What Web Accessibility Means and How It Applies to Web Development?

What Web Accessibility Means and How It Applies to Web Development?

Understanding web accessibility, its scope, and its impact can make you a better web developer. This guide is intended to help you understand how you can make your websites accessible and usable for everyone.

In the first part of the article series, we discussed what is accessibility, why it is important and its benefits. In this article, we are going to dwell more into web accessibility.

There is a myth that it is difficult to make a website and web applications accessible. Though it requires a proper planning and execution, but still making websites accessible is not that difficult.  In this article, we are going to discuss about 7 guidelines which will help you to make your web products more accessible and accepted by a wider audience.

Before we jump to the guidelines it is necessary to understand a few basics things about web accessibility. Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) is a vision by World Wide Consortium (W3C) whose main aim is to improve web accessibility for disabled and visually impaired people. These people often require some form of assistive technologies to help them like screen readers or braille hardware. People with low to medium visual impairment have a hard time reading the content if it has low contrast or too small to read.

To make sure that our websites are compatible with this hardware and accessible to all visually impaired people certain measures are needed to be taken care of. WAI has published a guideline called Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, which can help in achieving good web accessibility. WCAG guidelines have 3 levels of compliance:

Level A (Must have): This is the most basic level of compliance in WCAG. Few basic things included in this level are providing text alternative of images, websites should be navigable by using keyboards (used in case of screen readers) and not using color as the only medium of communication, it should always be used along with some label, icon, pattern or shape.
Level AA (Should have): This is the most desired level of guidelines and most of the accessible websites consider this level for their platforms. Few basic things included in this level are having good readable text along with good contrast ratio and support for interface zoom
Level AAA (Good to have): This is the highest level of accessibility and not required in most of the cases. It requires sign language for audio content which is a bit difficult in all cases to put in place.

Read More About Web Accessibility.

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