Web Design Podcast (10) – Web Accessibility

Paul Boag

On this life-changing episode of boagworld (Okay, so I have delusions of grandeur), we look at the subject of web accessibility. What is it? Why it is important? And how to decide just how accessible your site needs to be.

Download this show.

Below are some brief notes that might give you a vague idea of what was covered in this episode. There are also some links on accessibility you might find useful.

What is web accessibility?

Web accessibility is about making your site available to the widest possible audience no matter what disability, device, or browser they are using.

For more on the different definitions of web accessibility read "Accessibility debates, more harm than good!"

Why should I make my site accessible?

We have a legal and morale obligation to make our sites accessible. However, it also makes good commercial sense. Why turn people away from your site just because they have a disability or do not have the latest browser.

How is accessibility measured?

Although many countries have different web accessibility legislation the W3C guidelines are considered the basis for good accessibility. However, these are indeed guidelines and should be treated as such. The WCAG are the start of good web accessibility not the end.

The same is true for automated checkers like Bobby. Although a valuable starting point for web accessibility they have many limitations.

Learn more about the role of automated accessibility checkers.

So how accessible do I need to be?

Deciding how accessible to make your site should, like so much in web design, be based around your target audience. You should consider their needs and examine these against design, technical and commercial constraints.

Other great stuff to read

Building accessible websites

Accessible sites don’t have to be ugly

Accessibility for low vision users

Accessibility and the new Headscape website

An inclusive and pragmatic approach to accessibility