The other day, I had a discussion with some friends about Accessibility in Web Applications. I strongly believe in the use of usability in startups and in creating a more democratized and inclusive web. However, this is not the case for most applications, where they designate most of their resources to flashing animations that don’t add anything to the application itself.
The percentage of people with disabilities is higher than you may think. For example, in UK 6% of children, 16% of working adults and 45% retired adults, are disabled. While in the United States in 2012, people with disabilities in the age range between 21 and 64 years old account of 10.4% of the population. If this is the case of a rich country where some illnesses could be avoided, think about poor countries where people don’t have the resources to keep up with any treatment.
Have you seen people with disabilities using the web? That is painful to watch and if you can do something to help them to use the web with ease, then why not start doing it. For example, I know that you have visited a Youtube video that says is not allowed in your country and you get very frustrated. Think about every website that you visit and a blank page just because you are Indian, Latin American, African, etc. This case can be applied to blind people using the web.
When you have time, please check this video that will give you an idea of how people with disabilities use the web. There are a lot of resources that will help you to understand accessibility for people with disabilities because it does not apply only to the web, but to the whole application development field. I hope you find them useful and enjoy them.
- Design Accessible Web Sites: 36 Keys to Creating Content for All Audiences and Platforms
- Dive Into Accessibility by Mark Pilgrim
- 10 Easy Accessibility Tips Anyone Can Use
- Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)
- Just Ask: Integrating Accessibility Throughout Design by Shawn Henry
- Accessibility Technical Documentation – The Chromium Projects
- What is WAI-ARIA, what does it for me, and what not?