The web is changing, and the web is changing for the worse. Web accessibility is a growing concern, and the increasing demand for the web is driving changes and improvements in its accessibility. A website that is accessible to everyone can potentially make the web a more inclusive place, making it easier for people of all abilities to learn, work, communicate and play. The web is evolving, and as WYSIWYG editors, we need to keep up to stay ahead of these changes.
Many myths get passed around in the web accessibility community. Today, we’re going to dispel a few of them.
Dispelling the Myths
The Web is a wonderful thing. It brings us the latest in technology and gives us access to information and media from all around the world. However, for all the good it does us, it also presents us with challenges. From the accessibility of the Web to the problems with multimedia to even the lack of understanding of the basics of keyboard use, the Web is an excellent example of the extremes the world has come to.
However, many myths and misconceptions are surrounding the accessibility of the Web, and it is our intention to shine a light on these myths and stereotypes and help you find the truth, to serve your users better.
Check out the following myths:
• Accessible websites are boring and ugly. This myth is reinforced by websites that look like they were designed for people with disabilities but are actually not. It is important to understand how accessibility is a factor in how websites look and perform. Accessibility is a design issue that is important for all websites, not just websites designed for people with disabilities. Accessibility is a top priority for web developers. With the accessibility of the web gradually improving, there is a misconception that accessibility is a boring and unattractive process to use. The truth is that accessibility can be incredibly impactful, both for visitors and for the organization.
• Making an accessible site doesn’t have additional benefits. Making an accessible website has a number of benefits to both users and businesses. While these can be seen as up-front costs in some cases, in other instances, these can provide a great return on investment. However, many myths have been around for so long that they are hard to break free from.
• Automated evaluation tools are more than enough. It is a known fact that the Web accessibility industry relies heavily on automated tools. An example is the WAI-ARIA compliance checker. The goal is to determine whether a website conforms to the WAI-ARIA standards (the Web content accessibility standards) for accessible web design. However, the use of automated tools alone is not enough for all web designers to become accessible.
• It is the developer’s responsibility to make the web-accessible. Most blogs rarely, if ever, touch on the topic of web accessibility, an important topic because of the rise of web development companies. It is unreasonable to expect web developers to handle all the web accessibility issues themselves.
• Making a web-accessible is optional. Web accessibility is a necessary part of providing access to the internet for people with disabilities. There are no exceptions and no excuses.
• Accessible websites are only beneficial to a low percentage of people. There are plenty of misconceptions regarding the accessibility of the web. Surely one of the biggest is the idea that only 2% of the world’s population has any problem navigating the web. This is far from the truth, and in fact, we’re all becoming less visually impaired as well as progressively less able to use a mouse and keyboard.
• Creating an accessible website is time-consuming, expensive, and complicated. Web accessibility is one of the topics that is often linked to the web community and is often believed to be overly complicated and time-consuming, and expensive. But this is a myth. To create a website that is accessible, you only need a simple knowledge of HTML and CSS, along with a bit of usability testing and feedback from your users. If you look at some of the most popular websites out there, you will have trouble finding a website that is not accessible.
It’s a common misconception that giving the same amount of money and care to accessibility means the work is done. While this might not be an issue for a website that has been passed by a committee, it can be a challenge for one that is being built from scratch. Technology wisdom says that accessibility should be an ongoing process rather than an end goal. In some cases, even small changes can make a huge difference.
While the Web is a wonderful resource of information, it is not a perfect one. Every day it is a fight for the rightful treatment of the many small things that often make up the bigger picture. The purpose of the myths section of the web accessibility is to show, through real-world practice, the small flaws that all sites have. Using this section as a reference to find flaws in your site is like dropping a pebble in a very deep pool: the waves that are created will never stop moving, and depending on the size of the pebble, you, as WYSIWYG HTML editor, can be sure that there will be some kind of change.
An author of Namaste UI, published several articles focused on blogging, business, web design & development, e-commerce, finance, health, lifestyle, marketing, social media, SEO, travel.
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