What is accessibility?
Accessibility is about creating something with everyone in mind so that everyone is included (which is coined inclusive design). It means that everyone can use it, regardless of ability.
Who is accessibility useful for?
So who is everyone? This could be people with:
- Permanent disabilities: sight, hearing, cognitive or physical
- Temporary impairment: broken hand or an ear infection
- Situational impairments: sun glare or holding some coffee
- Older browsers, either by choice
- Poor (or good) levels of technical expertise
- English as a second language
The biggest issue encountered for accessibility is the belief that it only benefits a minority of people, maybe even nobody (if nobody has complained, right?). However, accessibility is for everyone, it may be essential for some but useful for everyone.
A good example of usefulness is to use everyday situations, like the following which are situational disabilities:
- You’re outside and it’s a sunny day and you look at your phone, you can’t read the site well because of the glare
- You’ve just set up a computer but don’t have a mouse handy, or you have a cup of coffee in your hand
- You’re tired and auto-piloting the site
- You have fat fingers and using your phone
- You’re visiting a website which you’re not fluent in
- You have a slow internet connection and some images aren’t able to load
Why is accessibility useful?
As previously explained, it is useful for everyone, even if none of the users of your application (at least if you believe so) do not have permanent disabilities, it is still great to create an accessible application.
End user experiance
Usability is improved when emphasising on accessibility. The user experience as a whole will be better.