Back to School – Universal Access

What is World Wide Access or Accessible Web Design?

The World Wide Web has rapidly become the dominant Internet tool, combining hypertext and multimedia to provide a network of educational, governmental, and commercial resources. Because of the multimedia nature of the web and the poor design of some websites, many Internet users cannot access the full range of resources. Some visitors cannot see graphics, cannot hear audio, cannot operate a mouse, uses slow Internet connections and modems or equipment that cannot easily download large files, or have difficulty navigating sites that are poorly organized with unclear directions because they have learning disabilities, speak English as a second language, or are younger than the average user.

What is Accessible Design?

Accessible design is a design process in which the needs of people with disabilities are specifically considered. Accessibility sometimes refers to the characteristic that products, services, and facilities can be independently used by people with a variety of disabilities.

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) develops and maintains the protocols used on the web to insure interoperability to promote universal access. The W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) has proposed guidelines for all web authors.

Vision is just one area we should consider when making our sites accessible to all.

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