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  1. #1
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    Is web accessibility really matter?

    If there were no legislation for web accessibility, then why it matters? What is the benefit of it?

  2. #2
    Mouse catcher silver trophy Stevie D's Avatar
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    It matters for two reasons - ethical and commercial.

    Ethical - quite simply, it is wrong to discriminate against groups of people. Sure, there will be cases where it is not possible to make your content accessible to everyone, particularly when you are looking at rich media or complex interaction, or where the extra steps you would need to take would not be reasonable, but those cases are a small minority.

    Commercial - can you afford to turn customers away? There are lots of people out there with some form of disability or impairment, and their money is just as good as anyone else's. Some level of visual impairment or fine motor control problem is common in older people, who play an increasingly important part in online business. If you don't make your site accessible then they will take their money elsewhere. And don't forget "the most important blind user of them all" - Google is in many respects like someone using assistive technology, so if your site isn't accessible then you can say goodbye to a good position in the search results.

  3. #3
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    Web accessibility really matters. Despite the fact that there are no legislation for it, we should think not only about rules, but stay human. We aren't doing everything for the sake of benefit. Think about people who are disabled – why should they loose a chance to reach the info in the web.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard rguy84's Avatar
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    There is legislation for it. In the United States, if you are working for the federal government, there is Section 508 of the Rehab Act, which currently uses a modified version of WCAG 1.0. This is currently is being worked on for complete adoption of WCAG 2.0. If you are working on behalf of a state-agency, Section 504 applies, which allows states to pick their own regulations. States pick one of the following, 1- Section 508 Standards, 2- WCAG 2.0 or 3- a hybrid of the two. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is also being updated

    In Ontario, Canada - has Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), adopts WCAG 2.0.

    And more can be found at webAIM
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  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    It matters for the same reason letting blacks and women vote in national elections matters. Or doesn't. Depends on the type of person you are (that's a general "you").

    Importance of web accessibility grows as importance of (and dependency on) the web itself grows. Again more pointing towards my first sentence.

    I generally find very inaccessible code is usually quite awful. This isn't so much true of fancy things like widgets, who are only accessible in many cases due to ARIA roles/attributes, but general content that's inaccessible usually is because of crappy markup or retarded use of Javascript. Though how much crappy markup matters to any given developer varies. There is a growing trend in IT called "build it fast and broken, ship it to the client, then expect them to request bug fixes and features until it isn't sucky and broken anymore." Not to be confused with Agile, but the above is often described as Agile. Build crap, get paid for it, and train customers to never expect the first, second or third delivery to actually work well, but this is ok! because it's a Facebook Killer or the Next Hot Thing and It'll Go Viral.

  6. #6
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    If web accessibility doesn't matter to you then don't bother accessing the web.
    Stephen J Chapman

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    <input name="html5" type="text" required pattern="^$">

  7. #7
    SitePoint Addict
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    There are legislation in developed countries and its is coming under-developed countries also. Accessibility on the Internet not only associated with the practice of accommodating the needs of disabled people but a more accessible website can make the surfing experience better and more Responsive for everyone. So yes, it is very important.

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  8. #8
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    As a blind web user and developer, accessibility is a way of life. There are various legislations including EU & UN and WAI has had guidelines available since 1999. So there isn't any excuse for not being accessible a part from poor workmanship, crappy build/design and a general lack of interest in your customers.

    Responsive design, progressive enhancement and other best known practices are fundimental to robust build and design. After all would you want your house built by some amitter who couldn't care less about the people living in it?

    Accessibility and usability are fundimental to UX/UI and are a core part of any web project.

    What's more the web is potentialy the most accessible media ever known and if done right can open opportunities to people who otherwise wouldn't have.

    It is my career and here in the UK since the equality act 2010, ignorants is no longer a valid excuse.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    so many truths, it's like the bible man without the mystic stuff
    So there isn't any excuse for not being accessible a part from poor workmanship, crappy build/design and a general lack of interest in your customers.
    Accessibility and usability are fundimental to UX/UI and are a core part of any web project.
    Amen

    ignorants is no longer a valid excuse.
    but time still frequently is

    (the quotes aren't set apart for me in Orca or old JAWS, meh)

    when I spend some time figuring out something like tabs
    it would be awesome if my company supported me

    luckily we're small and mine doesn't care too much
    but bigger ones demand deadlines yesterday.

    It's hard enough to deliver quality under that, let alone spending some more time figuring out a widet

    like a meat factory in the US, usually the quality of the meat only matters when the meat's being shipped elsewhere... like when a client insists they need a11y because they serve govt or something...

  10. #10
    Programming Team silver trophybronze trophy
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    I think part of the problem is that is too easy to assume that "what works for me works for everyone else".

    For example, I don't have manual dexterity problems and usually use my mouse for everything except typing text.
    But once my mouse died (a cat bit through the wire) and I was forced to use the keyboard to get around. A major PITA
    The experience made me realize that I should pay more attention to making sure that those that can't use a mouse for reasons beyond their control don't encounter the problems I faced temporarily.

    On a personal note, perhaps some with better eyesight than I have no problem with poor contrast or small font and may like the "style".
    I do have a problem with it and my solution is to not stay or revisit the site. Does any site really want to turn away visitors?

  11. #11
    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    interestingly possibly related:
    https://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_...i?id=23366#c23

    Quote Originally Posted by mitt
    But once my mouse died (a cat bit through the wire)
    damn cats

  12. #12
    SitePoint Evangelist silver trophybronze trophy
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    Mittineague:
    I think part of the problem is that is too easy to assume that "what works for me works for everyone else".
    150% agree!
    =======
    once my mouse died ...
    You don't need a cat for that. Just put your mouse upside down and don't touch him/her for 1 minute.
    • Now go to the links/buttons on this proper forum-page with the Tab-key, the only one for getting the links/buttons with the keyboard.
    • You can Enter a link/button by ... the Enter key.

    Question: Can you hit the Stupid Cat (Stomme Poes) to see his/her profile?

    OK, now you can use the mouse again. The answer is:

    You need a mouse to hit the cat!!!
    Code:
    /* BASIC PAGE ELEMENTS */
    a:active, a:focus {outline: 0;}
    .textbox, textarea, select {outline: 0;}
    The forum is not accessible for keyboard-only visitors!


    =======
    (...) contrast or small font (...). Does any site really want to turn away visitors?
    Yes, by ignorance, though it should be forbidden for professionals.
    • About 40% (!) of the visitors have a contrast power of only one third of the contrast ability of someone of 20 years.
    • See here the difference in contrast perception (don't shy!).
    • I guess a lot of (young) webdesigners don't realize this. And does everybody know and check the contrast-ratio's text/background which the WCAG has as standards, before delivering a site to the client?
    • Answer: at least a contrast ratio 4.5:1 (large text at least 3:1) as a minimum (accessibility level AA), and better at least 7:1 (large text: at least 4.5:1) as guideline for accessibility level AAA. - Contrast Analyser tool over here!

  13. #13
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mittineague View Post
    But once my mouse died (a cat bit through the wire)
    That's a good reason to replace the mouse with a hampster - they don't have tails. Some can go through batteries quite quickly though.
    Stephen J Chapman

    javascriptexample.net, Book Reviews, follow me on Twitter
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    <input name="html5" type="text" required pattern="^$">

  14. #14
    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    I'm used to graphixy people removing outlines... that doesn't prevent me from selecting something with keyboard, merely makes it a pain in the butt to look down at the address in my browser's work-bar.

    Worse are things like the Bootstrap stuff that, at least when I worked on it, put tabindex="-1" on stuff in the weirdest of places, actually preventing keyboard use.


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