If you were to go back to the Victorian era, you wouldn’t find hand rails for the disabled, slopes from the sidewalk on to the road, ramps into buildings. Disabled people weren’t considered in design. Fortunately, times have moved on and although there is still room for improvement, it is a lot easier for a disabled person to be able to move around and have as much accessibility to roads and buildings as everyone else. While this is all great news, times have moved on and new things have been introduced to our lives, for example, the internet. So, could there be an accessibility problem with the internet, a problem that companies, like accessiBe, are helping to change?
Why is there a need for website accessibility?
It may seem strange to think of this as an issue. On the surface, having the internet is great for those who are disabled. They can access much more from the comfort of their homes. And yet, many disabled people find using the internet a struggle. Why? Well, just as a ramp may be needed to help them access a building, other considerations may be needed, depending on the disability, to help them access the internet. It could be that the problem is actually getting on to the internet in the first place. Some sites require navigation using a mouse and this alone creates an issue for some. For others, it may be the layout of the site that they struggle to follow, the colours that make it impossible to view, or images they cannot see or process.
As you can see, there are many reasons why a person may struggle and why website accessibility is so important. There are estimated to be 1.3 billion disabled people in the world and that number continues to grow. That is a huge amount of the population who would benefit from changes to website accessibility. Everyone deserves the same rights and no one should be discriminated against because of their disability, or for any other reason.
Thankfully, the world is realising how big an issue this is, and more and more websites are becoming accessible. In fact, in many countries, it is now a legal requirement to make websites accessible for disabled users. With just a little bit of change to a website, it can make all the difference to a disabled persons life, and I’m sure you’d agree that makes it well worth the effort.