When and why should accessibility be considered?
Accessibility should be taken into account during the project definition, development and maintenance phase.
Too frequently accessibility is built in on the final stage where the tools or website development has already been designed and designers are then found looking for a way to make their product accessible.
Why is a accessibility important ?
In addition to making information easier to access and thereby increasing the site’s potential readership, benefits of accessible web design include:
- Improved usability for all visitors - Consistent navigation makes it easier to find desired content quickly.
- Captioning is useful for people with hearing impairments, for people in noisy environments, and for those having difficulty understanding the spoken word due to an accent or foreign language.
- Good colour contrast aids people with colour blindness, people using monochrome monitors, and those who prefer to read from printed pages.
- Providing text equivalents (e.g., ALT attributes and captioning), table summaries, and metadata improves search engine listings.
- By using style sheets, colour independence, and avoiding deprecated elements, web content will be more readily available to a changing (and expanding) studentt base and to any new technologies.
- Reduced site maintenance. By separating structure and presentation and using style sheets, the look of a site can easily be changed by modifying only one file.