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  1. #1
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    How Important Is Accessibility?

    I've developed a site, but I haven't checked for it's accessibility. Accessibility is a whole new ball game to me. I understand it, I believe all sites that NEED IT, SHOULD HAVE IT. So, my question is,

    Does Every Site Need To Be Accessible? How Important Is It To Have Accessibility?

    I have my own opinions on when a site needs it, but I'd like to hear what you guys have to say about it.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by brdnwi View Post
    Does Every Site Need To Be Accessible?
    What is the point of making a site that cannot be accessed by anyone?

    The question should be, 'for whom does a site need to be accessible?'
    And the answer is, 'it depends on the site.'

    If you make a small site for your friends and family, and you have no interest of anyone else visiting it, it only has to be accessible to your friends and the members of your family. Remember, though, that anyone of them (or you, yourself) can become disabled at any time...

    If it's a commercial site, you are normally interested in targeting the largest audience possible. But it may be that making the site fully accessible for some user groups (like people with severe cognitive disabilities) can be so expensive that the investment cannot be justified. Note, however, that national legislation may impel requirements for accessibility even for commercial entities.

    If your site is a government site or other public agency site, then you may be bound by legislation to make it accessible to all citizens.

    Quote Originally Posted by brdnwi View Post
    How Important Is It To Have Accessibility?
    How important is it to have visitors to your site?
    The more important that is, the more important it is to make the site as accessible as possible.

    It all depends on your target audience. If you have a personal blog about quantum physics, you may end up with a different set of actions than if it is a public site for the local town council, etc.

    It's important to remember that an accessible site usually works better even for visitors who are not disabled. It also stands a good chance of being loved by search engine spiders, etc., increasing the probability of the site being found through that channel.
    Birnam wood is come to Dunsinane

  3. #3
    Guru Meditation Error gnarly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brdnwi View Post
    How Important Is It To Have Accessibility?
    If you develop a site according to accepted standards and best practises (which for me is a matter of personal and professional pride in my work), it will likely be "accessible" (it's a very broad term) right from the word go. It can bring many benefits apart from the obvious "someone blind can use this" scenario - improved SEO, better usability and so on.

    So I'd like to flip it around: Why wouldn't you make a site accessible?
    Olly Hodgson
    thinkdrastic.net

  4. #4
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy

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    Quote Originally Posted by gnarly View Post
    If you develop a site according to accepted standards and best practises ... it will likely be "accessible" ... right from the word go.
    From a technical point of view, yes. But there is much more to web accessibility than that. And the hardest parts are those that lie outside of the angle brackets.
    Birnam wood is come to Dunsinane

  5. #5
    SitePoint Enthusiast adrian rayfield's Avatar
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    Does Every Site Need To Be Accessible? How Important Is It To Have Accessibility?
    I can't think of any reasons why you wouldn't make a site accessibile, it has many possitive reasons to make a site accessible, the fact more people can use your site for one, good business sense for another.

    Accessibility doesn't only help disabled or impaired users but the eldely 'silver surfer' also.


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