Accessibility means providing equal access to information for all our audiences. Just as we build ramps to enable access into a building for wheelchairs, bikes or prams, we must also make sure our digital content is accessible for everyone.
Accessibility also means creating content that does not exclude anyone because of their ability, situation or circumstance. Rather, it is an inclusive approach to content that should make it easier for all users to understand, interact with and respond to our websites, apps, communications and materials.
Inclusive design is design that considers the full range of human diversity with respect to ability, language, culture, gender, age and other forms of human difference. Designing inclusively results in better experiences for everyone.
Disability – what does it really mean?
Disability historically has had a narrow definition, but it’s actually quite fluid. Disability exists on a spectrum of all shapes, sizes and colours. It can be permanent, temporary or situational. Meaning that it’s not restricted to lifelong, extreme disabilities like deafness or blindness.
Essential for some, useful for all
For people with disability, accessible content can be the difference between inclusion and exclusion from information. They may rely on assistive technologies like screen readers, magnifiers or captions to access content.
By ensuring our content is accessible, we are choosing to include all of these people. And in the process, we are also making the content more useful for everyone else, including:
- speakers of other languages, who may be using translation software
- users with low literacy levels
- users on mobile or tablet devices
- users with poor internet connections.
This video demonstrates how the smallest of changes in our content structure can either hinder or enhance the experience for a vision-impaired person. Read the transcript.