What is digital accessibility?
Digital accessibility is about designing and creating a content which can be used by everyone regardless of their cognitive and motor skills. People have diverse needs, skills and abilities and we need to take this into consideration when creating our content on the web. Accessibility is about inclusivity and making sure that no one is excluded. Digital accessibility is when everyone can equally perceive, navigate, interact and communicate with the content that is provided online or through digital tools.
Why digital accessibility is important?
We are living in a digital world with more and more services becoming digital. As a result, the number of people using the internet is growing. However, most websites cannot be accessed by everyone especially those with health conditions and disabilities.
But this is not just about people with health conditions and disabilities, this can benefit everyone. By making our content accessible we are providing a better user experience. Who wouldn’t like to navigate via a keyboard, see sharp colours or easily decode pictures?
Usability, Accessibility and the User Experience
The term ‘Usability’ is normally referred to the degree to which a technology can be used by specified group of users.
On the other hand, ‘Accessibility’ is normally referred to the degree to which a technology can be used by everyone rather than just a specific group of users. In other words, accessibility is usability for all.
‘User Experience’ is the experience of a user that is related to the use of technology.
We can provide a better user experience by making and designing our content to be both usable and accessible.
To understand what all this mean imagine the challenges that visually impaired people face with inaccessible content!
- Inadequate image descriptions
- Unstructured documents (Not navigable)
- No transcript for videos
- Inaccessible play and pause button for videos
How user engagement creates accessible design and content?
There is a big difference in involving users and involving users with disabilities to create accessible content.
Involving users with disabilities at early stages of design, gives you a better understanding of real world accessibility issues. Without this, you wouldn’t know how people with health conditions or disabilities use digital content on the web or on other digital devices. This leads to a better implementation of effective accessibility solutions. On the other hand, involving users at the design level is only compatible with usability.
These are just a few examples to better understand what digital accessibility means. Facilitating communication and having a clear commitment towards accessibility should be the focus of every organisation.
If you’d like to know more about accessible tools embedded in Microsoft office, Apple products and our own Knowledge Acceleration platform – send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll send you further information.
Azadeh Sotoudeh, Advertising Manager, Microlink pc UK Ltd