Why Web Accessibility Matters

The internet has become an essential part of our lives. We use it for work, learning, entertainment, and communication. However, not everyone has equal access to the web. In fact, a significant percentage of people are unable to use many websites due to accessibility issues. As a Senior Front End Developer, I am aware of this problem and its importance. In this article, I will discuss why web accessibility matters and how we can implement it.

Web Accessibility Statistics

Did you know that only 5% of the most popular websites fully support accessibility? This means that a significant number of people are unable to use them. According to statistics, 15% of the world’s population has some kind of disability. This means that more than one billion people worldwide are affected by accessibility issues.

The population with differing abilities in the United States alone contains $500 billion in spending power, with global spending power estimated to be $1.2 trillion. By not providing proper accessibility, we are blocking people from working, learning, finding jobs, and enjoying the benefits of the internet. This is not only a matter of equality, human rights, and respect, but it also makes good business sense. Non-accessible websites are turning down a $1.2 trillion market share.

Devices have all the Accessibility Functionality, but Websites Have to be in the Right Structure

Most devices have accessibility features built-in, but websites have to be in the right structure to enable all the interactions. The internet has to be not limited to text-only interfaces. The information can be transferred in different ways. We need to consider different people with different types of disabilities and provide them with access to information.

Who Needs Web Accessibility?

Web accessibility is not only for people with limited abilities. It is also necessary for people from lower socio-economic layers, people with old and slow devices, and people with low internet speeds. By not considering different people, we are taking a technocentric approach, which is not right.

Implementing Web Accessibility

Implementing web accessibility is not easy, but it is essential. Many developers don’t understand accessibility, while others realize it’s needed but don’t know where to start. We can start with semantic HTML tags, headings order, search, ARIA attributes.

Web accessibility is essential for everyone. We need to provide equal access to the internet and information. Modern web technologies almost have no limits. They can support a variety of colours and shapes. The main problem is not the technological limitations, but the fact that websites are produced for an average user. We need to think beyond the average user and provide accessibility for everyone. The internet is a tool to transfer information, and it can be transferred in different ways. Let’s make it accessible to everyone.

Helpful resources

  • Learn accessibility:
    • https://a11yphant.com/
  • Information about accessibility:
    • https://www.webaccessibility.com/resource-library/platform/?platform=1
    • https://monsido.com/web-accessibility
    • https://www.accessibilityassociation.org/s/wascertification
  • Stats:
    • https://webaim.org/projects/million/
    • https://webaim.org/projects/screenreadersurvey8/#intro
  • Tools:

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