01 Website Accessibility

Last modified on 04/03/2020

What is and why do we need web accessibility?

This is a multi-part article:

Introduction to Web Accessibility and W3C Standards

The best explanation of web accessibility is in the video Introduction to Web Accessibility and W3C Standards.

Please take the four minutes required to view the video. Notice all the options for accessing the content of that video in addition to watching it: captions, transcript, multiple languages, transcript with visuals.

What is Web Accessibility?

Web accessibility means that websites, tools, and technologies are designed and developed so that people with disabilities can use them. More specifically, people can:

  • perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the Web
  • contribute to the Web

W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) Introduction to Web Accessibility

The following is a paraphrased summary of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0.


  • Provide text alternatives for non-text content.
  • Provide captions and other alternatives for multimedia.
  • Create content that can be presented in different ways, including by assistive technologies, without losing meaning.
  • Make it easier for users to see and hear content.


  • Make all functionality available from a keyboard.
  • Give users enough time to read and use content.
  • Do not use content that causes seizures.
  • Help users navigate and find content.


  • Make text readable and understandable.
  • Make content appear and operate in predictable ways.
  • Help users avoid and correct mistakes.


  • Maximize compatibility with current and future user tools.


Poorly designed websites can create unnecessary barriers for people with disabilities, just as poorly designed buildings prevent some people with disabilities from entering. Access problems often occur because website designers mistakenly assume that everyone sees and accesses a webpage in the same way.

ADA Best Practices Tool Kit for State and Local Governments


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