making websites usable by people of all abilities and disabilities. When sites are correctly designed, developed and edited, all users can have equal access to information and functionality. For example, when a site is coded with semantically meaningful HTML, with textual equivalents provided for images and with links named meaningfully, this helps blind users using text-to-speech software and/or text-to-Braille hardware. When text and images are large and/or enlargable, it is easier for users with poor sight to read and understand the content. When links are underlined (or otherwise differentiated) as well as coloured, this ensures that color blind users will be able to notice them. When clickable links and areas are large, this helps users who cannot control a mouse with precision. When pages are coded so that users can navigate by means of the keyboard alone, or a single switch access device alone, this helps users who cannot use a mouse or even a standard keyboard. When videos are closed captioned or a sign language version is available, deaf and hard of hearing users can understand the video. When flashing effects are avoided or made optional, users prone to seizures caused by these effects are not put at risk. And when content is written in plain language and illustrated with instructional diagrams and animations, users with dyslexia and learning difficulties are better able to understand the content. When sites are correctly built and maintained, all of these users can be accommodated while not impacting on the usability of the site for non-disabled users.
Source: Web Accessibility, Wikipedia
Section 508 is a relevant government act that pertains to technology work done for US Federal agencies. Section 508 is an Amendment to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Under Section 508 Federal agencies must give disabled employees and members of the public access to information that is comparable to the access available to others.
- Web Accessibility Initiative, W3C
- Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, WAI/W3C
- Section 508
- Accessibility Checklist, IBM Human Ability and Accessibility Center
- Understanding Accessibility, IBM Human Ability and Accessibility Center
- Introduction to Accessibility, Web Accessibility in Mind
- What is Web Accessibility?, by Trenton Moss, A List Apart
Screen Reader Software
- Fangs Screen Reader Emulator Plugin for Firefox
- JAWS Screen Reader for Windows
- NVDA Screen Reader for Windows
Color Deficit Simulators
- Sim Daltonism -- a color blindness simulator for Mac OS X.
- Vischeck color deficit simulator -- plugins for Photoshop.
- etre color blindness simulator -- web-based service.
- Wickline Colorblind Web Page Filter -- web-based service.