One day, when I was in high school developing my first websites, I wondered how would people with disabilities access a computer, application or website? It is then that I discovered the concept of Web Accessibility or Web a11y.
Web accessibility is important because it enables people with disabilities to access the same information, services, and opportunities available to everyone else. It ensures that they can effectively and independently use the web.
It also helps to improve the user experience for all users, regardless of their abilities.
Accessible websites are easier to navigate, and are more user-friendly.
In addition, web accessibility helps to increase the visibility of websites and web applications, improving their potential reach. By making sure that websites are accessible, companies can ensure that their work reaches the maximum number of people.
Making a web accessible
ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications) is a set of attributes that developers can add to HTML elements to make them more accessible to users with disabilities.
ARIA works by adding extra information to HTML elements that helps assistive technologies, such as screen readers, in understanding how elements on the page are used and how they relate to each other.
This extra information allows assistive technologies to more accurately interpret the page and provide a better experience for users with disabilities.
Google Lighthouse, an automated tool for improving web accessibility, provides a checklist of criteria that web developers should consider when building websites. These criteria ensure that people with disabilities can properly interact with websites.
If you want to start, there are a few things you can do, such as using descriptive link text, providing alternative text for images, and using a semantic markup language. You can also use tools such as screen readers and screen magnifiers to make sure everything works good.
Making an entire (already built) website accessible takes much more.
But it is worth it!
As web developers, it is our responsibility to make sure that our work is accessible to everyone. It is an important part of creating an equal digital experience.
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