Web standards

W3C, WASP, A List Apart, Open Web, OpenSource, Evolt, WSG, QuirksMode, W3QC, Accessify


May 9, 2008 Posted by

This is a quick guide how to design a web page so that it is easy to use for people with disabilities.
The accessibility issues should be addressed mainly by webmasters, because they are directly responsible for complying with the accessibility standards.

A few reasons why to comply with accessibility standards

  • Google behaves like a visually, mentally, and physically impaired user. You don’t want to help the disabled, help your site rank better in SERPs. Do it for yourself!
  • Users of mobile devices (cell phones, PDAs, etc.) have similar problems as the disabled. Don’t want to help them, think of it as a fast growing market that can make you a lot of money. Do it for yourself!
  • A lot of companies don’t allow plug-ins or scripts in browsers. After all, as an Internet business, you have to think about people who like browsing the Web on their coffee break.
  • Links must look like links. They must clearly distinct color (e.g. blue, because it is the “safest” for all those having problems with distinguishing colors). If the user can’t see the links, how he/she is supposed to navigate through your site.
  • Have you heard of attribute accesskey. People who have difficulties using the mouse will be able to quickly use the link that has an accesskey assigned to it (for instance, <a accesskey=”1″> Home </a> ). If the user doesn’t have a mouse, it’s too difficult to navigate through the site. It means lost customer!
  • Use alternative text for images or your message “Buy here” may never be discovered!.

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