Introduction to Web Accessibility

Introduction to Web Accessibility

What is Web Accessibility?

Web accessibility refers to designing and developing websites, tools, and technologies that allow people with disabilities to access and use them. Accessibility means ensuring that individuals with disabilities can navigate, understand, and interact with web content effectively. It involves making accommodations and providing alternative methods of accessing information and functionality for those with visual, auditory, cognitive, or physical impairments. Web accessibility strives to provide equal access and opportunities for all users, regardless of their abilities or disabilities. 

More specifically, people can:

  • perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the Web
  • contribute to the Web

Web accessibility encompasses all disabilities that affect access to the Web, including

  • auditory
  • cognitive
  • neurological
  • physical
  • speech
  • visual

Web accessibility also benefits people without disabilities, for example:

  • People using mobile phones, smart watches, smart TVs, and other devices with small screens, different input modes, etc.
  • older people with changing abilities due to aging
  • people with “temporary disabilities” such as a broken arm or lost glasses
  • people with “situational limitations,” such as in bright sunlight or in an environment where they cannot listen to audio
  • people using a slow Internet connection or who have limited or expensive bandwidth


Video Introduction to Web Accessibility and W3C Standards

Click to watch the Introduction to Web Accessibility and W3C Standards video.

Click to watch Perspectives Videos: Explore the Impact and Benefits for Everyone.

Tips for Getting Started


Web Accessibility Resources


How Do I Design for Web Accessibility?

Accessibility is a civil right, and website designers must adapt. Quickly.

Understanding WCAG 2 Contrast and Color Requirements

Contrast and color use are vital to accessibility.


Contrast Checker

This tool is built for designers and developers to test color contrast compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) set forth by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

Colour Contrast Analyser

The Colour Contrast Analyser (CCA) helps you determine the legibility of text and the contrast of visual elements, such as graphical controls and visual indicators.

Photosensitive Epilepsy Analysis Tool

The Trace Center’s Photosensitive Epilepsy Analysis Tool (PEAT) is a free, downloadable resource for developers to identify seizure risks in their web content and software.

WAVE Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool

WAVE is a suite of evaluation tools that helps authors make their web content more accessible to individuals with disabilities.

Generate an Accessibility Statement

The information that you provide will generate an accessibility statement that you can download and further refine.


Introduction to Web Accessibility

Get a strong foundation in digital accessibility to make your websites and apps work well for people with disabilities, meet international standards, and provide a better user experience for everyone.

Web Accessibility for Designers

A guide to meeting accessibility guidelines for Web and UI/UX designers

Web Accessibility Courses

Coursera list of courses

Related Articles

Separate but Unequal: Web Interfaces for People with Disabilities

Accommodations that require people with disabilities to go through a “separate door” are often problematic.

Overlays and Plugins Aren’t the Answer to Accessibility

Overlays provide a false sense of security.

CEOs Must Be Mindful of Web Accessibility

A big part of the reason why web accessibility has become such a hot-button issue of late is because of a flurry of lawsuits surrounding sites that fail to meet accessibility standards.

The ADA is turning 30. It’s time that it included digital accessibility.

While technology can create a more inclusive future, it has also created further barriers.

Website Accessibility Lawsuits Continue to Trend Up

Adhering to the in-depth WCAG guidelines can be daunting, but it can help a business avert the burdensome costs of such lawsuits.

Web Accessibility Lawsuits Show No Sign of Slowing in 2020

Digital Accessibility Digest

Accessibility checklist to design products that people will love… and use

Optimizing a product for accessibility is difficult, especially because you can’t simply make your UI accessible for only one disability type and neglect the others.

Business owners in Denver hit with unexpected ADA lawsuits from out-of-state firm.

“There were no letters, no notice, no warning, just ‘you have been served,'”

How & Why Accessibility Matters for SEO

It’s important to look beyond rankings and ensure a website is usable for everyone.

It’s been touted as an “empathy machine” that lets users see what it’s like to have a disability—but people with disabilities often can’t use it.

It’s not about a person’s abilities or impairments; it’s about the design.

That is, bad design is disabeling. When designs (and code) provide the flexibility to meet all users’ needs, then they are enabling. 

Disability is caused by a mismatch between the design and the person.

Source: W3Cx WAI0.1x Introduction to Web Accessibility – 1.3.8 Disability is mismatched design


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