Technology has become an indispensable part of human life, and it opens up new opportunities to make everyone’s life better. Some solutions are used in modern industry and also come with multifunctional designs. According to Google, there are approximately 7.53 billion people in the world where only 4.48 billion people use the Internet. This means that 58% of the population can use the Internet when needed. There are one billion disabled people in the world. Some disabilities make certain content difficult to consume and may require them to use helpful technology in their daily lives. However, if web content does not meet web accessibility guidelines, people with disabilities will not be able to access the content. These users are losing the features provided by the technology, and all users must have access to these features.
Context Of Web Accessibility
Web accessibility benefits people, businesses and ultimately society. International Internet standards define the conditions required to ensure web accessibility for all. As the Internet becomes the main source of information, entertainment, communications, and e-commerce, the importance of web accessibility cannot be ignored. Even the United Nations regards Internet access as a basic human right. However, most websites are still inaccessible to people with disabilities because they are not tailored to their needs. According to the World Bank, more than 1 billion people have disabilities, which makes up 15% of the world’s population. Disability can be understood as any physical or mental state that makes it difficult for a person to perform certain activities.
The network is basically designed for anyone, regardless of hardware, software, language, location or skills. When the Internet achieves this goal, people with a wide range of hearing, sports, vision, and cognitive skills will be able to use it. But when websites, applications, technologies, or tools are poorly designed, they may create barriers that prevent people from using the Internet. Web Accessibility is important for web development companies and organizations that want to build high-quality websites, web tools instead of depriving people of the opportunity to use their products and services.
A Perspective On Web Accessibility
Web development companies aim for web accessibility across all individuals but are developed with additional options so that people with disabilities can navigate, perceive things, maintain interactions and indirectly contribute to the web. Some of the disabilities that people might face would be physical, speech defects, neurological, auditory and cognitive. However, they can similarly hinder people without disabilities in the following ways:
- Older individuals who have problem with newer technologies
- People trapped in an environment that might limit their interactions due to harsh or poor lighting conditions, loud areas where they are unable to hear any audio
- People using devices with smaller screens or different methods of input
- Slow internet connection or limited bandwidth might affect accessibility
Why Is Web Accessibility Crucial In The Long Run
The Internet is becoming an increasingly important resource in many areas of life: education, employment, government, business, healthcare, leisure, and so on. Web accessibility is defined as a basic human right in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. (CRPD). The Internet has provided unprecedented information and interactive channels for many people with disabilities. In other words, it is easier to overcome the accessibility barriers of print, audio, and video media using network technology. Accessibility supports the social inclusion of people with disabilities and others, like elderly people in rural areas, people in developing countries etc. Web development companies should create a barrier-free design that improves overall user experience and satisfaction, especially in different situations, suitable for all devices. Accessibility can enhance the organization’s brand, drive innovation, and expand market reach. In many cases, it is required by law.
- Inclusivity: Creating an accessible website can create an inclusive experience that benefits the public interest.
- Consumer loyalty and acquisition: The Internet is the best place to connect with people, especially people with disabilities who cannot access stores or read printed materials. Web accessibility and design might ensure that a particular company can have more advantages than its competitor.
- Build trust: businesses can improve their brand by making their website truly accessible. For example, Facebook was recognized for using AI to provide automatic text alternatives to blind users who use object recognition technology.
A Few Technical Solutions To For Web Accessibility
Subtitle service providers provide visual support for videos in the form of subtitles and add transcribed dialogue text and sound when they appear. The service was originally developed to help people with hearing impairments understand the spoken language and music in TV shows and movies, but it can also help other people with hearing impairments.
Screen magnification software can help viewers control eye fatigue, maintain a good posture, and maintain a good viewing distance when used in class. For example, the Windows Magnifier tool is a good one to use.
Speech recognition software can be used to convert spoken language or sound into text using speech recognition algorithms. It is useful for people with hearing or movement impairments because it makes it easier for them to access the content by converting audio and video files to text. Speech recognition software also helps companies improve business communication by using artificial intelligence technology to translate and record information.
Web Accessibility On Being The Journey Not The Destination
From a commercial and humanitarian point of view, the accessibility of any website is of the essence; it should provide equal opportunities and access, and create a comprehensive environment. Unfortunately, many websites still ignore the requirements of people with disabilities, which is why some countries have passed laws to comply with accessibility guidelines.