What is web accessibility?
Accessibility is all about the ability to access - how easy it is for people with different needs to access your services or materials. Web accessibility, therefore, is about how easy it is for people to access your website and other online content.
Different users face different challenges and understanding those challenges will help you make your website more accessible. For example:
- Users who have difficulty hearing may need subtitles or a transcript to access videos.
- Images can be made meaningful to blind people if there is adequately descriptive text included.
- Those who are dyslexic may benefit from a clear layout and content written in Plain English.
- Anyone who has trouble using their hands may need to navigate around the site without a mouse.
You can get a good idea of the kinds of difficulties that people face, and what they might need to do to access your website, on the BBC’s My Web My Way pages.
Some organisations publish standards or guidelines to help you ensure your website is accessible. Following these guidelines does not guarantee that your site will be accessible and usable, but they can be a useful starting point. RNIB have further information about building accessible websites.
As well as webpages, any materials that users can download (for example, PDF documents) need to be accessible. Find out how to create accessible documents, and how to use multimedia in an accessible way.