Accessibility for Everyone - Possible? Practical?

That depends on your definition of ‘website’. For me that is information marked up with HTML, with an optional presentational layer (CSS) and behavioural layer (JavaScript) that offer progressive enhancement.

If you’re talking about stuff that requires browser plug-ins (like Flash or Silverlight) and relies on ajax etc to try to mimic regular desktop applications, then there will definitely be barriers for a number of user groups.

But if something requires support for anything beyond HTTP and HTML, then I don’t consider it to be a proper web site. I’m old-fashioned, I know.

If you have unlimited resources you can make multiple versions of the site. In real life, though, you’ll have to reach the best possible compromise. Alternative style sheets may alleviate some conflicts (e.g., high contrast for those with poor eyesight vs soft contrast for some types of dyslexia). It puts some onus on the user, but that’s all right.

No, it’s not possible. There are a few billion people who don’t have a computer and/or internet access, for one thing. And there are people with disabilities that are so severe that it would be virtually impossible to create usable sites for them. I’m thinking mainly about major cognitive disabilities here; the inability to understand even simple symbols and relationships.

But …

If we build sites that comply with level AA in WCAG they will be accessible for a vast majority of the surfing population. If we can stretch to AAA (hard, but not impossible) we remove most of the remaining obstacles.

And AA is doable for anyone with the appropriate skills for this business.

My sense is that in most cases it’s possible to reach a sufficiently good approximation, maybe not exactly, but good enough for a delta-epsilon test. :wink:

It definitely depends on the case though. I find that good accessibility… in general… is about ensuring that all content is in text form, and having good knowledge of universal design principles. Are there cases where different groups are in direct (or indirect) conflict, absolutely. In those cases you have to weigh your design options, assess your audience and make your best attempt to move forward with the best “possible” design; because there are sometimes you can not please everyone.

Possible? With time, effort and money, sure.

Practical? Depends on how much time, effort and money you want to put into it. And of course what your visitor demographic is like (are the accessibility features going to be used by a significant number of visitors?)

However, depending on what type of organization the website is for, you may have to follow certain guidelines by law for ADA compliance.

I’ve come to the conclusion that for some websites, it is in practical terms impossible to reach AAA standards, because the level of complexity and interaction is simply not reducible to a text-based system.

How would you explain the network map to a friend over a telephone line? (Let’s pretend that you had to, for some reason.)
That’s how you’d provide the text equivalent for the network map.

I wouldn’t. The best way to get someone lost in the middle of a dark German forest where an evil surgeon lives to create human centipedes is by telling them how to “turn left at the old tree on Wiggleworthstreet, then about a little ways down hang a right down that little alley without a name”.

Off Topic:

I didn’t see the film, don’t want to