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The Need to Design for Accessibility/Usability


Web accessibility –  “people with disabilities can perceive, understand, navigate and interact with the Web, and that they can contribute to the Web”.

W3C provide guidelines through Web Accessibility Initiative (WIA).

Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) – UK law – accessibility issues. Organisation can be subject to serious legal liabilities for contravening law.

DDA part III – unlawful for service provider to treat disabled people less favourable for disability-teated reason.

Disability Rights Commission published revised Code of Practice in 2001 related to rights of access for disabled people.

Act came into force in 2004 meaning:

  • Open to legal action by designing an inaccessible website.
  • Integrating accessibility into website works for more people in more situations resulting in more users.
  • Challenge – websites that are visually appealing and fully accessible to all.

Common Problems

Text-to-speech screen readers used by visual impaired people and those with some types of disabilities. Screen readers cannot read images or Flash animations.

Blind individuals can miss key information in narratives are missing.

Individuals with no/poor motor skills may find it difficult to click on small areas to access information and may need to use access keys.

Colour vision deficient people may not be able to read certain text and background colour combinations.

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